Drivers License: Acceptable Identification Documents in Ohio

When you apply for a Driver License, CDL, State Identification Card you must have proof of your identity.  You must present two documents to prove your (1) legal first name, middle name, OR middle initial, and current last name; (2) date of birth; (3) Social Security number (SSN), if ever assigned; (4) U.S. citizenship or U.S. legal presence; and (5) resident street address in Ohio.

Your Social Security number must be on either the primary or secondary document.  Your name on the documents must match your current name unless a change of name is established by court order, marriage certificate or marriage license.  You will need a copy with an original certification.  Uncertified copies of certified documents are not accepted.

Primary Documents must contain the full legal name and date of birth.  They can include:

  • Certificate of Birth - An original or certified copy with a seal, issued by a government agency.  Must contain gender.
  • Certified Copy of Court Order - Must contain the full name and date of birth of the applicant. Concealed Weapons Permit - A valid Ohio issued permit with photo.
  • Driver License - Any state, territory or possession of the US, with photo, current or expired not more than six months.
  • Military Identification - A valid US military service or dependent identification document with photo.
  • Offender Release Card - Valid issued by the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Correction or DYS; containing the person’s photo, name, date of birth and Social Security number.
  • State-Issued Identification Card or State-Issued Learners Permit - Any state, territory or possession of the United States, with photograph, current or expired not more than six months.
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIC) Documents - Must be an original and valid, or like documents issued by the successor agency to the USCIS.
  • Valid Passport - A valid United States Passport with photograph or a passport with photograph from another country accompanied by appropriate USCIS documents.
  • Any other genuine and reliable document approved by the BMV Registrar (not deputy registrar)

Secondary Documents (must Include Social Security Number if not on Primary Document):

  • Certified Copy of a Court Order
  • Credit Card
  • Department of Human Services Card or Public Assistance Card
  • Employer Identification Card - with photograph.
  • Foreign Birth Certificate – translated by an approved translator if not in English.
  • Gun Permit - with photograph.
  • Health Insurance Card – Current and valid.
  • IRS or State Tax Form - Issued by the government agency within the last 3 years.  No W-2s.
  • Marriage Certificate or marriage license.
  • Medical Records – From a doctor or hospital.
  • Military Dependent Identification - Must be valid with photograph.
  • Military Discharge – Separation papers.
  • Motor Vehicle Title – But not vehicle registration.
  • Pilot’s License
  • School Record or Transcript - Must be certified copy.
  • Social Security – An official social security card or number identification (numident) printout issued by the social security administration.  (Not a metal card.)
  • Student Identification Card - With photograph issued by a recognized school or university.
  • Voter Registration Card
  • Any other genuine and reliable document approved by the BMV Registrar (not deputy registrar)

Residency Documents  -must Include Ohio Residency Street Address

If your primary and secondary documents don’t establish your current Ohio residence street address, you must show additional documents with your name and current address in Ohio.  A P.O. box or other mail box address is not acceptable.

  • Insurance Policy - Any current and valid automobile or premises liability, or life insurance policy.
  • Bank Statement - Any checking or savings account statement, including on-line statements, dated within the last 60 days.
  • Child Support Check Stub - From the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services with the name and address of the applicant.
  • Income Tax Return Filing - Copy of federal or Ohio income tax return filing not more than 18 months old, with proof of filing.
  • Certified Copy of Court Order - Must be court order of probation, order of parole, or order of mandatory release.
  • School Records - Must contain satisfactory proof of identity, Ohio residency, and relationship of the parent or guardian to the child applicant.
  • Certified Statement of Residency - In the case of a dependent child, the BMV may accept a certified statement of residency from a child's parent or guardian, signed in the presence of a BMV official. Satisfactory proof of identity, Ohio residency, and relationship of the parent or guardian to the child applicant is also required.
  • Certified Statement of Residency - In the case of a married person, the BMV may accept a certified statement of residency from the applicant's spouse, signed in the presence of a BMV official. Satisfactory proof of identity, Ohio residency, and marital relationship is also required.
  • Installment Loan Contract - From a bank or other financial institution.
  • Major Credit Card Bill - Statement with Ohio street address.
  • Mortgage Account - Or proof of home ownership.
  • Ohio Certificate Of Title
  • Ohio Mail-in Renewal Notice
  • Valid Ohio Voter Registration Card
  • Paycheck Stub - Issued within the last six months.
  • Professional License - Issued by an Ohio government agency.
  • Property Tax Bill - Or receipt of payment.
  • Hunting/Fishing License - Ohio resident license valid during the current or previous year.
  • Sales Tax or Business License - Must show Ohio residence address.
  • Selective Service Registration Acknowledgement Card
  • Certification of Residency - From a nursing home or homeless shelter on a form prescribed by the registrar for that purpose.
  • Utility Bill - From an electric, telephone, water, sewer, cable, satellite, heating oil, or propane provider issued within the last 60 days.
  • Concealed Carry Permit - Valid concealed carry weapons permit.
  • Public Assistance Check Stub - Check stub, food stamp card, or letter on government letterhead (issued within the last 12 months), issued by a government public assistance agency.
  • Social Security Administration Document – with Ohio street address
  • TSA letter
  • Other - Any other genuine and reliable document approved BMV Registrar (not deputy registrar).

This article is meant to give you general information and not to give you specific legal advice.Prepared by Community Legal Aid Services, Inc. Updated May 2012. CE-93-F253-CLAS