To get a North Carolina driver license for the first time, an individual must be at least 18 years old and apply in person at
an N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles driver license office.
Note: Individuals at least 18 years old may also apply first for a
learner permit. Teens 15 to 17 years old must apply for a limited learner permit as a part of
a graduated licensing process.
Qualified applicants must successfully complete
required knowledge, road sign recognition, vision and driving tests and take the following required documents to an NCDMV driver license office.
Note: An individual's name must match the name on the documents above, otherwise they must provide a proof of name change, such as a certified marriage license or certificate, divorce decree or document from the courts or Register of Deeds.
Licenses issued to adults age 18 to 65 are valid for eight years; licenses issued to adults age 66 and over are valid for five years.
Additional Requirements & Restrictions
- Additional requirements may apply, depending on the type of license and individual needs.
- An individual who does not own or drive a currently registered vehicle can still apply for a license but might be restricted to driving only fleet vehicles. To remove the restriction, they must present proof of financial liability insurance and pay a duplicate-license fee.
- NCDMV might not license an individual who suffers from a mental or physical condition that might keep them from driving safely. A person with a disability might be issued a restricted license, provided the condition does not keep them from driving safely.