Resource for - Secretary of State Answers Questions about CA Voter ID Requirements
What are the "ID Requirements" for Voting Under HAVA?
Section 303 (b) of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) sets forth requirements
for some voters to provide ID to vote.
Implementation of the specifics of this requirement can be quite complicated
for election officials, but in general: If a voter registers to vote in a county
on or after January 1, 2003, the registration is
by mail, and the voter has not previously voted in that county, then the voter
must either provide ID when he or she registers or provide ID when he or she
How does a voter prove ID?
Section 303(b)(2) specifies the ID requirements for voters who vote in person
or by absentee ballot.
"In person" voters must show a "current and valid photo identification" or "a
copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or
other government document that shows the name and address of the voter."
"Absentee voters" must submit with their ballot one of the documents listed
The Secretary of State, in accordance with Elections Code section 14310 (e),
has promulgated emergency regulations defining the documents a voter may use to
prove ID to vote (see FAQ #3 --- Standards for proof of
residency when proof is required by HAVA – Section 20107 of Title 2 of
the California Code of Regulations).
Is there any way a voter can avoid having to show ID when he or she
First, the requirement only applies to voters who have never voted in the
county in a federal election. Persons who were already registered as of January
1, 2003, or who change address within the county and re-register, are not
required to show ID to vote.
Second, voters who do not register to vote "by mail" are not required to show
ID to vote.
Third, Section 303(b)(3) states that if the voter provides his or her
driver's license number, or the last 4 digits of his or her social security
number, on the form to register to vote, and the elections official can verify
the number is correct, then the ID requirement does not apply.