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Need an ID to Vote in NC?

Beginning in 2020, North Carolina voters will be required to provide photo identification when voting in-person or absentee-by-mail, with some exceptions. 

The new ID law for 2020 requires voters to show one of the  acceptable photo ID listed below, but also has exceptions so people can vote in person without one.


The law says voters should show one of these photo IDs when they vote in person; the ID can be expired for up to one year:

  • NC driver’s license or non-driver’s ID from NC DMV;
  • Photo ID from your county board of elections available for free to registered voters who give last 4 digits of their Social Security # and birthdate and is good for 10 years;
  • Non-driver’s ID from NC DMV; it’s free to citizens who show a birth certificate and other documents;
  • US passport;
  • US military or veterans card, even if it does not have an expiration date;

Some of these IDs will also be accepted for voting in 2020, but ONLY if they have been approved by the State Board of Elections. You can see the most recent list of approved student, employee and tribal IDs for voting here.

  • Enrollment card from a US or NC recognized tribe;
  • Student ID from a NC private or public college or community college

NC state or local government employee ID card issued under strict procedures; cards issued after the 2020 election must have an expiration date;Finally voters who are new to North Carolina may also use:, 

  • Driver’s license from another state, but it will only be good for 90 days after the person registers to vote for the first time in NC.


  • If you have an acceptable, unexpired ID at age 65, it’s good for life– as long as it was current when you turned 65, the expiration doesn’t matter.
  • The address on your ID does not matter; the photo ID is only used to prove who you are, not where you live.
  • You are not required to have an exact name match – nicknames, maiden names, and other variations on a person’s legal name will be accepted
  • Mail-in absentee voters must send a copy of an identity document with their ballot request or with the returned ballot;


  • IF YOU HAVE AN ACCEPTABLE ID, you can vote a provisional ballot, but must bring one of the accepted IDs for voting to your county elections board within 10 days of the election (by the day of canvass, when  election results are certified);
  • IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY OF THE ACCEPTABLE IDs, you can claim a “reasonable impediment” and vote a provisional ballot. You will be asked to: sign an affidavit with the last 4 of your SSN and DOB and give a reason for not having an acceptable ID. Some of the acceptable reasons are lack of transportation, disability or illness, work schedule, or ID lost or stolen.” 

IF YOU HAVE A RELIGIOUS OBJECTION to being photographed and sign an affidavit, you can vote a provisional ballot.;

IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A NATURAL DISASTER declared by the president or governor within 100 days of Election Day and you sign an affidavit;