A learners permit in North Carolina is a credential that allows NC residents to operate their motor vehicles on public state roads. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV) of the state Department of Transportation (DOT) issues a drivers permit to individuals who are at least 18 years of age.

However, it also issues a limited permit to applicants from 15 to 18 years of age, as part of the NC Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program. To obtain one of these permits, motorists may have to satisfy different eligibility requirements, depending on their age.

After applicants choose the type of learning permit they want to obtain, they will have to complete the mandatory application requirements and provide the necessary paperwork and payment for the corresponding fees. To discover more information about how to apply for a learners permit in North Carolina, continue reading the sections below.

North Carolina Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines

To get a drivers learners permit in North Carolina, applicants must satisfy a set of requirements, depending on their specific situation and on the type of permit they want to obtain according to their age. For instance, applicants who want to obtain a DMV learners permit must be at least 18 years of age and they must submit the mandatory documents to the NC DMV office. However, when residents who are from 15 to 17 years of age want to operate a motor vehicle, they will have to apply for a limited learner permit and satisfy different criteria.

The limited drivers permit requirements apply to individuals who are at least 15 years of age, but not older than 18. Minor applicants need to provide a driving eligibility certificate and a driver’s education certificate from an approved driver education course provider to be eligible for a limited permit.

How to Apply for a Learners Permit in North Carolina

Motorists may apply for learner permit in North Carolina when they want to operate a motor vehicle legally on public roads within the state. A learner’s permit is issued to motorists who are at least 18 years of age. However, individuals who are between 15 and 18 years of age may obtain a limited learner permit as part of the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program that will allow them to operate motor vehicles legally before getting the learners permit.

If wondering where to get learners permit in NC, applicants need to know that the procedure must be performed in person at a local NC DMV office. NC residents need to complete the following steps:

  • Pass knowledge, road sign recognition, vision and driving tests.
  • Submit proof of age and identity (such as a copy of a valid NC drivers license)
  • Submit proof of Social Security Number (SSN).
  • Provide a proof of residency (for U.S. citizens), or a proof of legal presence (for non-U.S. citizens)
  • Submit proof of liability car insurance coverage.
  • Submit payment for the applicable fees.

Since minor applicants may obtain a limited learners permit from 15 to 17 years of age, they may have to satisfy another set of requirements. When minors arrive at a nearby DMV location, they need to provide a driver’s education certificate and a driving eligibility certificate. In addition, they will have to pass both the written and sign test and the vision exam. And finally, they will have to pay the applicable fees, according to the GDL system.

Note: When residents decide to apply for a REAL ID driver’s license, they may be required to provide additional paperwork and to satisfy other requirements.

The North Carolina Drivers Permit Test

The North Carolina DMV requires applicants to pass not only one DMV permit test, but several, such as: written test and road sign test, as well as a vision exam and a driving skills test. When applying for a learners permit, motorists must first take and pass the written and road sign tests. Applicants may get prepared for the exams by studying the NC DMV driver’s manual.

The written learners permit test covers questions on NC traffic laws and safe-driving techniques and practice. It is available to applicants in various languages and in oral format, according to the applicants’ preferences.

The road sign test covers both regulatory and warning signs that motorists need to learn before operating a motor vehicle on public roads within the state. The test examines motorists about the signs and requires them to first identify them by color and shape and then to give an explanation of every given sign.

Applicants who are preparing for a drivers permit test in North Carolina are encouraged to get prepared by taking similar tests and practice their knowledge. The NC DMV practice permit test covers the same topics as the actual test and it contains similar questions.

North Carolina Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions

Motorists must obey the North Carolina learners permit rules and follow the applicable restrictions, after getting the credential. Applicants for a learners permit must obey the following rules and restrictions:

  • Drivers may operate only a specified type or class of motor vehicle when they obtain the learning permit.
  • Permit holders must operate a motor vehicle only when accompanied by a licensed adult driver seated in the passenger seat.
  • The NC DMV does not issue driving permits to individuals who suffer from a mental or physical condition.
  • Disabled individuals may apply for a restricted driving credential with medical approval.

For a limited learning permit, additional driving permit rules apply, such as: drivers are restricted to operating a motor vehicle under supervision only from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. for the first six months. Moreover, motorists are prohibited to utilize mobile devices while driving.

Note: The person who accompanies the driver may be a parent or a legal guardian, a grandparent, or an adult who has been approved by a parent or a legal guardian.

North Carolina Learner Permit Fees

Submitting a payment for the applicable learner permit fee in North Carolina is the final step of the application procedure.

If you are wondering how much it cost to get your permit, these are the standard fees:

  • Learners permit – $20
  • Limited learners permit – $10
Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.