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Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

Obtaining a learner's permit is generally the first step that a beginner driver takes toward becoming a fully licensed driver in North Carolina. You are eligible to apply for a learner's permit if you are at least 15 years old and:

  • you have never been licensed to operate a vehicle, or
  • you are a new resident of North Carolina who has been licensed in another state, but your driver's license has been expired for longer than six months

You can also apply for a Learner permit (valid for 18 months) if you are a new driver and are over 18 years of age.


  1. Download a copy of the North Carolina Driver's Manual, or get a hard copy by visiting a local Driver License Center.
  2. If you are under 18 years of age, your parent or guardian must accompany you to the driver license office and sign the application.
  3. Visit your local Driver License Center to submit the application. You must bring with you:
  4. Proof of identity and birth date and North Carolina residency, as specified by the Department of Transportation. If you have changed your name, you must bring documents that support and clearly indicate your current name.
  5. Driver education completion certificate and proof of high-school diploma or equivalent degree.
  6. Your Social Security card.
  7. The learner's permit fee of $15.
  8. You will be given a written knowledge test and an eye screening at the Driver License Center. If you pass these tests, you will be issued a Level One Limited Learner's Permit, which is valid for one year.
When driving with a Level One Learner's Permit you must be accompanied by a supervising driver who is either your parent or a guardian appointed by parents with a valid license held for more than 5 years. The Level One Learner's Permit in North Carolina includes the following restrictions:
  1. Level One Permit drivers are permitted to drive between 5 am and 9 pm with their supervising driver in the first 6 months.
  2. After six months, Level One Permit drivers are permitted to drive anytime with their supervising driver.
  3. Use of cell phone while driving is prohibited.
  4. All drivers, including Level One Permit drivers, must ensure that the vehicle has adequate seat belts to accommodate all passengers in the vehicle.


If you are at least 16 years old but under 18, you must wait at least twelve months after being issued your level one limited learner's permit, and maintain a clean driving record for the previous six months before taking the driver's license road test. If you pass the road test, you will be issued a Level Two Limited Learner's Permit. The Level Two Limited Learner's Permit in North Carolina includes the following restrictions:
  1. Level Two Permit drivers are not permitted to drive between 9 pm and 5 am, unless accompanied by a supervising driver.
  2. You are not permitted to carry more than one unrelated passenger under the age of 21.
  3. Use of cell phone while driving is prohibited.
  4. All drivers, including Level Two Permit drivers, must ensure that the vehicle has adequate seat belts to accommodate all passengers in the vehicle.


Once you have held the Level Two Limited Learner's Permit for six months there are no driving restrictions and it is as good as a full license, provided you have not been convicted of any violation of the Vehicle Code.


Reviews of Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers in North Carolina

I got my permit 7 months after I turned 16; how long do I have to wait to get my license? I live in North Carolina, and I've heard that I only have to wait 6 months since I got my permit after I turned 16. Is this true?

My friend is 25 does he still have to get a learner's permit even tho he is over the ages of 15 and 18? if so what type?

I'm 18 and still don't have my permit. Can I just go ahead and get my license? or do I still have to get a permit?

I wonder if I can apply for my driver's license on my birthday on August 28, 2015, technically September 12, 2015 would be one year of me having my permit. So is it possible for me to apply on my birthday or on the 1 year anniversary of me having my level 1 limited learners permit which is September 12, 2015?

I am turning 18 in july, by them I will have my drivers permit for 6 month, and I able to get my license once or after I turn 18???

Both my parents don't have a valid license, does that mean I won't be able to go in the DMV to get my permit or is there a way I can get it otherwise?

I have had my level one permit for about four months, I am fifteen. Am I allowed to drive to work between 5-9 without a supervising driver?

Lol, im 15 and got my permit 7/03/14. Anyways, no you cant. You can only drive with your guardian/parent/someone they trust. Then after one year, you can drive by yourself with ONE passenger under the age of 21.

So I have a question i lost my paper work for my learners permit and I'm suppost to get my license in about 2 weeks Am I going to have to wait until I'm 18?! I don't know please help?!

I want to know if my learner permit has expired on my 18 years old birth date I am not ready to drive solo yet can i renew my learner permit

Got Charged with driving without supervision what do i do im 17 i have the learners permit

Shouldve waited another year and just got your full license...learner permits are for 15 year old age you have a bad record..-,-

I'm 17 I just got my level 1 permit yesterday, can I drive from work to school without a supervisor after 5:00 am and before 9:00 pm

We live overseas as expatriates, so our children are never in the states for very long and technically they don't have a "resident" state. Can they register to vote in NC and get a license to drive using their grandparent's home?

From personal experience getting a drivers license in the US as an expat takes forever! I assume that as long as you show proof of residency of some sort you should be ok. However, I would bring the grandparents along to be the claim to the residency. But overall my advice would be to just wait until they're 18 and things get a lot easier.

Does my child need to be put on my insurance policy when he has a learners permit?

I am 16 and I got my learner's permit in April 11,2012. When can I get my license?

are learner permit holders from nc allowed to drive in other states if they are supervised by a licensed driver over 21 and who at that time is the custodian of the permit holder?

I'm turning 15 in may and Im taking driver's ed this monday, ending on friday. Can I get my permit after the class, or do I have to wait until I turn 15?

im 17 an i wont to no how can i get my driver's permitt

Learn to spell and write. That might just help.

I'm in North Carolina and I want to know can I get my full license when im 16

I am 25 I drove when 15 lost permit after few months and going to start driving now that I need it... I want to know can I apply for a permit or am I just going to be turned down and have only the option of getting full license?

My niece has moved from NY to NC and has a permit she is 19 and plans on taking her test for he license in a few weeks. Is it legal for her to drive on her permit to used to the narrower road and my vehical until she takes her test? New York says yes but I can't find anything from North Carolina to answer the question

i got my license taken at court when i was 16, i got a charge of driving after previously consuming alcohol under the age of 21 a day before i turned 16. i have no other traffic violations and i completed all requirmemts for that charge. i called dmv and they said that my license status was cancelled, what does that mean? and also if i go to dmv can i get my license now that i am 17 and have previously had my permit for 9 months, or will they give me a permit again for the 3 month period that i had left since my license was only cancelled?

I was wondering since I'm 20 year old, do i still have to get my learner's permit if i never had my license.

Im 21 and not ready to drive solo. my learners permit just expired cani renew it online?

If i lost my learners permit and state ID how can I renew it, but I'm 17 years old. or can i still renew both or only the learners permit?

If my child has a Florida Learners permit, is she eligible to drive in the state of NC with adult supervision?

No. The same thing happened to me. I had to start the whole process over. They do not accept Florida permits.

How long do you have to drive on learners permit if your sixteen and have high school diploma?

how can i renew my permit online or do i have to go in person

if i am 16 and i have had my permit for 6 months can i get my licence


Ready to get my permit driver's Licence


when i turn 16 caould i get m lisinse if i had my permit for 9 monthes if i got it late or do i have to wait a full year

I need some help?


I want to know if you get your learners permit at 16 do you just go to learners permit 2