⚠️ New law in effect 2023! 

You must show a photo ID to vote in North Carolina unless you meet one of three exceptions.

You need to provide ID information when you apply to vote by mail.

Is out-of-state ID accepted?


Is student ID accepted?


Is an expired ID accepted?


Important Updates

The North Carolina Supreme Court reinstated the state’s voter ID law in April 2023. It was previously blocked due to ongoing lawsuits.

As a result, photo ID is now required for North Carolina voters. The law will be in effect for the fall 2023 municipal elections and all other elections moving forward.

Voting in Person

Acceptable Photo IDs

You can cast a regular ballot if you present one of the following IDs. Your ID must be unexpired or expired less than one year. It can be expired for any amount of time if you are over 65 and your ID expired after your 65th birthday.

  • North Carolina driver license
  • North Carolina state ID card
  • US Passport book or card
  • North Carolina voter photo ID card issued by a County Board of Elections
  • North Carolina student ID card approved by the State Board of Elections (list forthcoming)  
  • North Carolina state or local government employee ID approved by the State Board of Elections (list forthcoming) 
  • Out-of-state driver’s license or ID card (only for use by voters who have registered to vote in North Carolina within 90 days of an election)

You can use the following IDs even if they do not have an issuance or expiration date.

  • Military ID card issued by US Government
  • Veterans ID card issued by US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Tribal enrollment card
  • Public assistance ID card issued by the US government or the state of North Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions

There are three exceptions to the requirement that all North Carolina voters must present an acceptable ID to vote in person:

Reasonable Impediment: 

If you are unable to get a photo ID due to one of the following reasons you can sign a Reasonable Impediment Declaration and vote a provisional ballot:

  • Lack of transportation
  • Disability or illness
  • You don’t have your birth certificate or other documents required to obtain an ID
  • Work schedule
  • Family responsibilities
  • Lost or stolen photo ID
  • You applied for photo ID but have not received it yet
  • Other: you may write in another reason and the county board of elections will decide whether to accept it

Religious Objection

If you are unable to get a photo ID because you have a religious objection to being photographed you may sign an affidavit and then vote a provisional ballot.

Natural Disaster

If you cannot provide a photo ID because you were the victim of a natural disaster as declared by the Governor of North Carolina or the President of the United States you may sign an affidavit and then vote a provisional ballot.

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

Registered North Carolina voters must show a photo ID to vote in person.

If you are a registered voter but do not present an acceptable ID, and do not qualify for a reasonable impediment, you may cast a provisional ballot.

For your provisional ballot to count, you must bring acceptable ID to the County Board of Elections . Find your local County Board of Elections. The last day to provide your ID to have your ballot counted is the business day before the canvas by the county board of elections. 

When you cast a provisional ballot because you did not present an acceptable photo ID you will be given an information sheet which explains the deadline to return to the county board of elections to present your photo ID, and what forms of photo identification are acceptable. 

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

Any registered voter will be able to request a voter photo ID card from their County Board of Elections for free. 

To receive a free voter photo ID card you will need to provide your name, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number.

The voter photo ID card can only be used for voting purposes. It will have an expiration date ten years from the day it is issued. It will count as an acceptable form of ID until one year past the expiration date.

If you change your name or address you can request a free replacement voter photo ID card.

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

You may register to vote and cast an in-person absentee ballot, on the same day, only during the early voting period (called “same day registration”) at your county’s designated early voting location. There is no same day registration and voting on Election Day itself. You may also use same day registration to update your name or address.

You must show one of the the following acceptable types of photo ID and proof of residence to participate in same day registration. 


You do not need a “REAL ID” to vote in North Carolina. 

Your driver’s license or state ID card will show a star if it meets REAL ID requirements under federal law. 

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

No. The state has not passed any law nor provided any guidance as to whether poll workers and other election officials can rely on an image of your ID on your mobile or other electronic device instead of the original version of your ID to vote in person.

Voting by Mail

Any registered North Carolina voter can request an absentee ballot. No excuse is required. A request for an absentee ballot can be submitted online or via mail.

If a voter has an illness or or physical disability that is expected to last the remainder of the calendar year, the voter may request to vote by mail-in absentee ballot for all of the primaries and elections held during that calendar year by submitting a written request.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes you must provide either:

  • A copy of a current and valid photo ID, or
  • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that has the voter’s name and address.

There will also be an option to request an absentee ballot without providing a copy of acceptable ID by completing an affidavit indicating that you do not have the ability to provide a physical or electronic copy of your ID to the application.

Yes. You will be required to provide a photocopy of one of the acceptable forms of photo ID.

If you do not have an acceptable photo ID due to religious objection, natural disaster or reasonable impediment you will be permitted to sign an affidavit instead.

You can track the status of your absentee ballot and whether it has been received and accepted online.

If there are any problems with your absentee ballot envelope, the county board of elections must inform you and provide you with a cure certification to sign or a new ballot.

Your cure certification must be received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. the day before the county canvass. The cure certification may be submitted to the county board office by fax, email, in person, or by mail or commercial carrier. If you go in person to the county board office, you can also receive and complete a cure certification.