Last call for applications for student, employee IDs for voting

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

The final application period for eligible educational institutions and government agencies to apply to have their student and employee photo IDs approved for voting purposes in the 2024 general election closes on Friday.

This is the final opportunity for eligible institutions to apply to the State Board of Elections before the Nov. 5 general election.

Entities whose IDs have already been approved for 2024 elections do not need to reapply. For a list of all IDs that are acceptable for voting purposes in the 2024 elections, including the entities whose student or employee IDs have already been approved, see Acceptable Forms of Photo ID: 2024 Primary Elections (PDF) or go to

Under state law, public and private colleges and universities may apply to the state board to have their student IDs approved for voting purposes. State and local government entities — including cities, towns, public colleges, universities and charter schools — may apply to the state board to have their employee IDs approved for voting purposes.

“These government entities have until June 14 to apply, or their IDs will not be accepted at voting sites this fall,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the state board of elections. “State board staff stands ready to assist any institution that wants to go through this process.”

How to apply

To request approval for use in the 2024 general election, an institution must provide a signed Student or Employee Identification Approval Request Form and a digital image of the ID card to the state board on or before June 14. Public colleges and universities that wish to seek approval of their student and employee ID cards must submit separate approval forms for each type of ID. See request forms and instructions at the links below:

The state board will review submissions to ensure they comply with criteria in state law and will publish a list of newly approved ID cards in July 2024.

Cards approved in this round will be valid for use as a voter’s photo ID through Dec. 31, 2024.

Educational institutions and government agencies with questions about the process should email or call (919) 814-0700.

Voter photo ID background

In-person voters will be asked to show photo ID when voting in North Carolina. Absentee voters will be asked to include a photocopy of an acceptable ID when returning their ballot.

Most voters will simply show their driver’s license. But there are many other acceptable photo IDs. Student identification cards issued by North Carolina public or private universities and colleges, as well as employee identification cards issued by state and local government entities and charter schools, are valid forms of photo ID for voting when approved by the State Board.

Voters who do not have an ID when voting in person may cast a provisional ballot and either (1) fill out a form explaining why they are unable to show ID, or (2) show their ID at their county board of elections office by 5 p.m. on the second Thursday after the election (Nov. 14 for the 2024 general election). Voters voting by mail who are unable to include a photocopy of an acceptable ID when returning their ballot can submit a form with their ballot explaining why they are unable to include a copy of an ID.

If a registered voter does not have an acceptable photo ID, they can get one for free from their county board of elections. Learn more at Get a Free Voter Photo ID. Voters can also get a free ID card from the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). Find more information under “No-Fee ID Cards” at State IDs | NCDMV.

For more information on the photo ID requirement, including the current list of acceptable IDs, see