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Registering to Vote in North Carolina

Qualifications to register to vote in North Carolina

To register to vote in this State, a person must sign a voter declaration attesting that: 

  • I am a U.S. citizen.

  • I will have been a resident of North Carolina and this county for 30 days before the election.   I will be at least 18 years old by the next general election.

  •  I am not registered nor will I vote in any other county or state.

  • If I have been convicted of a felony, my rights of citizenship have been restored.

Opportunities to register to vote in North Carolina

Registering to Vote in North Carolina

In order to register to vote in North Carolina, a person must meet the legal qualifications to vote and complete a  voter registration application. When completing the application, applicants must provide their full name, residential address, date of birth, and citizenship status. In addition, the application must be signed pen to paper (Electronic signatures do not count). Failure to complete a required field on the form will delay the processing of the application. After completion, the application should be mailed to the board of elections office in the county in which the applicant resides.


 If the application is complete and the applicant meets all qualifications to vote, the county board of elections will mail a voter registration card to the applicant to provide notice of the registration. This mailing is non-forwardable and also serves to verify the applicant's address. If a voter card is returned by the postal service as undelivered, then a second mailing will be sent to the voter. In the event that the second mailing is also returned as undelivered, the applicant's voter registration may subsequently be denied.


 Voter registration applicants who have met the voter registration deadline should expect to receive their voter card within 1 to 2 weeks. Applicants should contact their county board of elections if they do not receive their voter card within two weeks. Note: The applicant must have transmitted the registration application by the registration deadline; otherwise, the voter card will not be mailed until after the completion of the election .


Voter registration programs are actively conducted through many agencies in this State. If a person is applying for or receiving benefits from any of the participating agencies or programs, a voter registration transaction is available during the conduct of any business with that office. The following programs and agencies are currently participating in the agency voter registration program:

  •   Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC)

  •   Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

  •   Food Stamps

  •   Medicaid

  •   Services for the Blind

  •   Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services

  •   Vocational Rehabilitation

  •   Governor's Advocacy Council for Persons with Disabilities

  •   Employment Security Commission


The driver's license examination offices, located throughout the State, have conducted a successful voter registration program since 1984. A person may complete a voter registration transaction at any driver's license examination office when conducting official DMV business with that office (applying for or renewing a driver's license, I.D. card, etc.).

Libraries And Public High Schools

North Carolina has mail-in voter registration forms available through public libraries and high schools. These locations do not accept the forms for the county board of elections office. Forms may be obtained at these locations, completed, and mailed to the appropriate county board of elections office.

Qualifications To Vote

To register to vote in North Carolina, a prospective voter must meet all of the following qualifications:


  • Must be a citizen of the United States

  • Must live in the county of his/her registration, and have resided there for at least 30 days prior to the date of the election.

  • Must be at least 18 years old. A prospective voter can submit a registration form up to two years before his/her 18th birthday, if and only if he/she will be 18 at the time of the next general election.

  • Must not be serving a sentence for a felony conviction (including probation or parole). If a prospective voter has previously been convicted of a felony, his/her citizenship rights must be restored. For more information on voting rights for those in the North Carolina criminal justice system, click here.

  • Must rescind any previous registration in any other county or state.

Voter Registration Deadline

The deadline to register to vote in North Carolina is 25 days before the date of an election. The voter registration application must be received by the applicant's county boards of elections by this date. If an application is received after the deadline, the application may still be timely if it was mailed and it is postmarked on or before the voter registration deadline; otherwise, the application will not be processed until after the election. Persons who register at the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles or another voter registration agency will be considered registered as of the date the application is given to the agency. As long as this date is on or before the voter registration deadline, then the application will be deemed timely for an upcoming election.

Same-Day Registration

Persons who are not registered in a county may register to vote during the one-stop early voting period. This process is called "Same-Day Registration."


 Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. A voter attests to her eligibility by completing a Voter Registration Application and affixing her signature under penalty of a Class I felony, after which she must prove her residence by presenting any of the following showing the voter’s current name and current address :


  • North Carolina driver's license;

  • Other photo identification issued by a government agency;

  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement,government check, paycheck, or other government document showing the voter 's name and address; OR

  • A current college/university photo identification card paired with a current roster prepaired by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.



Any government-issued photo identification card is acceptable, so long as the card bears the registrant's

current name and current address. Such cards may be expired, but the name  and  address  must  be current.

A student residing in a campus housing facility may prove his residency by presenting, in either hardcopy or electronic format, any document originating with the educational institution and containing the student's name and on-campus housing address or facility name (e.g., "Jones Hall"). Acceptable documents may be issued by either public or private educational institutions and include correspondence, invoice, transcript, or a print-out or screen shot from any official registration or housing portal displaying the student's name and on-campus housing address. Alternatively, the educational institution may voluntarily provide elections officials with a list of all students residing in a particular campus housing facility, which may be referenced in conjunction with a valid student photo identification card presented by the registrant. Any such list must be current at the time of use and must display individual facility information for each on­ campus resident to ensure the student is properly registered at the appropriate address. Lists may not be used if they do not differentiate between residents at different campus housing facilities. Educational institutions may omit the names of individuals known to be ineligible based on citizenship status (e.g., exchange students holding student visas). The roster may be used as proof of a student's on-campus residency only if the registrant presents a valid student photo identification card showing the student's current name as it appears on the registration roster.


Within two business days of the person's registration, the county board of elections will verify the registrant's driver license or social security number, update the voter registration database, search for possible duplicate registrations , and proceed to verify the registrant's address by mail. The registrant's vote will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that he or she is not qualified to vote.

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