Eligible North Carolinians who want to cast their ballot in person on Primary Election Day – Tuesday, March 5 – must register to vote by Friday, Feb. 9.
Feb. 9 is also the deadline for registered voters to change their party affiliation before the primary. Under state law, the regular voter registration deadline is 25 days before an election.
Individuals who miss the deadline may register and vote during the in-person early voting period, which runs from Feb. 15 through March 2, at any early voting site in their county. These “same-day registrants” must attest to their eligibility and provide proof of where they live, in addition to showing an acceptable form of photo ID for voting. For more information, see Register in Person During Early Voting.
Early voting sites and schedules are available at the State Board of Elections’ Early Voting Sites Search.
North Carolina residents may not register to vote on Election Day, unless they become eligible after the Feb. 9 registration deadline due to becoming a U.S. citizen or having their rights restored following a felony conviction.
“We encourage all eligible individuals to register to vote and make their voices heard in this important election year,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections. “It’s easy, and there’s still time to register – online, on paper, or at any early voting location in your county.”
To check your voter registration information at any time, use the State Board’s Voter Search tool.
How to Register
Eligible individuals have many options to register to vote before Feb. 9, including the following:
- If the individual has a North Carolina’s driver’s license or other NCDMV identification, they may submit a voter registration application online. Learn more at Complete Your Registration Online Through the DMV. Eligible individuals may also register in person at NCDMV offices.
- Any eligible resident can complete a Voter Registration Application in English or Spanish on paper and return it to their county board of elections office by 5 p.m. the day of the deadline.
- Eligible individuals may also register to vote when applying for services at a number of state agencies. Learn more at National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).
If an application is received after the deadline, it will be timely if it is postmarked on or before the deadline date. If you are using the paper application and registering to vote for the first time in your county of residence, you must mail or deliver a signed application to your county board of elections.
Requirements for Registering
To register to vote, a person must:
- Be a U.S. citizen;
- Live at the residence they list on their registration form for 30 days before the date of the election;
- Be at least 18 years old or will be by the date of the general election. Sixteen- and 17-year-olds may preregister to vote; AND
- Not be currently serving a felony sentence, including any period of probation, post-release supervision, or parole.
Updating Your Registration
Voters who need to update their existing voter registration may use the NCDMV online service or a North Carolina Voter Registration Application. Registered voters may also update an existing registration, except for their party affiliation, at an early voting site during the early voting period.
Those with a North Carolina driver’s license or other NCDMV identification may update their residential or mailing address and party affiliation through the NCDMV online service but may not change their name through that service.
If using the paper application to update a registration, it must be signed and mailed to the voter’s county board of elections by Feb. 9. Updates to name, address (if within the county), and party affiliation must be signed, but can be provided by fax or email to your county board of elections.
For more information on registering to vote in North Carolina, see Registering.