✅ Updated September 2020

Ultimate guide to getting your driver's license in North Carolina

Here's the ultimate guide to getting your driver license at the North Carolina DMV. We've simplified the entire process for you so you can save time.

 

What You’ll Need to Get your North Carolina DMV Driver License

  • 4 documents to prove your identity, age, Social Security number, and residency in North Carolina
  • Registered and insured vehicle (for driving test)
    • Proof of liability insurance for vehicle
  • Payment
    • $20 for Learner’s Permit 
    • $40 for Class C driver’s license (valid for 8 years)

 

What You’ll Do to Get your North Carolina DMV Driver License

  • Step 1: Read the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook and take online practice exams to prepare for the written test
  • Step 2: Visit your nearest DMV office to apply for your Learner’s Permit
    • Submit the required documents & ID
    • Pass the written test
    • Pass the vision test
    • Have your photo taken
    • Submit payment
    • Receive a Temporary Driving Certificate
      • Receive your Learner’s Permit via U.S. mail within 15 days
  • Step 3: Practice driving to prepare for the road test
  • Step 4: Make an appointment at your nearest DMV office for the road test
  • Step 5: Travel to the DMV office on the day of the test
    • Submit the required documents & ID
    • Pass the vision test (if applicable)
    • Pass the written test (if applicable)
    • Pass the road test
    • Submit payment
    • Receive a Temporary Driving Permit
  • Step 6: Receive your new Class C driver’s license via U.S. mail within 15 business days

 

Caveats and Exceptions to Getting your North Carolina Driver License

  • Don’t need to practice driving before the road test?  Then you do not need a Learner’s Permit.
  • Don’t have a Social Security number?  Then you will need to provide documentation (Permanent Resident Card, 1-94 Form, Employment Authorization Card) to prove your legal presence in the U.S.
  • Under age 18?  Then you will need to complete the Graduated Driver Licensing program in order to obtain your full Class C driver’s license.
  • Need a REAL ID?  Then visit our North Carolina REAL ID [embedded link] page to find out what is required.

 

Need other North Carolina DMV help for free?

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