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Acceptable Photo ID Required

New Voter ID Law

Beginning in 2016, voters – either on the day of a primary or election or during early voting (one-stop absentee voting) – will be required to show a photo ID. Acceptable forms of photo ID include:

Table: Acceptable Photo ID
Acceptable Photo ID Starting in 2016
  • Unexpired North Carolina drivers' license, including a learners’ permit or provisional license
  • Unexpired North Carolina non-operators identification card (DMV ID Card)
  • Unexpired United States passport
  • United States military identification card
  • Veterans Identification Card
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by a federally recognized tribe
  • Tribal enrollment card issued by tribe recognized by North Carolina
  • Out-of-state drivers' license or non-operators identification card (valid only if the person’s voter registration date in the county is within 90 days of the date of the election)


There are no photo ID requirements for persons who vote a by-mail absentee ballot; however, by-mail absentee voters will need to provide identification information when requesting an absentee ballot.

Civilian absentee ballot requests must be made on the State Absentee Ballot Request Form. The request form will require voters to provide at least one of the following identification information: (1) their drivers' license number, (2) the last four digits of their Social Security number; or (3) a copy of a Help America Vote Act (HAVA) ID.

For in-person voters, there are a few exceptions to the photo ID requirement:

  • Age 70 and Older - Voters who are at least 70 years of age may show an expired photo ID as long as the ID did not expire before the voter’s 70th birthday. (For example, if an 80-year-old voter presents with a drivers' license that expired when the voter was 75, then the expired drivers' license is acceptable for purposes of voting; however, if the 80 year-old voter’s driver license expired when the voter was 65, then the expired license would not be acceptable for purposes of voting.)
  • Religious Objection - If a voter has a sincerely held objection to being photographed, then the voter will not be required to show photo ID, but the voter will be required to show one of the acceptable forms of HAVA ID. In order to qualify for this exception, the voter will need to sign a declaration attesting to this religious objection before an election official prior to the date of the election. The religious objection declaration is available at county boards of elections offices.
  • Natural Disaster - A voter will not be required to show photo ID if the voter declares that he is a victim of a natural disaster occurring within 60 days of the election date. The voter must reside in a county that has officially been declared a natural disaster - either by the Governor of North Carolina or the President of the United States.
  • Curbside Voters - Persons who travel to a voting place (either precinct or one-stop site), but because of age or physical disability are unable to enter the voting enclosure without physical assistance, will be allowed to vote from their vehicle. They may show either an acceptable photo ID or a copy of one of the following HAVA documents that shows the name and address of the voter: a current utility bill; a bank statement; a government check; a paycheck; or another government document.

Source: NC State Board of Elections website