North Carolina Voter ID Laws

Local Assistance

Let us know of any local organizations helping those who need assistance register and get to the polls.

Official State Information

Coming soon

Key Dates

General Election: November 6, 2012
Action Date
Check official state voter page to find key dates.
Check official state voter page to find key dates.

Leave a comment or suggestion below

Full Transcript

Intro and agenda:

Hello I’m Daphne O’Neal and you are watching the update for the state of North Carolina. This video will give you an overview of what you need to know to exercise your right to vote. We’ll cover the latest and pending changes, what forms of ID are acceptable, who is eligible to vote, registration procedures and deadlines, when you can vote and where you can get additional assistance.

Latest and Pending Changes

In North Carolina, the governor twice vetoed efforts by state Republicans to pass a strict voter ID law before the 2012 election. For most voters, no ID is required.

However, if you are a first-time voter and you did not provide your North Carolina driver license or the last four digits of your social security number when you completed your voter registration application, or one or both of those numbers could not be verified, then you must provide one of the following ID the first time you vote:

A current and valid photo identification; or

A current copy of one of the following that shows your name and address: utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.

“Current” means that it is less than 6 months from the date that you present it.

If you present a non-photo ID, such as a utility bill or bank statement, your ID must show your current name and address

Voter Registration

In North Carolina, you can register to vote if you are:
* a U.S. citizen
* a resident of North Carolina
* a resident of your county for 30 days prior to election
* at least 18 years old by the next election AND
* you are not registered to vote in another county or state.

If you have been convicted of a felony, you must complete all the terms of your sentence or have been pardoned, to restore your citizenship rights and be eligible to vote.

To register to vote, you must fill out a voter registration application available below at the link in the Green section of this webpage. Be sure to include your full name, residential address, date of birth, and citizenship status. Once completed, sign and mail or deliver the form to the county board of elections in the county where you live. The application must be received by the voter registration deadline. Expect your voter card by mail within 1 to 2 weeks. Contact your county board of elections if you do not receive your voter card within two weeks.

If you think you are registered to vote, confirm your registration and current address using the Check Your Registration Status link in the Green section below.

Voter Registration Deadlines

The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is 25 days before an election. County boards of elections must receive your voter registration application by this date. If you mail the form, it must be postmarked by the deadline. If you submit your voter registration application at a DMV office or voter registration agency, it is received on the date the form is given.

If your voter registration application is received after the voter registration deadline, it will not be processed until after the election.

If you miss the registration deadline, you may register in person and then vote at a One-Stop Voting site in the county where you live during the One-Stop Absentee Voting period or Early Voting. To register during a one-stop period, you must show an acceptable proof of name and residence in the county.

Acceptable identification includes:
* a North Carolina driver’s license or ID card
* a photo identification from a government agency OR
* a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.

One-Stop Absentee Voting or Early Voting allows any registered voter to cast an absentee ballot in-person on select days before Election Day. One-Stop Voting starts on the third Thursday before Election Day and ends on the last Saturday prior to the election. The location for One-Stop Voting is either in the county board of elections office, or an alternative site.

If you register to vote during the One-Stop Absentee Voting period, you may vote an absentee ballot right after registering or if you decide not to vote immediately, your same-day registration will be processed, and you may later return to vote only during the One-Stop Absentee Voting period. However, as a same-day registrant, you may not return to vote on Election Day.

If you vote absentee by mail, you may request a mail-in absentee ballot from your county board of elections no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last Tuesday before the election. Your absentee ballot must be returned to the county Board of Election by 5:00 p.m. on the day before the election.

When and Where to Vote

Election Day is Tuesday November 6, 2012. Polls in North Carolina will be open from 6:30am – 7:30pm Eastern Time. If you are standing in line at 7:30pm when the polls close, you will be allowed to vote.
Your voter registration card issued by your county board of elections identifies your polling place and address. Most voters do not need any identification to vote on Election Day.

However, if you are registered to vote and a first-time voter who has not provided a verifiable ID, you must present a current and valid photo ID or a current document showing your name and address in the county to an election official before you can vote.

Acceptable forms of ID include:
Current and valid photo ID or a Current document showing name and address of the voter
Samples of a current and valid photo ID include:

* North Carolina license or identification card
* U.S. military ID
* Other government-issued photo ID
* Student photo ID
* Certified naturalization document

Examples of a current document showing your name and address include:
* Utility bill: telephone, mobile phone; electric or gas; cable television; water or sewage
* Bank statement or bank-issued credit card statement
* Government paycheck, invoice, letter, or any other document from a local, state, or U.S. government agency
* Property tax bill
* License to hunt, fish, own a gun, etc.
* Automobile registration
* Public housing or Social Service Agency document
* Paycheck or paycheck stub from an employer or a W-2 statement
* Birth certificate

Additional Assistance

There are several organizations to help you with any part of the voting process, from registration, getting the proper identification or transportation to the polling place.

Use the links in the sidebar for National organizations and for uniformed service members, their families and citizens living outside the U.S.

“Local Assistance” from independent organizations is available in the Blue section below, Official Government information and forms can be found in the Green section below, and Key Dates for your state can be found in the Red section.


We hope we have answered the most common questions for MOST voters in MOST situations or pointed you in the right direction to get more information. Election laws are much more complicated than we can fully cover here. Please visit one of the official sites listed below in the Green section for more detailed information. Be sure to get last minute updates by subscribing to our e-mail list.

Our democracy works best when everyone participates in the process so make sure you vote and encourage others to vote as well. If you found this site helpful please share it with others using any of the sharing methods provided below. Thank you.


Leave a comment or suggestion below


  1. CLIFF ANN LEWIS says:

    The Constitution gives us the right to vote. It is a travesty that any registered voter should be required to show an ID to vote. And—I may be incorrect in this date—but as I recall the legislation was introduced on the date of Dr. King’s assassination. I do not believe in coincidences.

    I hope our state legislature has the morals and constitutional knowledge to NOT pass this invasive law which will disenfranchise so many. What about the voters who are now or will be in nursing homes?