- Location: North Carolina
Drivers Permits in North CarolinaPage Overview
North Carolina's learner's permit is the first step toward securing a full-fledged driver's license. With it, you can legally operate a vehicle under limited conditions, providing the necessary experience needed for passing your driver's license skills test and in becoming a road-savvy driver.
If you're under 18 and want to get a provisional license, you first have to pass an approved driver education course.
You'll receive a Driving Eligibility Certificate (from the public school system) to present when getting your Level One Limited Learner's Permit (or you can present a high school diploma or equivalent) to operate vehicles that require a Class C license.
Your parent or guardian must sign for you when you apply for your permit. You will also have to show proof of residency, as well as your Social Security card. Then you will have to pass written, sign, and vision tests.
For further details about getting your learner's permit, see Driver Education.
Once you have your permit, the next step is to practice driving. You can drive with a supervising driver in the front seat (and no other passengers) from 5 a.m.-9 p.m. Six months after receiving your Level One permit, you can drive anytime with your supervising driver.
Who Can Supervise?
Your supervising driver must be your parent, grandparent, guardian, or a responsible person approved by your parent or guardian. Supervising drivers must be at least 21, have a valid driver license, and must have been licensed for at least five years.
The next step is passing your road test. To be eligible, you must have your learner's permit for 12 months with no convictions of moving violations or seatbelt infractions within the preceding six months.
Once you meet these requirements, and are at least 16 years old but younger than 18, you can apply for your Level Two provisional license. Pass the driving test and receive your license, and you can drive without supervision from 5 a.m.-9 p.m., and whenever you are driving to or from work or any volunteer fire, rescue or EMS opportunities.
Six months after you receive your license, if you have no convictions of moving violations or seat belt infractions within the previous six months, you can get your Level Three license, giving you full, unsupervised driving privileges.
This summary of the steps to take to get licensed is only the beginning. For more details, you should read the North Carolina Driver's Handbook online or visit your local driver license office to pick up a printed copy.
Level One and Level Two permits automatically expire on your 18th birthday. If you allow either one to expire you can reapply for a new permit at any DMV office.
To muscle confidence in taking the written test, you can gauge your road acumen with DMV.org's North Carolina-exclusive practice test. It features 25 multiple choice questions based on North Carolina rules and regulations.Other Topics in This Section