Updated September 2021
The Ultimate Guide to Passing Your North Carolina Road Test
We know that taking your North Carolina road test can be nerve-wracking. With a little preparation and insight into the test itself, there's nothing to be worried about. This guide will make sure you know the specific requirements in North Carolina, what you can expect on the road test itself, and give our best practice tips. Here's exactly what you need to know to pass your North Carolina road test. And if you want to watch a mock North Carolina road test video, read until the end!
What to know before your North Carolina road test
First, we recommend that you have a road test scheduled. You can do a walk-in at many locations, but you might be waiting a while. For a first-time driver's license in North Carolina, you'll need to visit an NC DMV location in person, so you can schedule your road test then as well. Next, make sure you have valid registration and insurance for the vehicle you'll be taking your test in. You'll need these documents when you check-in at the DMV. Lastly, make sure your testing vehicle meets North Carolina requirements, and that you have a licensed driver to accompany you to your road test. We've listed out the car requirements for you in the next section, to make it easier to go through and check off each one.
Once you verified your road test, paperwork, and car requirements, it's time for more practice. In North Carolina, unlike a few other states, you can practice in the area around the DMV where your road test is scheduled. We strongly recommend that you do, as this is likely where part of your road test will be. Take time and get to know the area 🙂
What are the vehicle requirements for the North Carolina road test?
Many people are denied testing because their car doesn't meet North Carolina requirements. We recommend checking these and checking them again. Here's what your road test vehicle needs:
- Current registration, insurance, and inspection sticker
- A windshield with no cracks or debris that would obstruct the view
- Key safety requirements: working speedometer, horn, rearview mirror, seatbelts, and windshield wipers.
- Working doors: the driver and passenger doors must open from the inside and outside.
- Working lights: brake lights, turn signal lights in front and back, headlights and taillights.
- No service or warning lights illuminated on the dashboard
If you don't have a vehicle that meets all of these requirements or a licensed driver to take you to your road test, you have a few options. You can get a car through a driving school, see if a friend or family can accompany you with their car, or Skip
offers a car and driver for the North Carolina road test which you can reserve ahead of time online.
What to know the day of your North Carolina road test
First, get to the DMV early! If you're late, they'll ask you to reschedule. Also remember to bring your driver's license fee, which is $5/year in North Carolina.
When you arrive, you'll go inside the DMV to check-in where you'll wait until it's time for your road test. The test itself is 10-15 minutes. It will go by quickly, so take your time. Every minute counts and you'll think and perform better if you don't rush.
In the next section, we'll go over exactly what you should practice to be most prepared to pass your road test 🙂
What will I be tested on for the North Carolina road test?
These are the maneuvers you can expect on your road test. We recommend practicing these until they are comfortable. Here's what to know:
- Turning. Remember to always use your signal and be sure to turn into the same lane you are turning from.
- Approaching intersections, stop signs, and traffic signals. For stop signs, remember you need to stop behind the white line.
- Backing. Be sure to actually turn and look instead of just using your rearview mirror. You will get points off if you don't.
- Stopping, starting, and parking. Do so smoothly and steadily.
- Quick stops. Always be looking and be able to react quickly when needed.
- Following another vehicle. Remember to follow at a safe distance. We recommend the 3-second rule, to give you enough space to react.
- Passing and being passed. Use your signal and pass at a safe distance.
- Yielding the right of way to pedestrians and vehicles. This is very important. Stay alert for pedestrians and know when you do and don't have the right of way.
- Three-point turnabouts. Also known as a K-turn, this is a common maneuver you want to make sure you know well.
Lastly, during your road test, it's highly likely that your examiner will be taking notes. This is nothing to worry about! The examiner may simply be checking off requirements as you complete them. Keep your eyes on the road and not on your examiner, and you'll do just fine.
What happens after my North Carolina road test?
Congratulations on making it this far! If you passed, the tester will let you know where to go to get your license. If you failed, not to worry, most people pass by their second try. Each time you take your road test in North Carolina, you'll need to have a licensed driver with you and car. In the meantime, keep practicing and re-schedule your road test when you feel ready 🙂
Now enjoy this video with YoGov concierge Adrienne who explains what you need to know on the North Carolina road test!
More North Carolina DMV Questions?
📌 Visit our North Carolina DMV information page
📌 Skip the DMV line! Get a line waiting concierge
📌 In a hurry? Get a DMV appointment fast
📌 Get all of this info for free on the Skip app (get $10 credit for the app with this link)
Need a car or driver for your road test?
Check availability in your area