Iowa ID requirements for voting by mail

COVID-19 Advisory: Iowa will send all registered voters absentee ballot applications for the general election. If you do not remember your Voter ID PIN and do not have another approved form of identification, you should contact your county auditor's office.

If you need a photocopy of your ID to accompany your absentee/vote-by-mail ballot application and do not have access to a copier or printer, click here to learn how we can help.

Who is eligible to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail?

Any registered voter in Iowa may request an absentee ballot. No excuse is required.

First-time voters

When you register to vote or vote for the first time in a federal election in your state, you must prove who you are:
  • If you register to vote in person, you must show a driver’s license, state ID, or provide the last 4 digits of your social security number (SSN), if you have one.
  • If you registered by mail and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN, you must show an acceptable form of ID (see below) at your polling place.
  • If you apply for an absentee/vote by mail ballot and did not include your state’s driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your SSN when you registered by mail, you must include a copy of an acceptable ID (see below).

Here is a list of acceptable IDs: Documents that prove who you are

Your state may have other ID requirements for voting in person or for absentee/vote by mail ballot.

Do you need to submit ID with your absentee ballot request?

No. Rather, voters requesting an absentee ballot will be required to include their Driver’s license/Non-Operator ID number or their four-digit Voter PIN from their Voter Identification Card. Voters without an Iowa Driver’s License or Non-Operator ID number are mailed an Iowa Voter Identification Card at the time of registration.

First-time voters may need to submit ID – see section above.

Do you need to submit ID with your ballot?

No, but the signature on your mail ballot must match other signatures on file.

Last update: April 15, 2020

Hannah Piercey

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