- Who can register to vote?
- When can I register?
- How do I register to vote?
- What information do I need to register to vote?
- See our FAQ Section for these questions:
Who can register to vote?
To register to vote, you must be:
- A U.S. citizen
- At least 16 years old *
- A resident of the county for at least 30 days before the election
- A person who is not serving a felony sentence, including probation or parole **
* 16 and 17 year olds may register in North Carolina, but they may not vote until the year in which they turn 18. This is sometimes called “pre-registration,” but the same registration form is used. 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.
** 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.
When can I register?
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. However, if you miss this deadline, you can use Same Day Registration & Voting at an Early Voting site during the Early Voting period.
You cannot use Same Day Registration on Election Day.
How do I register to vote?
There are several ways to get a registration form to fill out:
- 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.
- Use Same Day Registration & Voting to register and vote on the same day at designated sites during the Early Voting period. You may not use this option on Election Day!
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 identification card you provide. 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 only used by election officials to call you for missing information.
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 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, 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.