North Carolina law sets speed limits within municipal limits at 35 mph, if no signs are posted. They can be changed, however, by ordinances the N.C. Department of Transportation enacts. Changes to the speed limit inside city limits require the agreement of both the municipality and NCDOT.
If signs are not posted in areas outside municipalities, the speed limit is 55 mph. Motorists, however, should drive at reasonable and prudent speeds as dictated by driving conditions.
When NCDOT conducts a speed zone study and recommends a speed limit, it drafts the ordinance and submits it to the State Traffic Engineer's Office for approval. When it is approved, the Traffic Services Unit installs the appropriate speed limit signs.