Renewing Your CDL in North Carolina

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What to Bring

When your CDL is about to expire, the DMV will mail you a reminder card. You do not have to bring the card with you to renew, but you should bring your current or expired license with you to any driver license office.

If you don't have your current or expired license, you will have to show acceptable identification. You must also bring proof of your Social Security number.

No Online or Mail Renewal

You cannot renew your CDL by mail or online.

How to Renew

North Carolina began phasing in a five-year license renewal program in 1995. Depending on your age, your renewal dates will vary. The reminder card you receive in the mail will tell you when your license will expire.

You will always have to take the vision and traffic sign recognition tests when renewing. You will not have to repeat your road test at renewal except at the examiner's discretion. You may be asked to take a medical exam.

When your CDL is about to expire, it is also a great time to add endorsements to your license. You will have to train, apply, and take tests for these, just as you did when you applied for a new CDL.


  • Endorsements require yearly fees of $3 each.
  • The CDL is $15 per year;the full period is paid upfront.

New Federal Requirements

You must self-certify your type of vehicle operation with the North Carolina DOT. This means you must self-certify one of the following driving categories:

  • Non-Excepted Interstate
  • Excepted Interstate
  • Non-Excepted Intrastate
  • Excepted Intrastate

If you choose Non-Excepted Interstate, you must, in addition to a completed self-certification application, provide the DOT with a federal medical certificate.

Questions? The NC DOT has answers.

Find more CDL information on our site: Applying for a New CDL, Replacing a Lost CDL, Commercial Driver Education, and Commercial Driver FAQs.

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