To help prevent identity theft and fraud, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles issues driver licenses, learner permits and IDs from a central location and mails them to NCDMV customers in an unmarked envelope.
Note: Applying for a North Carolina driver license or ID card will cancel any licenses or ID cards from other states through the State-to-State Verification program.
Drivers receive a 60-day Temporary Driving Certificate, and their license, permit or ID card arrives before the certificate expires.
The certificate may be used only for driving purposes. It cannot be used for identification. Drivers may
renew their license or ID as early as six months before their card expires.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about how licenses and IDs are issued are listed below. For more information,
contact the NCDMV Customer Contact Center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Why does North Carolina issue licenses and IDs from a central location?
Because of concerns across the nation for the need to safeguard the production, manufacturing and issuance of driver licenses, the N.C. General Assembly enacted a law in July 2006 requiring the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles to issue driver licenses, learner permits and IDs from a central location instead of from driver license offices across the state.
What information is on a Temporary Driving Certificate?
A Temporary Driving Certificate contains the same demographic information (e.g., name and address) as a driver license.
What if I do not receive my new driver license before the Temporary Driving Certificate expires?
If you have not received your driver license before the Temporary Driving Certificate expires, call the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicle customer service at (919) 715-7000 or (919) 861-3555.
Will I receive a Temporary Driving Certificate if I just change my name or address on my current driver license?
Yes, but you can still use your old license as a photo ID until your new license arrives.
Can I register a vehicle with a Temporary Driving Certificate?
If you received the Temporary Driving Certificate when you renewed your license, you will need the certificate as well as unexpired state-issued photo identification to register a vehicle.