How do I?
Driver License By Mail

License by Mail, Learn More

North Carolina issues driver licenses from a central location and mails them to applicants for learner permits, renewal and original driver licenses, and identification cards.

Teen driver at DMV Office

Detailed up-to-date information regarding the "steps to getting" a North Carolina driver license or learner permit can be found in the:

Step 1, Choose License Type

Determine which license is appropriate for you.

  • For drivers 18 years or older, a standard driver license or learner permit (continue on this page)
  • Commercial driver license (CDL) for heavy transport vehicles or high-occupancy passenger vehicles
  • Limited learner permit for new drivers under the age of 18

Note: NCDMV now offers an N.C. REAL ID driver license. Additional information and requirements are available here.

Step 2, Requirements & Documents

License Expiration

Your license is issued for a period of 5 or 8 years depending on your age.

  • Ages 18 to 65: 8 years
  • Age 66 or older: 5 years

The cost of a license and endorsements is based on the yearly charge.

You will need to bring 4 documents total

Note: Requirements and documents for an N.C. REAL ID driver license are different than those for a standard license. Additional information is available here.

To avoid inconveniences, make sure you have all necessary documents before visiting the Driver License Office. Note: The Division may copy the documents presented or hold the documents for a brief period of time to verify their authenticity.

In order to apply for the first time issuance of an NC Driver License or Learner Permit, you will need to gather documents from the following categories:

Proof of Age & Identity
  • You must provide two documents from this category. One of the documents must contain your full name and date of birth. Listed on the menu below are examples of documents you can use, provided they include your full name.
  • Acceptable Documents
Proof of Social Security
  • You will need a Social Security card or proof of Social Security Number by presenting one of the following documents:
  • Acceptable Documents
Proof of Residency
  • If you are a U.S. citizen and a first-time customer in North Carolina, you must show proof of your residence address in this state. Documents you can present as proof of residency include:
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide documentation issued by the U.S. government indicating legal presence:
Proof of North Carolina Liability Insurance

Step 3, Additional Services

When applying for your North Carolina driver license, you have the option to:

Step 4, Take Driver Tests & Pay Fees

The final step towards getting your original NC Driver License is passing the driver tests & paying the appropriate fees.


The fees for an original NC driver license are as follows:

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles accepts Cash, money orders, personal checks[?] and American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit cards at all NCDMV office locations.

Driver License
Class A License [?] $5/yr
Class B License [?] $5/yr
Class C License [?] $5/yr
Duplicate License [?] $13
Motorcycle Endorsement $2.30/yr
Learner Permit
Duplicate Permit $13
Learner Permit $20
Motorcycle Learner Permit $20

Licensing Fees, Contact Information

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If you suffer from a mental or physical disability that might affect driving safety, a license may not be issued. A disabled person may be issued a restricted license provided the disability does not keep him/her from driving safely.

A disabled person may be issued a restricted license provided the disability does not keep him/her from driving safely.


No matter what type of license you are applying for your vision will be checked. If you need corrective lenses, you must wear the lenses at all times while driving.

The penalty for driving without the proper corrective lenses is the same as driving without a license.

Learner Permit

As a permit holder, while operating a motor vehicle over the highways, you must be accompanied by a person who is licensed to operate the motor vehicle being driven & is seated in the front, passenger seat.

A learner permit authorizes you to drive a specified type or class of motor vehicles while in possession of the permit.