North Carolina | Voting Guide



Registration Deadlines and Election Dates

Voter Registration Deadline: Application must be received or postmarked no later than 25 days before Election Day

  • After the 25th day before the election, you may register in person during the early voting period at the one-stop site in your county of residence.



  • Primary Election Registration Deadline: February 7

  • Primary Election: March 3

  • General Election Registration Deadline: October 9

  • General Election: November 3

Official Election Websites
Register at School or Home

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.


Students attending college may register at their campus address or choose to remain registered or register at their permanent or home address.


You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

North Carolina’s voter registration form asks for your North Carolina driver’s license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

If you register to vote in person during the early voting period, you must also provide proof of residency. The following are examples of acceptable proof of residency:

  • A government-issued photo ID, such as a North Carolina driver’s license;

  • A current utility bill, paycheck, or bank statement showing your name and address; or

  • A physical or electronic document from your educational institution, showing your name and campus housing address, such as a transcript, invoice, or registration.


If you reside in a campus housing facility and your college or university prepares and transmits to the county board of elections a roster of students residing in campus housing, you may reference this roster and present a student ID card as proof of residency.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Effective in 2020, all voters must present a valid photo ID to cast a ballot. Voters who vote by mail must enclose a copy of their photo ID with their absentee ballot request form.

Military ID cards, veteran ID cards, and a tribal enrollment card issued by a state approved or federally recognized tribe are acceptable photo IDs, regardless of their expiration date. The following photo ID cards are only acceptable if they have not been expired for more than one year:

  • A North Carolina driver’s license or state ID card;

  • A driver’s license issued by another state, if the voter’s registration was within 90 days of the election;

  • A North Carolina voter ID card, which can be obtained for free at your county board of elections office until the Friday before the election;

  • A US passport;

  • An approved student ID card; or

  • An approved employee ID card issued by a state or local government entity.


If you do not show a valid photo ID on Election Day, you may cast a provisional ballot. Your vote will be counted if you provide a valid ID to the county board of elections no later than the end of business on the business day prior to the county board of elections’ canvass.

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your voting site and hours at:

How Can I Vote?

By Mail

  • All registered voters may request and vote by absentee ballot. An absentee ballot request form is available at the State Board of Elections website or at your county board of elections office. Absentee ballot requests must be received by your county board of elections by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.

  • Completed absentee ballots must be:

    • Received by 5 p.m. on Election Day, or

    • Postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on the third day after Election Day.

  • For more information, visit:


Early In-person


Election Day

  • Voting sites will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. If you are in line by the closing time then you must be allowed to vote.

Common Questions/Concerns

Registering to Vote Does Not Affect Your:

  • Federal Financial Aid

    • Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants, Perkins or Stafford loans, or your dependency status for FAFSA.

  • Status as a Dependent on Your Parents’ Taxes

    • Being registered to vote at a different address from your parents does not prevent them from claiming you as a dependent on their taxes.

  • Tuition Status

    • Being deemed out-of-state for tuition purposes does not prevent you from choosing to register to vote in your campus community.


Will registering to vote in North Carolina affect my driver’s license or car registration?

  • As a full-time student in North Carolina, you may have to make these changes regardless of whether you register to vote in North Carolina. For more information, contact the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.

Fair Elections Center and Campus Vote Project intend the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.


Last updated October 2019

Campus Vote Project is a project of Fair Elections Center

(202) 331-0114  

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