Within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence in North Carolina, new residents who plan to operate a motor vehicle must get a North Carolina driver license and title and register their vehicles with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Because each state is different, new residents should also familiarize themselves with the
North Carolina Driver's Handbook, which outlines North Carolina's laws and regulations regarding roadway safety.
Getting a License
New residents must visit
an NCDMV driver license office to
apply for a North Carolina driver license and take any required tests. Written and road tests may be waived for individuals with a valid license from another state.
Once North Carolina issues a driver license, out-of-state licenses are no longer valid and should be properly discarded or surrendered to:
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles
Driver License Section
3120 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3120
NOTE: A valid license issued by a government agency from a U.S. state or another country is required to drive legally in North Carolina. North Carolina law enforcement authorities do not recognize international driver licenses.
Registering a Vehicle
After obtaining a North Carolina driver license, new residents must also register their vehicle when they accept gainful employment or at the expiration of the time granted by the reciprocity agreement between North Carolina and their prior state of residence (usually 30 days), whichever occurs first.
Although new residents can initially register vehicles without an inspection, North Carolina requires
a vehicle inspection before they can renew their vehicle registration.