Registering as a College Student
Where College Students May Register
A college student may register and vote in the county where they go to college if the student is physically present in the college community and has no intent to return to the student’s former home after graduation. The student does not have to intend to stay in the college community after graduation in order to register to vote there. If a student registers at his or her school address, that registration cancels any previous registration.
The college student could also choose to register or remain registered at the address where they lived before college.
Individuals who are not registered to vote in a county may register at early voting sites during the early voting period. After registering, the newly registered voter can immediately vote at that same site. This process is called “same-day registration.”
Registering at a one-stop site during the early voting period requires voters to provide proof of residence. Proof of residence for college students includes a current college/university photo identification card paired with either:
- Any document originating with the educational institution and containing the student’s name and on-campus housing address or facility name; or
- a current roster prepared by the college/university and transmitted to the county board of elections office, which lists all students residing in campus housing facilities.
For more information about same-day registration, visit Register in Person During Early Voting.
No, an individual cannot register if they have never lived in North Carolina. A student must be physically present in the college community to register to vote there. If a student intends to make the student’s home in the community where the student is physically present for the purpose of attending school while the student is attending school and does not intend to return to the student’s former home after graduation, the student may claim the college community as the student’s domicile. The student does not have to intend to stay in the college community beyond graduation in order to establish domicile there.
Yes, if they registered to vote in North Carolina and plan to return to the residence in North Carolina. If a student has only temporarily relocated with the intention of returning to the college community, a person is not considered to have lost that person’s residence.