DMV.com is a privately owned website.* Privacy

How to Apply for a New Driver's License in North Carolina

DMV Practice Test Only $14.99

  • Get the Official DMV.com Study Guide.
  • BONUS - FREE access to the Road Signs Practice Test

Drivers License Online Services Guide

Residents of North Carolina need to apply for driving license if they want to legally operate a motor vehicle on the public roads in the state. The North Carolina drivers license serves as an identification document as well. Drivers must follow certain North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles requirements before completing a drivers license application.

Did you know? More than 50 percent of the drivers license applicants fail the written drivers test. Get prepared for the exam day by using our online practice driving tests.

How to Apply for a North Carolina Driver's License:

  • Schedule a DMV appointment.
  • Visit an NC DMV location.
  • Provide a North Carolina learners permit, if you have one.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Pass the DMV written exam.
  • Pass the driving test.
  • Pay the NC drivers license fees.

Find out how to get drivers licenses in North Carolina by reviewing the sections below.

Types of Drivers Licenses in North Carolina

North Carolina residents can apply for driving licenses if they meet the requirements set by the NC Division of Motor Vehicles. They can apply either for a learners permit or drivers license, or for a commercial drivers license. Here are the available types of drivers licenses in the state:

  • Class A drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate a combination of vehicles with a weight of 26,001 pounds of more (GVWR).
  • Class B drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate any single vehicle with a weight of more than 26,001 pounds (GVWR).
  • Class C drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate regular passenger cars and trucks.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in North Carolina

North Carolina residents need to apply for driving licenses in order to legally drive a motor vehicle on the public roads and highways in the state. If they meet the NC Division of Motor Vehicles requirements, they can get drivers licenses. First-time learners permit applicants are required to pass several exams and provide certain documentation while applying for drivers licenses.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

North Carolina New Drivers (Over 18)

One of the requirements set by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is to pass a written drivers test when applying for drivers licenses at the NC DMV.

NC Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

North Carolina drivers license applicants who are 18 years of age or older must pass a written drivers exam. Get prepared for the written drivers test by taking a learners permit practice test. Our North Carolina driving permit practice tests is the perfect way to get familiar with all traffic laws and regulations in the state. You will also be able to practice what you have already learned from the North Carolina Driver's Handbook.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in NC

When you decide that you want to apply for North Carolina drivers licenses, schedule a DMV appointment at the nearest NC DMV location. When you go to your scheduled appointment, bring with you the following documents:

  • Proof of age and identity.
  • Proof of Social Security Number.
  • Proof of residency.
  • Proof of liability insurance.

NC Eligibility Requirements

North Carolina drivers license applicants must be at least 15 years of age when applying for a learners permit. They must provide certain documentation to the NC DMV office and pass a vision test, written drivers test and driving skills test as part of the application process. Applicants who pass these examinations will gain full driving privileges in North Carolina.

NC Written/Driving Test

During the North Carolina drivers license application process, you will be required to take a series of exams. Once you pass the vision examination, you will be required to take and successfully pass both the written drivers test and the driving skills test. Utilize our practice driving tests and get prepared for the North Carolina DMV drivers license exams. You will be able to practice questions similar to those on the actual exam, taken from the contents of the North Carolina Driver's Handbook.

NC Driving Test

The North Carolina driving skills test is part of the examinations you are required to pass in the process for getting NC drivers licenses. This test examines the future driver's gained knowledge and their ability to:

  • Approach intersections and three-point turnabouts.
  • Follow and obey the traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Use turn signals and horn.
  • Back the vehicle.
  • Follow another vehicle.

Once you pass the driving skills test and you pay the applicable fees, you will be issued a new North Carolina drivers license.

Drivers have the option of completing a behind-the-wheel course for additional practice.

New North Carolina Resident

New North Carolina residents, who have an out-of-state license to drive, need to apply for an NC drivers license within 60 days of the move. By surrendering your out-of-state drivers license, you will be exempt from retaking the series of examinations required by the state's Division of Motor Vehicles. Visit the nearest NC DMV office prepared with two proofs of age and identity, one proof of Social Security Number, one proof of residency and one proof of liability insurance.

Additionally, when transferring your out-of-state drivers license to North Carolina, you will also need to title and register your vehicle with the NC DMV. Bring the following documentation:

  • Valid North Carolina drivers license.
  • Power of Attorney.
  • Valid out-of-state drivers license along with a North Carolina Temporary Driving Certificate.
  • Proof of liability insurance.
  • Completed appropriate forms.
  • Payment for the applicable fees.

Replace Drivers License in North Carolina

North Carolina drivers can get duplicate drivers license in case the old credential has been stolen, lost or damaged. They can replace NC drivers licenses online or in person at any local NC DMV office. For more information about the process for drivers license replacement in North Carolina, click here.

Locate a DMV in North Carolina

Browse through our NC DMV locations page in order to find the nearest North Carolina DMV location to you. Here you will be able to find a complete list of DMV offices throughout the state, as well as their hours of operation and phone numbers.

Submitted by kennyyyy16 on 10th Sep 2015

Im 17 turning 18 and wants to

Im 17 turning 18 and wants to know if i didn't take drivers ed can i just get my licences when i turn 18?

Submitted by Lboutwell on 21st Aug 2015

I am 37 years old. I would

I am 37 years old. I would like to know how a person can get a drivers license without a car. No help from family.

Submitted by editor on 30th Aug 2015

I would like to know how a

I would like to know how a person can get a drivers license without a car. No family in state.

Submitted by Shi on 27th Mar 2015

Looking for answers on if

Looking for answers on if license is suspended in VA can I get one in NC now that I live here. It is for a judgement on money owed in an accident. Sngauss@gmail.com

Submitted by Teresa Watts on 24th Sep 2014

I am 20 years old and got a

I am 20 years old and got a NC permit. I want to get a drivers license but have to borrow a car. What do I need to do? Will non owners insurance work? What forms do I need for insurance proof.

Submitted by lebarron447 (not verified) on 27th Jun 2013

i am an unexperienced driver

i am an unexperienced driver with no car to call my own but my employer wants me to be able to drive. Do i need liability insurance to get my license when he has insurance to cover the vehicle i'll be driving? please reply to lebarron447@gmail.com

Submitted by Sadie8933 (not verified) on 14th May 2013

Im 17 i dropped out of school

Im 17 i dropped out of school but im going to get my g.e.d. can i get my permit or license?

Submitted by kelly18 (not verified) on 11th Apr 2013

i recently at 17 had a permit

i recently at 17 had a permit that experied a month before i turned 18 because once you 18 you cant obtain one anymore. But the after i fail 2 classes and they revoaked my permit but it had already experied being that im 18 can i still get my full license?

Submitted by shawneeangel (not verified) on 1st Apr 2013

Good day to you. I was a NC

Good day to you. I was a NC resident until April 2011, then got an OH drivers license. I needed to take care of my ailing mother, who has since passed away. I am now living back in NC and want to get my NC drivers license. Do I still need to take all the tests again even though it has been less then 2 yrs since I got OH DL and how much do the drivers license cost.

Submitted by Paigekern13 (not verified) on 15th May 2012

I am 17 and I have my

I am 17 and I have my Virginia drivers license and need to get a NC drivers license ! How do I go about getting that and what test will I take? And what if I am passed my 60 day mark?

Submitted by taylorwalker45 (not verified) on 13th Apr 2012

I just moved from Texas and

I just moved from Texas and my permit is expired and it's time for my license. Can I go to a NC DMV and get my license?

Submitted by anum.akhter (not verified) on 29th Mar 2012

I'm 17 and still have my

I'm 17 and still have my permit. I'm supposed to be getting my driver's license soon, what do I need to do and/or bring to be elligible to get one? The directions on this website are unclear to me.

Submitted by nikolasforsthoffer (not verified) on 27th Mar 2012

I have not gotten a permit

I have not gotten a permit but I am 17 and am about to graduate. Now, I have heard many different stories about this issue so I thought I would ask, when I graduate, do I have to wait til I am 18 to get my full license or am I able to get it as soon as I graduate, even though I am 17? Also, if it is possible, could I be able to get my license before I graduate without having to go through the learner's permit?

Submitted by kaleesalene (not verified) on 20th Mar 2012

I'm 17, and i haven't lived

I'm 17, and i haven't lived with my parents for almost a year. I live with my boyfriends mom. Does that make her my guardian to sign for me to get my license, or could my grandmother take me to get my license and sign?

Submitted by jimpsen (not verified) on 16th Feb 2012

1994 moved to ca from nc,i

1994 moved to ca from nc,i got my dl, lived there for 13 years.I came back in 2007 my ca license exp first month of 2008 also ca in 2005 suspended my license for my child support,it is cleared now.I got my first and only DUI in NC on Nov 2008.they said driving without a license and then they put down my NC Dl # from 20 years ago.they do not recognize my Ca dl,but that was the license i got a DUI on but it was suspended.Its been 4 years without having a license,Ca sent a letter to DVM,and cleared my ca license.i have to get a interlock on my car because of a .15..that law came into affect in DEC 2008,what do i do,shouldn't it be under the ca DVM law or NC law,should i go back and renew my dl in ca.i just got a report from ca and everything is OK.please help.

Submitted by louieb (not verified) on 8th Feb 2012

My license are suspended in

My license are suspended in Va. may I obtain a N.C license now that I'm a resident to n.c..

Submitted by CarolinaLady44 (not verified) on 1st Apr 2012

NC DMV is linked to several

NC DMV is linked to several states and Virginia is one of them. They will see that your license is suspended. You will need to clear up the issues in Virginia before you can be granted a license in NC. I just finished going through this process myself. Sorry. :(

Submitted by Dayung346 (not verified) on 7th Feb 2012

I am a foreigner, staying in

I am a foreigner, staying in NC using Visitor's Visa because my children are here for study. What is the documents needed for me to get my Drivers License? Please reply by email.

Submitted by jackinbangkok on 30th Oct 2014

let me know if anyone has

let me know if anyone has answered your question. I have the same issue. Jack

Submitted by licong.lk@gmail.com on 12th Nov 2014

I have the same Question too,

I have the same Question too, Has anyone answered this yet? Thank's LiCong

Submitted by shreekanth m on 30th Mar 2016

I have the same question as

I have the same question as well. Could you please anyone answer it if you know.

Thanks

Shreekanth

Submitted by Sophy Mbeyu on 30th Mar 2016

Am facing the same problem, I

Am facing the same problem, I have an international DL from a foreign country, Would that help me obtain a NC driving license. Was on hold for more than 35 minutes and no one got back to me. Kindly let me know what i need to provide

Submitted by maurice jay (not verified) on 7th Feb 2012

My license are suspended in

My license are suspended in Va. may I obtain a N.C license now that I'm a resident to n.c..

Submitted by smoochie2882 (not verified) on 2nd Feb 2012

I'm a new resident to NC and

I'm a new resident to NC and my license is suspended in GA can I still get my NC license? Please email me @ shaylaperkins@Hotmail.com

Submitted by sherrybaby123 (not verified) on 19th Jan 2012

I have a suspended license in

I have a suspended license in florida, I now live in North Carolina. can I get my license here without clearing my florida suspension?

Submitted by legacy2311 (not verified) on 25th Nov 2011

QUESTION: As a new resident,

QUESTION: As a new resident, Is it possible to obtain a NORTH CAROLINA drivers license if you are suspended in another state(VIRGINIA)?

please email me at legacy2311@aol.com. Thanks

Submitted by annetteo (not verified) on 15th Nov 2011

My husband is Active Duty

My husband is Active Duty Army and we are residents of Alaska but he is stationed here in North Carolina. My employer states that I must have a valid NC driver's license. Since we wish to return to Alaska and do not want to give up residency in Alaska how do I get a NC DL with an Alaskan Address? I went to the DMV today and the man at the Fuquay Varina office was extremely rude about it and insisted that it is not possible. However, I have gotten DL's in other states that simply had my Alaska Address on it so I know some states can do it.

Can this be done in North Carolina?

If not, why is this different here than in other states such as Virginia, New Yorn and Washington D.C.?

Submitted by Pareditas81 (not verified) on 16th Oct 2011

Hello. I have a driving

Hello. I have a driving license issued only with my country I.D and with mi ITIN number. Can I renew my license again with my ITIN number? Please let me know if I can. Thank you so much. I really need it!

Submitted by Manar352 (not verified) on 15th Oct 2011

I'm in Florida and ill be

I'm in Florida and ill be here the next 3 months my NC driver license will expire this October 21 st. What do I need to renovate by mail

Submitted by ehcart (not verified) on 12th Sep 2011

I have my Georgia restricted

I have my Georgia restricted license but I moved full-time to North carolina and I want to get my full driver's license. how do I get it and what do I need? I am 18 years old and have a registered vehicle. please email me. heyward.cart@gmail.com my name is Heyward

Submitted by Terps (not verified) on 29th Jun 2011

Please send information about

Please send information about Driving Eligibility Hardship

Submitted by KDanielM (not verified) on 2nd Jun 2011

I moved to NC from NY and I

I moved to NC from NY and I don't own a vehicle. How can I still convert my license to NC?

Submitted by MsSmalls515 (not verified) on 13th Nov 2011

I moved to NC from NY and I

I moved to NC from NY and I don't own a vehicle. How can I still convert my license to NC?

Submitted by heatherbotswana (not verified) on 18th May 2011

Hello. We are Americans, but

Hello. We are Americans, but are missionaries in Botswana. Before we went to Africa, we had OH driver licenses. Those expired since we were away - but we no longer had residence there. We will be renting a house in NC and wanted to know what we must do to get a NC license? We cannot surrender our Botswana license, as we are returning there after our furlough in the beginning of 2012. Thank you.

Submitted by any (not verified) on 13th May 2011

If license is suspended in

If license is suspended in another state (ohio) am I still able to get my nc lisence please reply at MISSTHANG43302@yahoo.com plz

Submitted by Topsale34 (not verified) on 5th Jun 2011

let me know if anyone has

let me know if anyone has answered your question. My boyfriend has the same issue. We are from Ohio too!

EGay

Submitted by allladders514 (not verified) on 14th Jan 2012

will i be able to get a north

will i be able to get a north carolina drivers license if my ohio license is suspended? It is because of 2 speeding tickets and no insurance at the time of my stop.

Submitted by Anonymous on 10th May 2011

what type of proof of

what type of proof of residency do i need

Submitted by jackinbangkok on 30th Oct 2014

let me know if anyone has

let me know if anyone has answered your question. I have the same issue. Jack

Submitted by Anonymous on 9th May 2011

Can I drive my motorcycle

Can I drive my motorcycle outside the stat of NC with a NC learners permit?

Submitted by Anonymous on 4th May 2011

Hello I have a California

Hello I have a California drivers license that expires on my bday which is Monday. Can you please tell me what I have to do to get a NC license? Do I have to take a written test and how much does it cost? Thank you.

Submitted by Anonymous on 12th Apr 2011

hi, my license is about to

hi, my license is about to expire, can i renew with my ITTN (tax number), since i don't have soc sec. Please answer me to fabiano.nyc@hotmail.com, thank you

Submitted by Anonymous on 16th Mar 2011

I had my drivers license

I had my drivers license suspended due to a DWI. This was my first offense and I was issued a limited license so I could work. I did my community service and also completed th ADECS class as ordered by the court. What do i have to do to get my license restored. Also how long does it take to receive the imformation from the DMV.

Submitted by Anonymous on 16th Mar 2011

hi, my name is Jacqueline and

hi, my name is Jacqueline and i wanted to know if i could apply for a driver licenses but i dont have a ssn i have my itin could i apply with that one. im living in north carolina greensboro. salassjackie23@yahoo.com

thank you

Submitted by Anonymous on 16th Mar 2011

hi, my name is Jacqueline and

hi, my name is Jacqueline and i wanted to know if i could apply for a driver licenses but i dont have a ssn i have my itin could i apply with that one. im living in north carolina greensboro. salassjackie23@yahoo.com

thank you

Submitted by Anonymous on 10th Mar 2011

Hello i am trying to apply

Hello i am trying to apply for my drivers license but i am not eligible for a SSN, i do however have my ITIN, and i was wondering if that, along with a form of proof that i am not eligible for a SSN would be enough for me to get my drivers license. Please e-mail me at bloodschythe@gmail.com

Thank You,

Edward Soto

Submitted by Anonymous on 28th Feb 2011

I am moving from Delaware to

I am moving from Delaware to NC i have Delaware licenses what i have to do to get NC licenses? What all do i need when i come to DMV get my NC licenses? Thank you Ms. Cooper.

Submitted by MsSmalls515 (not verified) on 13th Nov 2011

I am moved from NYC to NC and

I am moved from NYC to NC and I have NYC licenses. What i have to do to get NC licenses? What all do I need when I go to DMV get my NC licenses? What is the cost for the replacement/transfer?

Submitted by keylord (not verified) on 26th Nov 2012

please reply

please reply

Submitted by Anonymous on 28th Feb 2011

I'm sorry plz e-mail me @

I'm sorry plz e-mail me @ doris.cooper39@yahoo.com