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What is the “Safe at Home” law related to public records?

New law protects victims’ addresses from public records: “Safe at Home” is an address confidentiality program that allows victims of domestic violence, stalking, human trafficking, rape or sexual battery to apply for an address designated by the Secretary of State (SOS) to serve as the person’s address to shield their residence address from public records, including voter registration lists.

Victims may only apply to participate in the program through a certified Application Assistant. When someone enrolls in Safe at Home, they are assigned a P.O. Box address.

There are many entities that may have a person’s name and address on file, and a program participant may request that any governmental or private entity, except for a municipal-owned public utility or the board of elections, use the P.O. Box address designated by the SOS as the participant’s address.

The law does not require a private entity to accept the SOS-designated address, but a state of Ohio governmental entity shall accept it.  More information and a link to find a certified application assistant can be found here.

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