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Need an ID to Vote? 17 NC Counties Have No DMV Office, Nearly Half of DMVs Have No Appointments Available

Source: NC Newsline

If you want to vote in this fall’s municipal elections – and in 2024’s presidential election – you will need an ID in order to mark your ballot.

Republicans are ecstatic that the state Supreme Court re-decided the previous court’s ruling late last year that outlawed voter ID and they love to talk about how easy it is for people to obtain an ID to vote.

Unfortunately for all of us in North Carolina, but especially those in rural areas, it’s actually not that easy. In fact, according to Carolina Demography, 17 North Carolina counties don’t even have DMV offices. Of those 17 counties, 11 have a higher-than-state-average proportion of Black voting-age residents. Three of the DMV-less counties, located in the western part of the state, have higher proportions of white voting-age residents than the state average. Two of the counties have larger percentages of Latinos of voting age than the state average.

Thirteen of the 17 counties without a DMV have poverty rates higher than the state average, Carolina Demography also reported.

That means that residents in 17 of North Carolina’s 100 counties will need to cross county lines and try to find an appointment if they need to obtain an ID before voting.

The key words there are “try to find an appointment.” Despite the state having 116 DMV offices across 83 counties, around half have no open appointment slots for people who want licenses or state IDs, NC Newsline reported. DMV offices schedule appointments only in the mornings and accept walk-ins in the afternoon.

Acceptable forms of ID to vote include the following: Driver’s licenses, state ID cards, passports or passport cards, photo ID cards that county elections offices are preparing to offer, or university student and government employee IDs the state Board of Elections has approved. Tribal enrollment cards, U.S. military or veteran ID cards or cards issued by the state or U.S. government for assistance programs are also good. 

Thanks to the North Carolina State Board of Elections, registered voters who do not currently have an acceptable ID card for voting in the state can now go to their county board of elections office to get a free ID ahead of this fall’s municipal elections.

People who are unable to get an acceptable form of ID will be able to vote after filling out an ID Exception form at their polling location.

According to Carolina Demography, four of the five fastest-growing counties – Brunswick, Pender, Franklin and Lincoln – each has one DMV office. The other — Currituck County — does not have any.

This will be the first election in North Carolina to require an ID to vote since 2016.


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