In North Carolina, you can vote without an ID.

On July 29, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit struck down photo ID requirements and associated laws in North Carolina (S.L. 2013-381, as amended by S.L. 2015-103).  Barring future changes to the law, photo ID is not be required in the upcoming election.

There are certain voters who are required to show some form of identification when they present to vote – either “in person” or when voting “by mail.” First-time voters who at the time of their initial voter registration did not provide their North Carolina driver license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number, or who provided a number that could not be validated, will be required to show identification when they vote. This identification does not have to be a photo ID. The requirement for first-time voters to show identification is a requirement of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, a federal law not unique to North Carolina. Acceptable forms of HAVA ID include:

  • A current and valid photo identification; or
  • A copy of one of the following documents that show the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document.

First-time voters who are required to show HAVA ID will have been notified of this requirement by their county board of elections. If these voters do not bring an acceptable form of identification when they present to vote, they will be given a provisional ballot. The voter must then submit a copy of one of the acceptable forms of HAVA ID noted above to their county board of elections before the date set for the county canvass of the election in which they voted provisionally. The instructions provided to the provisional voter will explain the exact date and time by which the HAVA ID must be submitted. If the voter fails to provide the county board of elections with acceptable HAVA ID, the voter’s provisional ballot will not be counted.

Go Vote!

There are three ways to vote: (1) with a mail-in absentee ballot, (2) in person at your precinct poll on Election Day, or (3) in person at an Early Voting location in your county during the Early Voting period (from the 12th to 3rd day before Election Day). For valuable tips about voting, see

By voting early, you can avoid possible bad weather and long lines on Election Day. Using Early Voting is also the best way to update your registration or solve any problems because you moved within the county. If you move to a new county, be sure to register to vote in that county at least 25 days before Election Day. See for other rules.

Questions about voting? Call 1-888-OUR-VOTE

For more information, visit

Got ID NC is a project of Democracy North Carolina.