North Carolina Student Voting Guide

Registration Deadline

Voter Registration Deadline: 25 days before Election Day

Voter registration forms, polling place locations, and more information can be found at

What Type of ID Do I Need to Register?

North Carolina’s voter registration form asks for your North Carolina driver’s license or ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security Number. Be sure to provide one of these numbers if you have it.

Register at School or Home?

Students have a choice about where to register to vote.

School address:

  • Students attending college in North Carolina may register at their school address. You must plan to return after temporary absences, like summer break, but do not have to plan to reside at that address permanently.

Permanent address:

  • Students may choose to register or remain registered at a permanent address in North Carolina or outside the state. In this case, students may need to vote by absentee ballot.

You may only be registered and vote in one location.

What Type of ID Do I Need to Vote?

Currently voters do NOT have to present photo ID to vote. A court ruling has repealed North Carolina’s voter ID law. Check or with state or local election officials for more information.

Where Do I Vote?

Make a plan. Look up your polling location and hours at

How Can I Vote?

By Mail

All registered voters may request and vote by absentee ballot. A State Absentee Ballot request form is available at the State Board of Elections website or at your county board of elections office. Requests must be received by the county board of elections by 5 p.m. on the Tuesday before Election Day.

Completed absentee ballots must be:

  • Received by 5 p.m. on Election Day, or
  • Postmarked on or before Election Day and received by 5 p.m. on the third day after Election Day.

Early In Person

  • All registered voters may vote early at a one-stop absentee voting site. Due to a court ruling there will be 17 days of early voting from Oct. 20 through Nov. 5. Check with your county board of elections for one-stop voting locations and hours.
  • Voters may still register during the one-stop early voting period at a one-stop voting site.

On Election Day

  • The polls are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Will voting in North Carolina affect my federal financial aid?

Where you register to vote will not affect federal financial aid such as Pell Grants and Perkins or Stafford loans or your dependency status regarding FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). 

Does being an out-of-state student for tuition purposes affect my right to vote in my college community?

No. You may choose to vote in your college community or back home regardless of your tuition status.

Will I lose my scholarship if I register to vote in North Carolina?

Generally, no. If you receive scholarship money from a state, county, town, or a private entity (i.e., an entity other than the federal government) you should confirm that residency in a particular place is not a requirement of the scholarship and/or that voter registration in North Carolina will not affect your eligibility. 

Will registering to vote in North Carolina affect my driver’s license or car registration?

Registering to vote does not affect driver’s license or car registration, but individuals are required to obtain a North Carolina driver’s license within 60 days of establishing residency in the state. For more information, students may wish to contact the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Will registering to vote in North Carolina prevent my parents from claiming me as a dependent on their taxes?

No. Students are often told that registering to vote in a different state from their parents will make them lose their dependency status. This is not true. Where you register to vote will have no effect on your parent’s tax status. 
This Guide was prepared by FELN staff who are not licensed to practice law in North Carolina and FELN intends that the information contained herein is used only as a general guide. This document should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed North Carolina legal professional.

Last updated September 2016