How to register to vote in North Carolina

North Carolina offers online voter registration. You can register by mail to vote in North Carolina by printing a voter registration form, filling it out, and mailing it to your local election office. You can also register to vote in person if you prefer.

Who can vote

To register in North Carolina you must:

  • be a citizen of the United States
  • have lived at the registered address for at least thirty days immediately before the next election at which you want to vote
  • be 18 years of age by the day of the next general election
  • have your rights of citizenship restored if you have been convicted of a felony and completed your felony sentence including probation, post release supervision, parole or a prison term
  • not be registered or vote in any other county or state
  • *find more information on voting rights restoration here

Online voter registration

  • North Carolina offers online voter registration.
  • You should know: you need a North Carolina driver’s license or DMV-issued ID number AND a social security number to use North Carolina’s online voter registration system. If you don’t have these, you can still register by mail to vote. NOTE: Existing DMV customers may register to vote, update their voter registration address, or update their party affiliation. They may not change their name.
  • You can register online to vote until Friday, October 9, 2020.

By-mail voter registration

Use the North Carolina voter registration form

You can also register to vote using the North Carolina voter registration form. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and fill it out completely. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Friday, October 9, 2020.

Use the National Voter Registration Form

  1. Print and fill out the National Voter Registration Form.
  2. Box 6 – ID Number: Provide your North Carolina driver’s license number, or North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles ID number. If you do not have a driver’s license, then list the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  3. Box 7 – Choice of Party: North Carolina does NOT require that you register with a party to participate in partisan primary elections. If you do not affiliate with a party you may choose the party primary you wish to vote in. If you choose to register with a party you can only vote in that party’s primary.
  4. Box 8 – Race or Ethnic Group: You are required by the Federal Voting Rights Act to fill in this box. However, your application will not be rejected if you fail to do so.
  5. Review the “Who can vote?” section above and check that you’re eligible.
  6. Sign the form.
  7. Send the completed form to your local election official. To register by mail, the form must be postmarked by Friday, October 9, 2020.
  8. If you are registering to vote for the first time in your jurisdiction and are mailing this registration application, Federal law requires you to show proof of identification the first time you vote. Proof of identification includes: A current and valid photo identification or A current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or government document that shows your name and address. More information here.

Election Day registration

North Carolina does not offer registration on Election Day.

In-person voter registration

  • You can also register to vote in person. Contact your local election office for information on when and where to register to vote. The deadline to register to vote in person is Friday, October 9, 2020. After the regular voter registration deadline of Friday, October 9, 2020, you can register and vote in person at one-stop sites during the early voting period, which runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020. This process is known as same-day registration. Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. Within two business days, the county board of elections will review the registration and the registrant’s address. Your vote will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that you are not qualified to vote.
  • Learn more by visiting the State Board of Elections for North Carolina or contacting your local election official.

Get step-by-step help

TurboVote can help you start the absentee/mail-in ballot request process, send you election reminders, and more. If you’d like more help planning how to vote, we can walk you through the process!

Military and overseas voters

Active-duty military, their families, and overseas citizens can register to vote and request their absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). To do so:

  1. Fill out the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), or download a copy. Your election official may have questions, so please provide an email address or phone number where they can reach you.
  2. Send the application to your election official.
  3. It is never too early to submit an FPCA! Please do so as soon as possible. You can look up recommended mailing dates by country and region.
  4. Please fill out and send back your ballot as soon as you receive it. Following are recommended return dates to make sure your ballot arrives at your election office on time:
    • 35 days before election – On a ship at sea: September 28, 2020
    • 30 days before election – Outside of the US: October 2, 2020
    • 11 days before the election – Stateside: October 23, 2020
  5. States begin mailing absentee ballots at least 45 days before Election Day. If you haven’t received your ballot by 30 days before Election Day, contact your local election office.

If after submitting your FPCA, your ballot does not arrive, contact your election official first. Then:

  • You can still vote using the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB). Print, sign, and mail your FWAB to your local election office.
  • If you mail a FWAB and then receive your regular absentee ballot, you should complete and mail your absentee ballot also. Election officials will ensure that only one ballot is counted.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program – FVAP.gov offers additional information on military and overseas voting in North Carolina. You can also call 1-800-438-VOTE or email vote@fvap.gov

Check your voter registration status

You can look up your voter registration record and verify that your information is correct using North Carolina’s voter registration lookup tool.

Dates and deadlines

  • Election day is Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
  • The deadline to register online to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020.
  • The deadline for registering by mail to vote is (postmarked by) Friday, October 9, 2020.
  • The deadline to register in person to vote is Friday, October 9, 2020. After the regular voter registration deadline of Friday, October 9, 2020, you can register and vote in person at one-stop sites during the early voting period, which runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020. This process is known as same-day registration. Same-day registrants must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of residence. Within two business days, the county board of elections will review the registration and the registrant’s address. Your vote will be counted unless the county board of elections determines that you are not qualified to vote.
  • The deadline to request a ballot by mail is (received by) Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
  • The early voting period runs from Thursday, October 15, 2020 to Saturday, October 31, 2020, but dates and hours may vary based on where you live.

Election contact information for North Carolina

Address:
State Board of Elections
Third floor, 430 N. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC 27603

Phone Number:
(919) 814-0700