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10 Facts About NC's Photo ID Requirement for Voting

Updated: Jun 25, 2023


Please note: As of 5.17.23: There are bills in the NC General Assembly that can alter some of these so called 'facts' - interpretations from NCSBE. These are some of the issues our poll observers are going to have to report and be trained on.


10 Facts About NC's Photo ID Requirement for Voting


RALEIGH, NC – The following are 10 facts about North Carolina’s photo ID requirement for voting:

  1. 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 ncsbe.gov/voting/upcoming-election.)

  2. 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 ncsbe.gov/voter-id.

  3. Voters without ID can get a “No Fee ID Card” from the NCDMV. Soon, voters will also be able to get a free ID from their county board of elections.

  4. The State Board is developing a process for approving student and public employee IDs for voting. Lists will be added to the Voter ID website as soon as IDs are approved.(June 25, 2023 from NCSBE: https://www.ashevilleteaparty.org/post/ncsbe-launches-approval-process-for-student-and-govt-employee-ids-for-voting)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. For more information, see ncsbe.gov/voter-ID and “FAQ: Voter ID". These web pages will be updated frequently with the latest information. NC State Board of Elections North Carolina State Board of Elections (NCSBE) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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