West Virginia voters must show an approved form of identification at the polls during early voting or on election day. All forms of ID must be valid and not expired. However, a photo ID is not required. This law does not apply to absentee-by-mail voting, or any person who falls under an exception listed below. However, first-time voters who did not present an ID at the time of registering must provide one of the forms of ID outlined in the First Time Voters ID Requirements section below.
Acceptable Forms of Non-Photo Identification:
Voter registration card
Medicare card or Social Security card
WV hunting or fishing license
WV SNAP ID card
WV TANF program ID card
WV Medicaid ID card
Bank or debit card
Utility bill or bank statement issued within six months of the date of the election
Health insurance card issued to the voter
Any document issued by the WV or US government that displays the voter's name
Any document issued by the state of WV or U.S. government containing voter's name, including a WV driver's license, passport, U.S. or WV government employee ID or military ID
Acceptable Forms of Photo Identification:
Driver's license issued by another state
Student ID card
A concealed carry (pistol/revolver) permit
First-Time Voters ID Requirements:
If you registered to vote for the first time in West Virginia or your county, and you have not voted in a federal election in this state, you must show a valid ID with your voter registration application or the first time you vote.
My first time voting will be in person: You must show one of the forms of valid ID listed below at the polling place.
My first time voting will be absentee by mail: You must send a copy of one of the forms of valid ID listed below with your ballot. Important: Be sure to place the copy of your ID in your return envelope, “Absent Voter’s Ballot Envelope No. 2,” outside of the secrecy envelope that contains your ballot.
Valid ID for First Time Voters: only the following documents that show your current name and address can be accepted:
Valid photo identification
Any other official government document
If a first-time voter does not provide one of the forms of valid ID listed above when voting for the first time in West Virginia or a county, then the ballot will be made provisional. Provisional ballots are not included in the Election Day results, but will be considered by the Board of Canvassers at canvass.
To view the law on first-time voting ID requirements, please refer to W. Va. Code § 3-2-10(g) and (h).
There are three (3) exceptions to the voter ID requirement:
Exception 1: Signed, Sworn Statement by an Adult who has Known the Voter for 6 Months or More.
A voter does not have to show an ID to vote if the voter is accompanied by an adult who: Has known the voter for at least 6 months; Shows a photo ID with his or her name and address; and Signs an affidavit at the polling place confirming the voter's identity.
Exception 2: A Poll Worker Knows the Voter.
A voter does not have to show ID to vote if a poll worker has known the voter for at least 6 months. No additional affidavit or ID is required.
Exception 3: Residents of State Care Facilities.
Residents of licensed WV state care facilities do not have to show ID to vote if: The voter is a resident of the care facility; The care facility is a polling place; and The resident's polling place is located at the care facility.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What if a voter cannot obtain any of the forms of ID?
A: Registered voters can apply for a free Voter ID Card from their county clerk. Applications must be submitted in person at the county clerk's office, and voters can choose to be mailed their Voter ID Card or pick them up at the county clerk's office.
Q: What if a voter shows up to vote, does not have an ID, and does not fall under any of the exemptions?
A: The voter will vote a provisional ballot. Before canvass, the provisional ballot signature is compared to the voter's registration signature. If the signatures match, the vote should count.
*Alternate forms are available upon request.