This post was reviewed by Gerry Cohen.

North Carolina voters will be required to show photo ID when they check in to vote this fall. Voters who vote by mail will be asked to include a photocopy of an acceptable ID when returning their ballot by mail.

What photo ID can I use to vote in NC?

Any of the following that is unexpired or expired for one year or less:

  • North Carolina Driver’s License
  • U.S. Passport/U.S. Passport Card
  • State ID (“non-operator ID”), from the NC DMV
  • NC Voter Photo ID card, issued by a county board of elections in the county where the voter is registered to vote. Available during business hours at the county board of elections office through Saturday, November 2.  Some counties will also issue the photo ID at other locations.  Get a Free Voter Photo ID | NCSBE
  • College/university student ID approved by NCSBE, including in our area:
    • UNC Chapel Hill employee and student hard plastic UNC ID, digital version not accepted
    • Duke University student voter ID (regular student ID not accepted)
    • NC Central University employee and student ID
    • Durham Tech student ID
  • Employee ID from Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Hillsborough, Durham County government and Orange County government
  • Charter school employee ID approved by NCSBE (in our area only Kipp Elementary and Middle school in Durham County)
  • A driver’s license/non-driver ID from another state, DC, or US territory (but only if voter registers to vote in NC after August 5, 2024)

While most IDs must be valid or expired for less than a year, if an ID was valid on the voter’s 65th birthday, it remains permanently valid.

An infographic listing the acceptable forms of voter id

Any of the following, regardless of whether the ID contains an expiration or issuance date:

Triangle Blog Blog voter checklist

  1. Check your voter registration now. You can look it up here. This is really important particularly if you’ve moved in the past year.
  2. Make a plan to vote during early voting. This ensures that if there’s a problem, you can sort it out. Early voting runs from Thursday October 17-Saturday November 2.
  3. Forward this post to 5 friends. Every vote counts in North Carolina, and this information must be shared early and often.

When is the deadline to register to vote in North Carolina?

The regular voter registration deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, October 11, 2024, for municipal elections taking place on November 5, 2024.

How do I register to vote in North Carolina?

North Carolina offers two primary ways to register:

Online or in person at the DMV

Use N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) services. Existing DMV customers (persons with an NC Driver License or NCDMV non-operator ID) may submit a voter registration application online (or if already registered to vote in NC may report an address change online)

Learn more at Complete Your Registration Online Through the DMV.

Note: Certain agencies, including the DMV, are required to offer voter registration services. For more information, visit the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) page.

By mail

Fill out the English N.C. Voter Registration Application (fillable PDF) or the Spanish N.C. Voter Registration Application (fillable PDF) and submit it by mail. Learn more at Complete Your Registration by Mail.

Third party groups and political parties may be conducting voter registrations drives where they distribute paper voter registration forms, and often assist the voter in filling out the form and return the filled out form to the board of elections. Paper voter registration forms are also available at various campus locations and at public libraries.

Note: The federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) allows certain voters an expedited means to register and vote by mail-in ballot. Find more information at Military and Overseas Voting.

Where are the early voting locations in Orange County, North Carolina?

Orange County offers early voting to all registered Orange County voters who wish to vote early, in-person rather than voting absentee by mail or on Election Day.

Early voting sites in Orange County

Where are the early voting locations in Chatham County, North Carolina?

Early voting sites in Chatham County

Where are the early voting locations in Durham County, North Carolina?

Durham has an early-voter site locator tool.

Durham early voting sites

Can I register to vote on the same day that I vote?

Same Day Voter Registration is available during the Early Voting period at all Early Voting sites. If completing Same-Day Registration, one must provide proof of residency in Orange County, and must vote during Early Voting rather than on Election Day. More information about this process can be found HERE.


John Rees lives in Chapel Hill. His day job is an enterprise architect for a big IT company. He was, until very recently, a member of the Chapel Hill Planning Commission and former chair. He serves on...