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VRM in the States: North Carolina

North Carolina currently has electronic registration at DMVs and preregistration.

Last Updated: February 9, 2021
Published: April 12, 2018

Advances in Voter Registration Modernization

  • Electronic Voter Registration: North Carolina launched electronic voter registration at DMV offices in 2006. Individuals submit information on paper and clerks input responses electronically. Registrants then sign a printed form that is prepopulated with their information. Clerks scan the forms, which are transferred to election officials nightly.
  • Online Voter Registration: The North Carolina State Board of Election expanded online voter registration through the Division of Moter Vehicles website in 2020. Eligible citizens with a state driver’s license or non-driver ID can use the system to register to vote and update their registration information.
  • Same Day Registration: North Carolina implemented limited same day registration in 2013. Voters can register and vote on the same day during the early voting period, though they cannot do so on Election Day. Following a successful legal challenge to a law that had reduced early-voting opportunities, early voting is still available, but not all counties currently offer the same early voting days and hours.
  • Preregistration: 16– and 17-year-olds can preregister to vote. Those who preregister can vote once they turn 18 without needing to re-register.

Gains from Voter Registration Modernization in North Carolina

The steps North Carolina has taken thus far have yielded increases in voter registration and financial benefits for the state. For example:

  • During a May 2013 interview with Brennan Center staff, North Carolina election officials reported cost savings from electronic registration. Election offices save money by storing registration applications electronically rather than storing paper copies.
  • The two-year period following implementation of electronic registration – between November 2006 and November 2008 – saw the highest registration rate at DMV offices in the entire 14-year period between November 2000 and November 2014.
  • In the November 2016 general election, 119,035 voters registered during the early voting period.