Notice of Candidacy


Learn about how and where to file your notice of candidacy on this page. See Filing for Candidacy for additional candidate requirements. Candidates must pay the filing fee when they file a notice of candidacy. Find more information at Filing Fees.

Filing a Notice of Candidacy

Any person seeking to become a candidate must file a notice of candidacy form.* On this page, download a notice of candidacy form and find information about how and where to file. 

*Notices of candidacy may not be delivered by surrogates or staff. Only the candidate may file the notice of candidacy and pay the filing fee in person at the appropriate board of elections. Alternatively, a candidate may have the candidate’s signature on the notice of candidacy acknowledged and certified by an officer authorized to take acknowledgments and administer oaths, in which case the candidate may mail or deliver by commercial courier service the candidate’s notice of candidacy to the appropriate board of elections. Please note that the candidate is not considered to have filed their mailed notice of candidacy until the appropriate board of elections receives it, provided it was before the end of the filing period.

Where to File

Candidates for the following office types must file their notice of candidacy with the State Board of Elections: 

  • National offices
  • State offices
  • Superior court judge
  • District court judge
  • District attorney

Candidates for North Carolina State Senator, State House Representative, and all county and local offices must file their notice of candidacy with their county board of elections. Find upcoming candidate filing periods and filing location information at Running for Office.

Mailing Your Notice of Candidacy

Please use the following address for USPS when mailing your notice of candidacy:

PO Box 27255
Raleigh, NC 27611-7255

Notices sent by FedEx or UPS overnight will require a physical address:

Third Floor
430 N. Salisbury St.
6400 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27603-1362

How to Fill out the Name When Filing

No title, appendage, or appellation indicating rank, status, or position shall be printed on the official ballot in connection with a candidate’s name, though candidates may use the title Mr., Mrs., Miss, or Ms. Legitimate nicknames may be permitted on official ballots, but only if listed on the notice of candidacy. The nickname, which appears in parentheses on the ballot, may not mislead voters or unduly advertise the candidacy.

If a candidate is providing an affidavit to permit the use of a nickname with his or her legal last name, the affidavit shall include the way the ballot shall list the candidate’s name (as permitted by law) in the event that another candidate with the same last name files for the same office. The table below provides examples of what is and what is not acceptable for the candidate’s name on ballot if the candidate’s name is George Eugene Smith.

Download the State Board of Elections Nickname Guide (PDF) for a printable version of this content.

Candidate Name on Ballots Allowed (Example) Not Allowed (Example)
  1. A candidate may use either first or middle name before the last name (no nickname affidavit necessary).

George Smith

Eugene Smith

  1. A candidate may abbreviate using the first letter of either his first or middle name (but not last name) (no nickname affidavit necessary).

G. Smith

G.E. Smith

George E. Smith

G. Eugene Smith

George S.


  1. A candidate may choose to include a suffix (no nickname affidavit necessary).

George Smith

George Smith, Jr.

George Smith III

George Smith, Esq.

George Smith, MD

  1. The only title allowed along with a name is Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms.
Mr. George Smith

General George Smith

Judge George Smith

Hon. George Smith

  1. If a nickname affidavit is completed, the nickname must either be used in place of the first or middle name, or following the first or middle name in parentheses. Nicknames that indicate rank, status, or position, are prohibited. Any shortening of a proper name as it appears in the voter record, other than abbreviation to the first letter, requires a nickname affidavit (such as “Dave” if the voter registration lists the first name as “David”).

George (Joey)Smith

George E. (Joey) Smith

George Eugene (Joey) Smith

Eugene (Joey) Smith

Joey Smith

George (Da Bomb) Smith

George (Vote For Me) Smith

George (The Judge) Smith

George (Winner) Smith

  1. Hyphenated surname as listed on the candidate’s voter registration record: Unless the candidate’s voter registration has been updated, his or her surname to appear on the ballot must match the voter registration record.
George Eugene-Smith (how candidate’s name appears on the voter registration record) George Eugene Smith (not allowed unless voter registration has been updated)