Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to file a police report if my license was lost or stolen?
Although it is not required, it is highly recommended that you notify the police of your lost drivers license or stolen drivers license. By doing so, you will minimize the risk of identity theft and fraud. After you have paid a visit to your local police station, you can then proceed to requesting a replacement at a nearby DMV office.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

How can I obtain a copy of the driver manual?
Before you apply for drivers license credentials, you can review the English copy of the manual on the NC DMV website. The handbook will contain information on everything from driver safety to traffic signals to driver records. You will also found further details on the following topics:

  • Obtaining a duplicate driver’s license
  • Driving while impaired
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Types of licenses
  • Learner’s permit
  • Driving skills and rules
  • Emergency situations
  • Vehicle registration
  • Driver records

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

How can I renew my drivers license?
The state of North Carolina requires its drivers to renew drivers license credentials at a DMV branch. To complete the process, you will be asked to do the following:

  • Present your driver s license at a DMV office.
  • Present proof of your Social Security Number (if it is not already on file).
  • Pass vision and traffic signs, if required.
  • Pay any necessary fee.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

How do I apply for a drivers license?
To apply for a standard North Carolina drivers license, you will be required to make an in-person visit to a local DMV office. Once there, you will be required to do the following:

  • Present certain documentation to show proof of identity, residency, car insurance, age and Social Security.
  • Pass various tests including driving skills, vision, traffic signs and driving knowledge.
  • Pay any required fees.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

How do I get a hardship license?
In order to apply for a hardship drivers license, you should file a petition with the district court in the county you live in. You may also contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles and speak to a drivers license representative for further assistance.

Depending on the type of North Carolina suspended drivers license you have, you may be eligible to get a hardship license as soon as you have completed 90 days of your revocation period. In some instances, though, you may have to wait a good year before you can apply.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

How do I get a replacement license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
If you are currently serving in the military and stationed outside of NC, you may request a drivers license copy by mail. If you are unable to do so, your spouse or dependent children may also make the request on your behalf. In order to find out more about the process, including the mailing address you should submit any written letter to; contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000. They will be able to provide you with all the specifics pertaining to your individual case, and how you can receive a duplicate driver’s license in a timely manner.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I know if my license was mailed after it has been restored?
You can contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000 to find out if your drivers license has been sent out. If you prefer to make an in-person visit, you can stop by a nearby DMV office for further details regarding NC suspended drivers license reinstatement. You are required to pay any reinstatement fee prior to the restoration of your North Carolina driver’s license. Your reinstatement fee can be paid in the form of cash, personal check or money order. NC driver license offices do not accept credit cards or debit cards at this time.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

How do I obtain a duplicate license?
In North Carolina, there are two ways in which you can get a drivers license replacement: online or in person.

Online

In order to use the NC DMV online service, you must first make sure that your current driver s license is unexpired and that your Social Security Number is on file with the DMV. Thereafter, you can proceed to the NC DMV Requesting A Duplicate Driver License Page to begin your replacement transaction.

In Person

To complete your NC duplicate drivers license request in person, you must have your current driver s license with you and be ready to pay a replacement fee. If you do not have your drivers license, you must present two documents that show proof of age and identity. For more information, visit the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles website.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I reinstate my suspended license?
Depending on the offense you have committed, there may be a different set of requirements you will have to meet prior to reinstating suspended drivers license paperwork. You should visit your nearest DMV office to find out about the proper steps you need to take and what fees to pay.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

How do I renew my license if I am in the military and stationed elsewhere?
If you are currently out of the state, you, your spouse or dependent children may request a renewal by mail. To renew driving license documentation by mail, you must first make sure that your driver s license has not been expired for longer than 12 months and that your Social Security Number is on file.

For information regarding where to sending your mailing request to, have your spouse or dependent children contact the DMV at 919-715-7000.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

How do I replace my license if I am a non-U.S. citizen?
If you do not have your current driver s license available, you may replace drivers license credentials by presenting two documents that show proof age and identity. Acceptable documents can include the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 or 1099 form
  • Certified Marriage Certificate
  • Court-ordered document
  • Foreign passport
  • School Records
  • Certified NC Motor Vehicle record
  • Valid photo ID

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

How do I replace my license if I lost it out of state?
A lost drivers license while outside of North Carolina will require you to wait until you return home to renew your license. The only exception to this rule are military members and individuals temporarily residing in a different state for 30 or more days, who may be eligible to renew their license by mail. For more information about license replacement by mail, contact the NC DMV by using their “Post A Comment” form.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

How does the DMV check my vision?
Your eyesight will be checked through a proper vision test at your local DMV address. If the test determines that you must wear corrective lenses while driving, you will be required to do so at all times. Failure to wear corrective lenses may result in fines and other penalties. In the event that you fail the vision exam, you may be referred to an eye specialist who will be required to fill out a form about your eyesight and then brought in to the DMV office.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

How long will I have a suspended license for not taking a chemical test?
If you refuse to submit to a blood or alcohol test, your drivers license suspension will last a year. However, if this is not your first offense, you will face additional penalties and a longer suspension period. You will be unable to reinstate your driver’s license until you have fulfilled the requirements of your suspension.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

How soon can I renew my driver’s license?
You are allowed to renew driving license credentials up to six months before its expiration date. In North Carolina, you are only allowed to complete this process in person. it is recommended that you set up an appointment at your nearest DMV location, in order to avoid long wait times. If you are serving in the military, you may be eligible to renew your driver’s license via mail instead.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

If I file a police report, will my replacement fee be waived?
For information regarding the possibility of a waived fee for your stolen drivers license, contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000, or you may visit a DMV office and speak to driver s license representative directly.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

Is there an age limit to renew your license?
As long as you are able to meet the DMV renewal requirements such as passing a vision and traffic signs tests you should have no issue renewing drivers license documentation. In order to pass the vision test, you must meet the standard set forth by the North Carolina DMV. Be prepared ahead of time for the traffic signs test by taking a practice test to sharpen your knowledge about road safety. You can contact them at 919-715-7000 to inquire more.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

What address will my replacement license be mailed to?
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will mail your duplicate drivers license to whichever mailing address you currently have on file. Therefore, if your address has recently changed, you should contact the DMV at your earliest convenience. Upon updating your information, make sure to provide both your old address as well as your new address. You should also have your driver’s license number available, in the event that a driver’s license agent needs this information to identify you.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

What are requirements for seniors to renew a driving license?
If you are 70 or older, you will need to schedule an in-person visit at your local DMV office to renew your driver s license. Your NC drivers license renewal will be valid for a period of five years. When renewing your license, you will need to bring the below documentation with you:

  • Your North Carolina driver’s license
  • Proof of Social Security Number, if it is not already on file
  • Payment for any fees, if applicable

Be aware that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles only accepts money orders, personal checks or cash. They do not accept any debit cards or credit cards at this.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

What are some violations that may constitute in a suspended license?
In North Carolina, there are various offenses, violations and convictions that may result in a drivers license suspension. Some of these include but are not limited to the following:

  • Refusal to submit to a blood or alcohol test
  • Drag racing
  • Speeding over 55 mph, with at least 15 mph over legal limit
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Speeding plus reckless driving
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Failure to maintain car insurance

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

What are the consequences of driving with a suspended license?
Depending on the offense you have committed, your NC suspended drivers license may result in the following:

  • High fees and fines
  • Jail time
  • Community service
  • Mandatory alcohol and drug course

For specifics regarding your case, it is best to contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. You should also take note that you will need to fulfill the rules and instructions of your suspension before you are allowed to get your license reinstated.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

What are the fees for a duplicate drivers license?
To obtain a NC drivers license replacement, the fee is $10. However, keep in mind that fees may vary. If you are obtaining a duplicate drivers license at a DMV office, take note that you can only make your payment with cash, personal check or money order. No credit cards or debit cards are accepted at this time.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

What are the reinstatement fees I will have to pay for a suspended license?
A standard restoration fee is $50, while a DUI restoration fee is $100. Keep in mind, however, that there may be other fees you will be held responsible for. To acquire specific information about your case, you should contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. You can find a branch near your area by using our convenient DMV locator. When paying for your reinstatement fee, be aware that the NC DMV only accepts money order, personal checks or cash. Debit cards and credit cards aren’t accepted at a driver license office.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

What are the suspensions eligible for a hardship license?
There are some circumstances whereby North Carolina allows those with a revoked drivers license to apply for a hardship license. However, they do not include the following offenses:

  • If you have several suspensions
  • If you have a DUI conviction
  • If you have charges and offenses in other states
  • If you have requested a hardship license within the last three years

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

What do I need to do to get my driver’s license if I fail the driving test?
If you failed a recent driving test, you will need to schedule another appointment to re-take it at a later date. Brush up on your knowledge about road safety and traffic laws with a practice test. Contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000 for more information about setting a new appointment for your driver’s license, or find the DMV nearest you.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

What documents do I need to get my drivers license?
You will need to present the following documentation to obtain your license to drive:

  • Two documents that show proof of age and identity (One of which must contain your name and date of birth.)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of North Carolina residence

You should make sure to have all these documents with you when visiting your nearby North Carolina DMV office for an appointment. Failure to do so will require you to re-schedule applying for a driver’s license at a later date.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

What documents do I need to present to renew my drivers license?
Upon NC drivers license renewal, you will need to present your current or expired drivers license. If you do not have it with you, then you must show proof of age and identity.

For example, acceptable documentation may include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your W-2 or 1099 form
  • Your Social Security Card
  • Your passport
  • Your school record
  • A court order

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

What documents will I need to present to replace my drivers license?
If you do not have your driver s license on hand, then you will need to present two documents that show proof of age and identity For example, acceptable documents to renew drivers license credentials include the following:

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 or 1099 form
  • Certified Marriage Certificate
  • Court-ordered document
  • United States or foreign passport
  • United States Military ID
  • School Records
  • Government Documentation

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

What languages is the written test available in?
When applying for drivers license credentials, the written test is available in English. There is also an audio version upon request. For more information about other languages, contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles at 919-715-7000.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

What penalties will I face if I do not renew my expired drivers license?
The state of North Carolina allows you to renew an expired drivers license. However, you may face fines and additional penalties if it has been expired for an extended period of time. For more information, contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

What should I do if I have not received my renewed license?
If you have not received your drivers license renewal in the mail, you should contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles at 919-715-7000 to find out about its pending status. You can also stop by at a local DMV office to inquire about your renewed drivers license. Make sure to bring with you your North Carolina driver’s license, that way the driver’s license agent can easily access your information in their system.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

What tests will I need to take for my drivers license?
To get your NC driving license, you will need to pass the following tests:

  • Traffic signs and regulatory signs
  • Road skills
  • Vision
  • Written knowledge

The written test will consist of questions that ask you about the state’s traffic laws and responsible driving facts and tidbits. You will also be required to take a sign exam that will test your knowledge on regulatory signs and warning signs. The driving test is taken behind the wheel to test your safe driving skills and abilities.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

What type of noncommercial license will I need?
The following noncommercial driving licenses are available for adults:

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C

In order to obtain any of the aforementioned licenses, you must pass all the necessary tests (written and driving skills test), as well as meet the DMV’s vision standards. If you would like to schedule an appointment to get your noncommercial driving license, use our DMV locator. For more information regarding these types of licenses, visit the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles website.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

When can I reinstate my license after it has been suspended?
You will be eligible to reinstate your North Carolina drivers license after you have completed the requirements set forth by your suspension period. Some of these requirements may include completing an alcohol and drug course (if applicable), paying reinstatement fees, possible jail and more.

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

When will I need to renew my license?
Depending on your age, the state of North Carolina has different time periods in which a driver’s license remains valid before renewal is due. For example, if you are between the ages of 18 to 65, you are required to renew license credentials every eight years. However, if you are 66 or older, you are required to renew license documentation every five years. During your in-person appointment, you will need to present proof of identity, as well as verification of your Social Security Number, if the DMV does not have it on file. In certain instances, you may be eligible to renew your drivers license by mail.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

When will I receive a replacement license after applying?
It is important to allow 10 business days to receive your North Carolina drivers license copy in the mail. If you would like to know the status of your license, contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000. You can also inquire about your duplicate driver’s license at a nearby branch. Use our DMV locator to find one that is close to you.

For more information: Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated North Carolina Driver’s License or ID Card

Where can I check to see if my license is suspended?
In order to see the status of your license, you can request a copy of your driving record. Your driving record will include important information such as the following:

  • Your name and address
  • Accidents and traffic violations you have been involved in
  • The current status of your NC driver’s license
  • Information about points on your record

For more information: Suspended License Information for North Carolina

Where can I get a new drivers license?
You can get your NC drivers license by visiting any local DMV location. When making your visit, make sure to bring all the necessary documents, such as the ones listed below:

  • Two documents that show proof of age and identity (One of which must contain your name and date of birth.)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of North Carolina residence

You will also need to have payment readily available for any fees.

For more information: How to Apply for a New Driver’s License in North Carolina

Will I be required to take a vision test for a drivers license renewal?
Yes, upon drivers license renewal, the state of North Carolina requires its drivers to pass a vision test that meets certain standards. If it is determined you must use corrective lenses while driving, this will be noted on your driver s license. Additionally, you must use your corrective lenses when taking the test. If you fail the vision test, you may be referred to see an eye specialist. For more information pertaining to your particular case, contact the NC DMV.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina

Will I get a drivers license renewal notice in the mail?
Yes, the North Carolina DMV sends a friendly reminder card in the mail prior to the expiration date of your driver s license. Although you are not allowed to renew drivers licenses online, you are allowed to renew your driver s license up to six months before it expires in person. Prior to renewing your driver’s license, sort through all the documents you will need to present at the DMV. Also have payment ready for the renewal fee.

For more information: How to Renew a Driver’s License in North Carolina