Skip to content
Breaking News Alert 92 Percent Of Kamala Harris' Staff Left In Her First Three Years As VP

Californians With No Driver’s License Or SSN Can Use A Credit Card Or Gym Membership To Vote

In California, voters with no driver’s license or SSN can vote if they show a gym membership, credit card, or other low-security ID.


In California, voters with no government ID can still vote so long as they show a gym membership, credit card, utility bill, or other low-security identification.

Individuals wishing to register to vote in California are prompted on the secretary of state’s website to provide their driver’s license identification number and/or the last four digits of their Social Security number. But both sections give applicants the option to select a box indicating they lack that form of identification.

If an applicant checks both boxes, he would later be prompted to provide other identification, the California secretary of state’s office told The Federalist. Upon further inquiry, an office representative said individuals could provide proof of identity by showing items such as a credit card, a utility bill, or their gym membership.

When I called back for additional clarification, the woman told me she had been informed not to speak to the press, and gave me an email address to try.

In response to my email, the secretary of state’s press office affirmed that if “an applicant cannot be validated [using his driver’s license number or SSN], they are required to show ID at the polls the first time they vote.”

The email directed me to a state statute that lists acceptable documents with which voters who have no SSN or driver’s license may prove their identity. The list includes a “health club identification card” or other “identification card provided by a commercial establishment,” a credit or debit card, student ID, a bank statement, a utility bill, an insurance card, or even a sample ballot, among other options.

“There are documents that can be used to verify California residence identity, not citizenship,” the office noted, attaching a link to the California statute that specifies what documents can be accepted if a voter can’t provide the SSN or driver’s license number required by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).

HAVA requires states to check information about people registering to vote in federal elections against each individual’s information that is stored in the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles database. If an individual lacks a driver’s license, then another system is designed to verify the voter’s information against Social Security records. (Notably, neither an SSN nor a driver’s license confirms citizenship since foreign nationals can obtain either.)

[READ NEXT: Biden’s ‘Amnesty’ Plan Could Turn 500,000 Illegal Aliens Into Future Voters]

Senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies Hans Von Spakovsky told The Federalist that the policy is “absurd.”

“Allowing a gym membership is ridiculous,” Spakovsky told The Federalist. “I can create a gym membership card on my laptop using Microsoft Word. In fact, that’s the whole reason states require a government-issued photo ID for all kinds of things, including getting a marriage license in most places or cashing a check or [to] buy alcohol. The idea that you would use a gym membership to prove ID is just absurd. That does absolutely nothing.”

The DMV records verification required by HAVA can prevent voter fraud in ways that flashing a gym card can’t. Spakovsky explained:

There is a national DMV association made up of state DMVs and they have a computer system network that allows them to share data. The whole point of it is that, almost every state has a law that says ‘If you move into our state and become a resident, you have to turn in your license from the other state and get a license through our state.’ And through that system, states notify the prior state so that the other license can be terminated since the individual now has a new license.”

Once a prior license is terminated, the prior state can also cancel the individual’s voter registration associated with that license. In contrast, gym cards, or non-photo IDs like utility bills, don’t tell election officials anything about whether that voter is already registered to vote in another state.

Access Commentsx