Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
In the state of North Carolina, you are not required to complete a motorcycle training course. However, you may find it beneficial to enroll in drivers ed classes to practice road safety skills and to familiarize yourself with motorcycle driving tidbits. The more you learn, the more well-prepared you will be at the time of applying for your motorcycle license.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
Yes, in North Carolina, all motorcycle riders and passengers must be equipped with a helmet. More so you must have the symbol “DOT” featured on the back of your helmet, which should be added by the manufacturer. According to the NC DOT, your helmet must contain a “form inner liner of polystyrene foam that is about one inch thick.” For more information, review the North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Helmet Law.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
The state of North Carolina does not allow commercial drivers to complete their drivers license renewal online. You must visit a local DMV office instead to complete the CDL renewal process. Make sure to gather any necessary documents to complete your in-person renewal. It is highly suggested that you call the North Carolina DOT to find out what specific documentation may be required of you.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

Can I take the DMV written test online?
You must take your written knowledge and vision exam in person. The knowledge exam will consist of multiple choice questions about safe driving procedures, as well as North Carolina traffic laws. For your vision exam, you must wear corrective lenses at the time of testing if you already do so in your day-to-day life. For further information, contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles at 919-715-7000 or locate a DMV close by.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
As long as you are abiding by the road rules and regulations of the state you are driving through, you can use your commercial drivers license anywhere in the country. Keep in mind that there is a difference between interstate and intrastate CDLs. To drive commercially throughout the US, you must have an intrastate CDL license.

If you are unsure about certain laws, contact the DMV of the state where your destination is.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
You are not required to obtain a driver’s license in order to operate a moped, nor are you required to have it registered. However, you must be at least 16 years of age and you must wear a helmet at all times when riding on North Carolina highways. For information about operating a motorized scooter, contact the NC DOT at 919-715-7000.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

Do I need to take a drivers ed course?
Yes, to obtain your Limited Learner Permit, you need to take and complete an approved drivers education class. This course must consist of 30 hours in a classroom setting, as well as six hours of driving skills. Additionally, a driver education program in North Carolina also requires you to take an eye exam. You must meet the NC DMV vision standards in order to pass. Once you have completed and fulfilled all of these requirements, you will then have to present a Driving Eligibility Certificate to a local DMV in order to obtain your Limited Learner Permit.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
You can easily obtain the “VETERAN” designation on your North Carolina ID card by presenting your DD-214 discharge at a local DMV office. This essential document will act as proof that you were honorably discharged from military service. The veteran designation will be featured on the lower, left-side of your driver’s license, and you can request the designation free-of-cost upon renewing your driver’s license or ID card. For more information, visit the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles website.

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
In order to apply for a North Carolina commercial drivers license, you will need to make an in-person visit to a nearby DMV office. There are various tests you will have to take and certain documentation you will need to present.

The following documents must be submitted to a driver s license representative at a DMV location:

  • Two documents that show proof of age and identity (both must contain your full name and date of birth)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of North Carolina residency
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of clean driving record

Once you have gathered all the appropriate documents, you must be prepared to take the tests below:

  • Written knowledge test
  • Road skills test

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I apply for a learner’s permit?
The state of North Carolina has a Graduated Licensing program in place for drivers between the ages of 15 and 18. First, you will need to apply for a Limited Learner Permit and thereafter a Limited Provisional License, once you have held your regular permit for 12 months.

In order to obtain your Limited Learner Permit, you will need to visit your local DMV office and provide the items below:

  • Two proofs of identification (one must include your date of birth)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Payment for any applicable fee

To obtain a Limited Learner Permit, you will need to complete the following:

  • Take a Driver s Practice Test
  • Written knowledge test
  • Road signs test
  • Vision exam
  • Drivers ed course
  • A Driving Log to Advance to Level 2 Limited Provisional Driver License application

Once you have maintained your Limited Learner Permit for a year (and if you are under the age of 18), you can then advance to a Limited Provisional License. This is the time when you will be required to pass a road skills test, as well as submit proof of car insurance.

The third stage of the Graduated Licensing Program will allow you to obtain a Full Provisional License, whereby you will be allowed to operate a vehicle at any hour unsupervised.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
To apply for a North Carolina motorcycle license, you will be required to visit a nearby DMV location and pass certain tests, such as the following:

  • Vision
  • Traffic signs
  • Road skills
  • Written knowledge

In order to obtain your motorcycle learner permit in NC, you must be at least 16 years old. However, you must be less than 18. To properly complete your motorcycle application, a parent or legal guardian will be required to sign on your behalf.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
The state of North Carolina allows individuals to apply for ID card replacements in one of two ways: online or in person.

Online

To replace your ID card online, you must first make sure that you have your Social Security Number on record with the DMV. If yes, you can then proceed with a replacement request on the NC DMV Duplicate Driver License page.

In Person

To replace your ID card in person, you must bring with you two proofs of identity and payment for any applicable fee.

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

How do I renew my driving permit?
After you have completed the required 12-month period of maintaining a learners permit what is known as a Limited Learner Permit in North Carolina you will then be able to apply for a Limited Provisional License next. A Limited Provisional License consists of a different set of rules to abide by. For example, you can only operate a vehicle without supervision between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Additionally, you must pass a road skills test and maintain car insurance in order to get a Provisional License.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

How do I renew my ID card?
You must visit a nearby DMV office in order to complete the renewal process for your ID card. You should receive a friendly renewal notice in the mail reminding you when it is time to do so. To renew ID card documentation, make sure to bring the required documentation, along with payment for the renewal fee. Documents you will need to present at the DMV include the following:

  • Verification of Social Security Number
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of citizenship/residency

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
If you are an interstate CDL licensed driver, you can renew your medical report by obtaining a Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination and giving it to a medical examiner to fill out. The medical examiner will be asked to supply information regarding your health history, such as your hearing, vision, blood pressure, physical examination, etc. Once this form has been completed, it should be handed in to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
You need to make an in-person visit for drivers license renewal. Make sure to have any necessary documents with you, such as two proofs of identity and your Social Security Number, then locate a DMV near you to start the motorcycle renewal process. Prior to the expiration date of your motorcycle license, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will mail out a friendly reminder notice about your upcoming renewal.

For more information: How to Renew/Replace a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
To obtain a NC motorcycle license endorsement, you will need to fulfill all the requirements and pass all the necessary tests for a regular license. For example, you will be required to take and pass these exams:

  • Written knowledge exam
  • Driving skills exam (motorcycle on-cycle skills)
  • Vision exam

Additionally, when applying for your motorcycle license, you must make payment for any necessary fees either in the form of money order, personal checks or cash. The North Carolina DOT currently does not take credit cards or debit cards. Schedule an appointment at an office near you by using our DMV locator.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

How long do I need my learners permit before I can get my drivers license?
When getting drivers permit credentials, the Graduated Licensing Program in North Carolina has three stages of different permits/licenses:

  • Limited Learner Permit
  • Limited Provisional License
  • Full Provisional License

During each stage, you must have held that permit or license for a certain period of time before you can proceed to a higher-level license.

  • With a Limited Learner Permit, you must be between the ages of 15 and 18. You must have had this permit in your possession for 12 months before you can apply for a Limited Provisional License.
  • With a Limited Provisional License, you must be between the ages of 16 and 18. You must have had this permit in your possession for six months before you can apply for a Full Provisional License.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
After you have applied for your North Carolina DMV ID card, you can expect to receive it in the mail within 10 days. If sufficient time has passed and you have yet to receive your identification card, you should contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000 to inquire about its delivery status. Keep your receipt handy should you be asked for any information that is on it.

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
You may request an online identification card replacement if yours is currently valid and non-expired. To begin the process, simply visit the NC DMV Duplicate Driver License page. You will need to have the following information available in order to complete your duplicate request:

  • Your drivers license number
  • Social Security Number
  • Your date of birth
  • A current email address
  • Credit card information for payment

If you have any questions regarding this online process, contact the NC DMV at 919-715-7000.

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

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
You must be 18 or older to apply for a CDL license. If your commercial endorsement requires a medical card, then you need to be at least 21. Also, once you have reached the age of 21, you will be able to operate a commercial vehicles across state lines. There are several requirements you will need to meet in order to obtain a CDL driver’s license in North Carolina. For example, you will need to present proof of Social Security, car insurance and a clean driving record, just to name a few.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
In order to obtain a motorcycle learners permit in North Carolina, you must be at least 16 years old. You will need to present various documents when applying as part of standard DMV procedure. These documents include the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number

Additionally, you must pass and take a written knowledge exam, a signs test and a vision exam in order to obtain your Motorcycle Learner Permit. For a motorcycle endorsement on your license, you will be required to pass an on-cycle skills road test as well.

Prior to applying for a NC motorcycle license, familiarize yourself with road safety practices by reviewing the North Carolina Motorcycle Handbook.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
In North Carolina, there are five types of CDL endorsements:

  • H Hazardous Materials
  • S School Buses
  • P Passenger
  • T Double/Triple Trailers
  • N Tank Vehicle

The endorsement you get on your CDL driving license will depend on the type of vehicle you intend to drive. Additionally, there may be a set of different rules and requirements for each endorsement.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
The fee to apply for ID cards is $10. Keep in mind that fees may vary. You can obtain a North Carolina identification card from any DMV office. In order to complete the process, you will need to bring with you proof of the below documentation:

  • Citizenship and residency
  • Social Security Number
  • Your age
  • Your identity

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

What are the learners permit restrictions during my first year?
During the first year of holding a Limited Learner Permit, you will need to abide by the following rules:

  • You can only drive between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9. p.m. for the first six months. A supervising driver must be with you at all times and situated in the passenger seat.
  • You cannot use a cellphone while driving.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
In addition to submitting a federal medical card/certificate, you must present a completed Self-Certification form that states your type of commercial operation, such as:

  • Excepted Interstate
  • Non-Excepted Interstate
  • Excepted Intrastate
  • Non-Excepted Intrastate

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket with a driver’s permit?
If you have a North Carolina learners permit and recently received traffic fines, you may be faced with high fines and fees, in addition to other penalties. If you are unclear of the price or penalties, order a driving record and also contact the county clerk s office in the county you were issued the ticket. They will be able to further provide you with any penalties you may be faced with. You can also look up your traffic ticket online through the North Carolina Court System website. Once there, you can locate your ticket either by your name or by inputting your citation number (including any letters it may contain).

For more information: Traffic Tickets and Violations in North Carolina

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
You will be required to obtain a motorcycle driving license for the operation of a three-wheeler. If you would like more information about the proper steps you need to take, visit our Motorcycle License page. It is also strongly encouraged that you review the NC Motorcycle Handbook for further guidance.

Keep in mind that you must be at least 16 years old in order to obtain a motorcycle license in the state of North Carolina. You will also be required to pass a number of different tests and pay any necessary fees.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

What documents do I need to get a learner’s permit?
You will need to present the following documentation when applying for a NC driving permit:

  • Two proofs of identification (one must include your date of birth)
  • Proof of Social Security Number

Without the aforementioned items, you will be unable to proceed with applying for a learner’s permit. When applying for your learner’s license, you will also be required to pass a written knowledge exam, as well as meet the vision standards set forth by the NC DMV.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
You will need to present the same documents as you would for a regular license, such as the following:

  • 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

To be best prepared, compile all of these documents together before visiting a local DOT office, that way you will be ready to present any documentation that may be asked of you.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
In order to get a motorcycle endorsement in the state of North Carolina, you will be required to pass the following tests:

  • Vision
  • Traffic signs
  • Road skills
  • Written knowledge

Schedule an appointment at an office near you by using our DMV locator.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in North Carolina

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
If it is your first conviction of a DUI, then your driving privileges will be suspended for a year. The suspension period increases to three years if you are convicted of a DUI while operating a commercial vehicle with hazardous materials endorsement. By law, in the state of North Carolina you are required to notify your employer about any driving under the influence conviction.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

What is an ID card?
An ID card is a form of identification that is often used by individuals who do not drive but wish to carry an identification document on their person. This is essential because a DMV ID card will allow you to enter government buildings, as well as travel at ease. As a general rule: any activity that requires proof of identification except for international travel can be used with a North Carolina ID card.

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

What is the passing score for a written test?
You must have a passing score of 80 percent or more in order to pass the written knowledge exam. The exam will consist of multiple choice questions and test your knowledge of state traffic laws and safe driving essentials. You can review a sample question by visiting the North Carolina Division of Motor vehicles website. For further details regarding the score, contact the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles at 919-715-7000 or visit a nearby DMV location.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

What test do I need to take for my learners permit?
You will need to take and pass the following tests in order to obtain your Limited Learner Permit:

  • Written knowledge test
  • Road signs test
  • Vision exam

If you wear corrective lenses, you will be required to have them on when taking the vision exam. As for the written test, it will consist of questions pertaining to traffic laws of the state, as well as road safety tips and responsible driving information. The format of this exam will be made up of multiple-choice questions.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
Depending on your NC CDL endorsement, you may be required to only take a written knowledge test or in other instances, both a written test and road skills test. You can take a written test at any North Carolina DMV branch. A road skills test is provided by both the NC DMV, as well as certain third party companies. In terms of payment, you will be able to pay either in cash, personal check or money order. The North Carolina DMV does not accept any type of credit cards.

For more information: North Carolina Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Application

When does my ID card expire?
If you are under 65, your identification card will be good for eight years. If you are a senior over the age of 65, your ID card will remain valid for five years. Prior to your ID card’s expiration date, you will need to make a visit to your local DMV office in order to request a renewal. During your appointment, you will be required to present the following documentation:

  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of citizenship/residency
  • Proof of age

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

Where can I obtain an ID card?
You can apply for an ID card at any DMV address. Keep in mind that you should bring with you two proofs of identity and payment for the ID replacement fee. Acceptable proofs of identity include the following:

  • Motor Vehicle Driver’s Record
  • NC School Transcript/Registration
  • Certified birth certificate
  • Valid foreign passport
  • Valid U.S. military ID
  • Social Security Card
  • Tax form with your name and SSN

For more information: How to Apply for a North Carolina Identification Card

Who can sign for my permit or license if I am under 18?
A supervising driver can add their printed name and drivers license number on the completed Driving Log to Advance to Level 2 Limited Provisional Driver License. The supervising driver must have the following qualifications:

  • They must be your parent, legal guardian, grandparent or an adult approved by parent or legal guardian.
  • They must be licensed for at least five years.

For more information: Learner’s Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina