Updated with new information on August 23, 2023.
The following are 10 facts about North Carolina’s photo ID requirement for voting:
- Voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina, starting with the 2023 municipal elections. Those elections occur in September, October, and November, depending on the town or city. (Find your local election details at Upcoming Election.)
- Most voters will simply show their NC driver’s license, but many other types of photo ID will be accepted. See the list of acceptable IDs at Voter ID.
- Voters without an acceptable ID can get a free photo ID from their county board of elections. Voters can also get a “No Fee ID Card” from the NCDMV.
- The State Board has developed a process for approving student and public employee IDs for voting. View the list of approved IDs.
- When a voter checks in to vote at a polling place, they will be asked to show an acceptable photo ID. Election workers check to see if the picture on the ID reasonably resembles the voter. The address on the photo ID does not have to match the voter registration records.
- All voters will be allowed to vote with or without a photo ID. If the voter does not show an acceptable ID, the voter may vote with an ID Exception Form and a provisional ballot, or vote with a provisional ballot and return to their county board of elections office with their photo ID by the day before county canvass. (For municipal elections in September and October, this deadline is the Monday following Election Day. For all other elections, the deadline is the second Thursday following Election Day.)
- Permitted exceptions to the photo ID requirement include the following: The voter has a reasonable impediment to showing photo ID (lack of transportation, lost or stolen ID, disability or illness, family responsibilities, etc.); the voter has a religious objection to being photographed; or the voter was a victim of a natural disaster within 100 days of Election Day.
- When a registered voter cannot produce a photo ID, the county board of elections must count that ballot if the voter properly completes the ID Exception Form or brings an acceptable ID to their county board of elections before the county canvass.
- Voters who vote by mail will be asked to include a photocopy of an acceptable ID inside the photo ID envelope that comes with their ballot. If they are unable to include a photocopy of their ID, they may complete an ID Exception Form with the absentee ballot return envelope. Photo ID is not required for military or overseas voters who vote using special absentee voting procedures that federal law makes available for such voters.
- For more information, see Voter ID and FAQ: Voter ID. These web pages will be updated frequently with the latest information.