DMV.com is a privately owned website.* Privacy

How to Renew a Driver's License in North Carolina

North Carolina Drivers License Renewal

Renewing drivers licenses with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles can be accomplished in a variety of ways including online, in person and by mail. To renew drivers licenses online or by mail, residents must meet certain eligibility criteria. All drivers are permitted to renew drivers licenses in NC up to six months prior to their license expiration date. North Carolina drivers license renewal fees and lengths of validation are dependent on the driver's age at the time of application. For further details on renewing drivers licenses in North Carolina, continue reading below.

How to Renew Your NC Driver's License



Renew North Carolina Drivers License

Note: The North Carolina drivers license expiration date is listed under the card holder's date of birth on the front of their credential. Reference your driver's license card to verify the date of expiration.


To renew drivers licenses in North Carolina, drivers can either apply online or in person at a DMV office. Residents are permitted to renew drivers licenses online every other renewal cycle—if your previous renewal was done online, then you must apply for your next one in-office. Online drivers license renewal applicants must visit the North Carolina DMV web-services site with their current drivers license in hand and certify that their information has not changed since their last renewal. Renewing drivers licenses in person requires a driver to pass the vision and traffic signs tests. Applicants must provide two proofs of identification or their current drivers license at the time of application.

Fees

North Carolina drivers license renewal fees vary based upon the length of validity of one's credential. The fee to renew a Class C drivers licenses is $5 per year of validation. Therefore, the eight-year drivers license renewal fee is $40. The fee for five-year drivers license renewals is $25.

When to Renew Your North Carolina Driver's License

Renew your drivers licenses in NC up to six months prior to the expiration date. As a reminder, the North Carolina DMV will mail drivers license renewal notices approximately 60 days before they expire. Drivers may renew expired drivers licenses up to one year following the expiration date.

Expired License

North Carolina drivers are given 180 days to renew expired drivers licenses before having to apply for a new driver's license. Though, drivers convicted of driving with an NC expired drivers license more than one year following its expiration date will be penalized. Apply for a drivers license renewal to avoid a traffic conviction and having points added to your driving record.

Temporary License

In lieu of NC DMV license renewal, residents located out-of-state for 30 days or more, such as active duty military members, may apply for temporary licenses by mail. Temporary licenses are valid while the applicant is away and up to 60 days following their return to the state. To qualify for a temporary license, residents:

  • Must have a verifiable NC residential address.
  • Must have a NC Class C driving license that has not been expired for longer than two years.
  • Must have a photo on file with the DMV that was issued within the previous five years.
  • Must have Social Security Number on file with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • Must provide a statement on the condition of your eyesight.
  • Must complete and sign a National Sex Offender Affidavit.
  • Must be younger than 72 years of age.
  • May only renew by mail once every other renewal cycle.

Out-of-State Military Renewal

To renew their drivers license by mail, active duty military members and their dependents, located out-of-state must meet the same requirements for a temporary license. Military members must also meet the following additional qualifications to renew their driving credential with the state:

  • Must have a verifiable North Carolina address on file with the DMV, either your own or that of a host family.
  • Must provide copies of both your military orders and military ID card.
  • Military members may not renew drivers licenses more than two times during their lifetime.

Upon their return to the state, service members need only visit an NC DMV office to renew their drivers license before the expiration date.

Requirements to Renew a North Carolina License

To renew a drivers license in North Carolina, an applicant must meet the eligibility criteria of the method of renewal in which they utilize — whether online or in person. Drivers are allowed to renew drivers license online every other renewal. During online drivers license renewals applicants must certify that they have no vision problems. In-person applicants must provide either their drivers license card or two documents proving identification, as well as proof of Social Security Number.

Drivers license renewal applicants must also pass the vision and traffic signs test. The road test may also be administered, at the discretion of the driving examiner.

Renew a NC Suspended License

NC driving license renewal applicants with a suspended license must follow through with the steps to restore their driving privileges before they can apply for renewal. Once those obligations have been met, the applicant can then proceed with visiting a North Carolina DMV office to complete the renewal process.

NC Drivers License Online Renewal

To renew drivers licenses online in North Carolina, residents must have not renewed online during their previous renewal period. Drivers who utilize the online system must verify their identity, street address and that they have no vision problems that would affect their driving. Users renewing drivers licenses online must be sure to provide their drivers license renewal fee in the form of a major credit or debit card. Renewed drivers licenses ordered online are mailed out seven to 14 days following application.

Online drivers license renewals in North Carolina are not permitted for applicants who have restrictions on their licenses, other than corrective lenses, those in the medical review program or drivers with a license that is expired, suspended or revoked.

Renewing Your NC Drivers License in Person

Residents must renew drivers licenses in person with the NC DMV at least once every other renewal cycle. Also, drivers must appear in person to renew North Carolina drivers licenses if they have special circumstances such a suspended or revoked drivers licenses. Beginning up to six months prior to the expiration date, residents renewing drivers licenses in person must visit a NC DMV location and bring the following documentation:

  • Two proofs of identity, if you do not have your current license on hand.
  • Proof of Social Security Number, if the DMV does not have it on file.

Note that applicants must also pass the vision and knowledge test. A driving skills road test may also be administered at the discretion of the driving examiner. To get a preview of the types of questions on the written portion of the North Carolina DMV exam, order a practice test by clicking here.

Submitted by larryduppstadt (not verified) on 2nd May 2013

My wife and I live in NC and

My wife and I live in NC and got our drivers license in 2009. I also have my motorcycle license. My license expires on 1 March 2014. We are snowbirds and go to Florida in September and come back to NC in April. My license will expire while we're there. How do I renew it early?

Submitted by larryduppstadt (not verified) on 2nd May 2013

I would like an answer to the

I would like an answer to the above question. Thank you.

Submitted by TG (not verified) on 19th Dec 2012

My wallet was stolen this

My wallet was stolen this past weekend. I work on a local militay base here in North Carolina that requires a photo ID to be allowed passage through the checkpoint. I also have scheduled a trip for the weekend down to myrtle beach that will require photo ID for check in. But this great state has made it impossable to get photo Identification with out a waiting period of 20 days. This is insane!! They issue a temp driving document that cannot be used as identification. WTF? This is why our state is in trouble. Our leaders and their great ideas.

Submitted by Dmrjr92 (not verified) on 1st Apr 2012

If you have an expired permit

If you have an expired permit for over a year can you jus go and get your liscense when your ready

Submitted by CristinaOliveira (not verified) on 19th Feb 2012

I received my NC driver's

I received my NC driver's license in 2006. I am between the ages of 18-53, as was I when I moved here. The NC DMV website states a license is valid for 8 years if you fall within the age boundaries stated above. So why, 5 1/2 years later, am I being required to renew?

Submitted by bevran (not verified) on 15th Mar 2012

Why is it that my renewal is

Why is it that my renewal is now less than 8 years? I have an excellent driving record.

Submitted by darian isaac (not verified) on 7th Feb 2012

Thank you in advance and i

Thank you in advance and i apologise if this is a stupid question, but i am presently preparing to study in Australia, i have been here for 6 years already. I would like to know if there is any way that i could renew my license, again, my apologises for asking even after reading that North Carolina does not renew licenses online, It is not a major problem if i can't renew it.

Thanks again for your time and consideration.

Darian Monzell Isaac

license # 4134209

P.S. It is a commercial license as well, if both or one can be renewed that would be great, if not then life and God is still good, have a beautiful day ;-)

Submitted by erica0723 (not verified) on 30th Jan 2012

what happens if my my dl's

what happens if my my dl's get suspended??? how long would i have to wait to get them back

Submitted by NCNewYear (not verified) on 16th Dec 2011

I received my NC driver's

I received my NC driver's license in 2006. I am between the ages of 18-53, as was I when I moved here. The NC DMV website states a license is valid for 8 years if you fall within the age boundaries stated above. So why, 5 1/2 years later, am I being required to renew? Is the state that short of funds??!! I have never had my license revoked nor suspended.

Submitted by jennings (not verified) on 12th Dec 2011

If I have a Virginia License

If I have a Virginia License and the renewal date if Feb, if I choose to obtain a North Caroline License; will I have to be tested?

Submitted by marciaiba (not verified) on 3rd Dec 2011

If a Fl licensed is suspended

If a Fl licensed is suspended how can I renew in NC?

Submitted by tarheel (not verified) on 26th Sep 2011

If my license expires in Feb

If my license expires in Feb 2012, what is the earliest I can renew? Do I have to wait for a notice or can I just go to the DMV now?

Submitted by Lester Laminack (not verified) on 10th Jul 2011

I recently renewed my license

I recently renewed my license and was given a piece of paper to use as a temporary license until the new one arrives in the mail.

I have misplaced that paper and my actual license expires tomorrow. How do I get a replacement for that paper?

Thank you in advance.

Submitted by will mannes (not verified) on 29th Jun 2011

I stood in line yesterday for

I stood in line yesterday for one hour 23 min only to be told I needed to return because they were closed and not taking any other costomers, I understand that however my employeer dose not, i asked if i could make an appointment and was told I needed to do so on line but can not seem to find were I do that? can you direct me to the area I need to view on your web site.

Submitted by raelonda johnson (not verified) on 21st Jun 2011

i am from rhode island and my

i am from rhode island and my drivers license just expired and now i live in north carolina. can i renew my license out here without the hassle of retaking the tests?

Submitted by Carlon Mummert (not verified) on 11th Jun 2011

I am having eye surgery on

I am having eye surgery on Monday 13th. and my license expires on Friday 17th . I would like to take the renewal test after I have my surgery on both eyes. Will I be able to do this with out having to take the whole test over? I have very bad eye sight right now and on a restricted license that I must be wearing glasses.

Submitted by Carlon Mummert (not verified) on 11th Jun 2011

I am having eye surgery on

I am having eye surgery on Monday 13th. and my license expires on Friday 17th . I would like to take the renewal test after I have my surgery on both eyes. Will I be able to do this with out having to take the whole test over? I have very bad eye sight right now and on a restricted license that I must be wearing glasses.

Submitted by Anonymous on 9th Apr 2011

My grandson's drivers license

My grandson's drivers license was not class C(first license ) it expired while he was in basic training at Parris Island not a chance to come home to renew...Now he is in MO and the Marines are saying he needs a license.The base is out in the booneys no way to get into a town to get the license and wouldn't have a car to take a test in...Question is"what is he suppose to do?"

Loving granna

Submitted by Anonymous on 21st Apr 2011

There is a process through

There is a process through the mail if you are in the military

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th Apr 2011

why is it that almost

why is it that almost everyone works monday thru friday from 8-5 and the DMV is only open monday thru friday 8-5? and why is it that i spent 3 hour in line to fine out that the line was just the begining. once going thru the line you had another hour and half wait just to be seen. here we are in the 21th centery and NC DMV is still in the 1950's. and why is it that we are the only state that you can not renew online or by making a phone call?

Submitted by Anonymous on 31st Mar 2011

Hi i'm in the military and it

Hi i'm in the military and it is a pain in the buut to be out of country and try to get my license renewed. why are the laws for north carolina easier on the military?

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th Mar 2011

I have spent 30 minutes

I have spent 30 minutes trying to find out the fee to renew my license and still don't know.This is terrible!.

Submitted by Anonymous on 30th Mar 2011

Its $32 for 8 years. $4 per

Its $32 for 8 years. $4 per year

Submitted by Anonymous on 8th Mar 2011

Hi, I have living about 11

Hi, I have living about 11 years in NC State, I have driver license since 2001, but it will expire on the next month. But I don't have SS#, I have only tax ID # what I use to pay my taxes. Can you give me information that help to renew my driver license. What do I need to do? Thank you. I hope you can help me.

Submitted by Anonymous on 15th Mar 2011

You can't use a Tax ID #

You can't use a Tax ID # anymore. You will need a SS#, no exceptions. We know, we had this problem when the change came down from the Feds two yrs ago. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Anonymous on 27th Feb 2011

This is the MOST unfriendly

This is the MOST unfriendly website I have encountered in a long time. I was time consuming and not helpful at all. I should be able to navigate a lot easier. Will not return, will not recommend

Submitted by Anonymous on 6th Apr 2011

you wont recommend the DMV?

you wont recommend the DMV? you are a genious.

Submitted by Anonymous on 30th Jan 2011

i wish you can renew dl

i wish you can renew dl online it would be alot easier

Submitted by Mohamad AlTannir (not verified) on 13th Oct 2009

I live with my wife outside

I live with my wife outside the States for work reasons. Our drivers's licences will expire in the few coming months.

What are we supposed to do and we don't want to lose our NC driver License as we may come to NC this summer and rent a car directly from the airport and we need a valid DL to do so.

Please advise if there is any possibility to renew by mail.

Submitted by svilo1977 (not verified) on 10th Oct 2009

THIS IS A GOOD WED SIDE

THIS IS A GOOD WED SIDE EXELENT

Submitted by Roger210021 (not verified) on 3rd Sep 2009

Due to work will be out of

Due to work will be out of state during expire date how can i renew online or how i can renew my licence

Submitted by diou468412 (not verified) on 28th Sep 2009

i lost all my card identity

i lost all my card identity and my ss card please how i renew my lecense because i rceive my renewal notice thanks

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

Sounds like u donta speakalot

Sounds like u donta speakalot of englisha either lol

Submitted by yeun0108 (not verified) on 28th Aug 2009

Due to my husband's work, I

Due to my husband's work, I am currently living oversea but my license has expired as of March 2009. I will be living out of country for a one year. How do I need to renew my license? Can I do it by mail. I can send a copy of my old license and two ID. Please let me know.

Submitted by greg123 (not verified) on 18th Aug 2009

how can i renew online? I see

how can i renew online? I see no tab for this.

Submitted by Fabricioctba (not verified) on 17th Jun 2009

I can not renew in person!

I can not renew in person! I'm Connecticut, working for 6 months!!!

Submitted by Froy. (not verified) on 15th Apr 2009

Can i renew my license

Can i renew my license online?

Submitted by Froy. (not verified) on 15th Apr 2009

Hi im a N.C.resident but im

Hi im a N.C.resident (http://N.C.resident) but im out of state for work reson, how can i renew my license?

Submitted by nick (not verified) on 19th Mar 2009

can i renew driver license

can i renew driver license online

Submitted by irma (not verified) on 10th Mar 2009

i need to renew my license

i need to renew my license it has not expired but its almost my question is do i have to take my social security card or i just need my license

Submitted by mote84 (not verified) on 6th Mar 2009

i want to see if my license

i want to see if my license are suspended

Submitted by babara58 (not verified) on 26th Oct 2011

what to check my driver

what to check my driver record

Submitted by Anonymous on 9th Feb 2011

How can l renew my license if

How can l renew my license if their suspended

Submitted by Agelina Laris (not verified) on 5th Mar 2009

I live with my family

I live with my family

Submitted by andria.dawkins (not verified) on 5th Mar 2009

i was wanting to renew my

i was wanting to renew my driver's license online because, since i work from 8:30 - 5:30 throught the week I can never make it to the DMV to renew.

Submitted by abi (not verified) on 26th Feb 2009

i want to renewal my drivers

i want to renewal my drivers license

Submitted by Anonymous on 31st Jan 2011

I would like to practice the

I would like to practice the sign test online

Submitted by Joseph Romano on 12th Sep 2015

Practice sign test

Practice sign test

Submitted by MorrisT on 23rd Apr 2014

Yes

Yes

Submitted by Betty Stewart (not verified) on 26th Dec 2011

review drivers license manual

review drivers license manual and signs

Compare Auto Insurance Rates and Save DMV.com Exclusive!