There will be NO PHOTO ID required to vote by mail or in-person for the 2020 Primary due to a December 2019 federal court ruling. See the latest on Photo ID here.
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How to Register to Vote in NC

You must be registered in order to vote in North Carolina.  To register to vote, you must submit a voter registration form.  If you’ve already registered, you should still double-check that your registration is current and correct.

See below for information on How to Check if You’re Registered and How to Register to Vote.


How to Check if You’re Registered to Vote

Even if you think you are already registered to vote, it’s a good idea to check your registration to make sure it’s active and current.  Sometimes voters are removed from the rolls, and you don’t want to wait until Election Day to find out that your registration is not current!

👉🏾 Click here to check if you are registered at your current address.


How to Register to Vote

(Or Update Your Registration)

If you are not currently registered or not registered at your current address, you can register or re-register either by submitting a voter registration form by the February 7 deadline OR by registering on-site during the One-Stop Early Voting Period (Feb. 13 – Feb. 29).  See the FAQ below for a complete overview of how to register and the rules to register.

(It does not violate any law to submit a duplicate registration if that gives you comfort.)


Who can register to vote?

To register to vote, you must be:

  1. A U.S. citizen
  2. At least 18 years old by Election Day*
  3. A resident of the county for at least 30 days before the day of the next general election
  4. A person who is not serving a felony sentence, including probation or parole **

A 17-year-old may register and vote in the Primary if he or she will be 18 on the day of the General Election.  Pre-registration is also available for 16 and 17 year-olds. Complete the regular voter registration form and submit it to your county Board of Elections. The registration will be held in a queue and automatically processed when the voter turns of age.

** If you have been convicted of a felony (in NC or anywhere else), you are eligible to register in North Carolina after you complete all parts of your sentence, including probation and parole. Students or members of the military living away from home and people in jail on misdemeanor charges are all eligible to register to vote. For more details, please see our Who Can Vote section.

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When can I register?

You can register to vote at any time, but if you want your registration to count in time for an upcoming election, you have two options.

Option #1 – Regular Voter Registration Deadline

Generally, your registration form must be postmarked or delivered to your county Board of Elections at least 25 days before the election in which you want to vote.

Option #2 – Same-Day Registration during Early Voting

If you miss the 25-day registration deadline, you can use Same-Day Registration during Early Voting at any Early Voting site in your county.  See How do I register to vote? section below for details on how to submit your registration this way.

⚠️ You can NOT register and vote on the same day on Election Day.

To use Same-Day Registration, you must provide one of the following documents to an election official at an Early Voting location:

  • NC driver’s license
  • Other government photo ID with name and current address
  • Utility bill, bank statement, or payroll stub with name and current address
  • Student photo ID with a school document showing the student’s address
  • Any document from any government agency with the voter’s name and current address.

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How do I register to vote?

Step #1: Obtain a Voter Registration Form

You can use any one of the ways below to get a registration form to fill out and submit 25 days before election day to have it count in time for the upcoming election:

  • Visit your county Board of Elections during regular business hours to register.
  • Download a registration form and mail it to your county Board of Elections at least 25 days before the election you want to vote in.
  • Obtain a voter registration form at any public library – local policies vary on whether they will turn the form in or if you need to turn it in yourself.
  • If you are a student, be aware that high schools are required under state law (NC General Statute 163-82.23) to have registration forms for you to use.
  • Obtain a registration form at your local Department of Social Services or public health office.
  • Register to vote at any Division of Motor Vehicles office when you apply for a new or renewed driver’s license.
  • Register during a voter registration drive. The person taking your completed form must submit it at least 25 days before the next election. They may not pre-mark the form with a party affiliation or destroy the form if they don’t like your choice of a party affiliation.

If you miss the 25-day registration deadline:

Register to vote during the Early Voting period. (You cannot do this on Election Day.)  Go to a One-Stop Early Voting site in your county, fill out the registration form, show one of the IDs listed below in the What information do I need to register to vote? section, and then vote! To find Early Voting dates and locations for an upcoming Election, see our Early Voting guide here.

Step #2: Complete the Form

Before you turn in your registration form, review it carefully. Be sure you sign and date it, fill in all the questions, including your date of birth, and check all the appropriate boxes. Spell out your name as it appears on the identity document whose number you provide in Section 3. If you do not give your NC driver’s license number or the last 4 digits of your Social Security number, be sure to provide the documents requested on the form, or be prepared to show one of those documents when you first vote in person. Include a phone number on the form; it’s used by election officials to call you for missing information.

If you have trouble understanding the form, review this tip sheet or call your county Board of Elections.

Step #3: Submit the Form

There are several ways to submit a Voter Registration Form before the 25-days deadline before the election you want to vote in

  • Submit the form in-person (during regular business hours) or by mail to your county Board of Elections at least 25 days before the election you want to vote in.
  • Submit the form at any Division of Motor Vehicles office when you apply for a new or renewed driver’s license.
  • IF you register during a voter registration drive, the person taking your completed form must submit it at least 25 days before the next election.

⚠️ Remember! You must submit the form at least 25 days before the election you want to vote in. If you don’t make this deadline, you should use Same-Day Registration during Early Voting.  

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What information do I need to register to vote?

To verify your identity, you must provide your birth date and your NC driver’s license (or DMV non-operator’s ID card) number, if you have one. If not, provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you do not have a SSN or NC license, you will need to present another form of identification, either when you mail in the form or when you first vote. Acceptable forms of ID include (1) a photo ID from any business, government, or nonprofit (including a student ID), or (2) any one of the following documents, with your name and current residential address:

  • A utility bill from an electric, water, gas, phone, or cable company.
  • A bank statement or bank-card statement.
  • A paycheck or pay stub.
  • Any license, registration, permit, invoice, check, letter, or any other document from a local, state, or federal government agency.

⚠️ NOTE: Intentionally lying on a voter registration form is a felony – do not give incorrect information.

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Have more questions? Visit our Who Can Vote FAQ!