Students who are at least 14½ years old and are pursuing a high school diploma or GED can enroll in an approved driver education course provided through North Carolina high schools. A birth certificate or passport is required to enroll.
Driver education courses consist of two phases:
- A classroom portion, which involves 30 hours of instruction and an eye exam
- A driving phase, which involves six hours behind the wheel
Upon completion, students receive a Driver's Education Certificate, which allows them to apply for a Level One Limited Learner Permit, the first level of North Carolina's graduated licensing process for drivers under age 18.
Driving Eligibility Certificate
High school students who are successfully completing their academic requirements are issued a Driving Eligibility Certificate by their school.
To receive a Driving Eligibility Certificate, an individual must be:
- Between 15 and 17 years old
- Currently enrolled in school
- Making progress toward a high school diploma or GED
If not enrolled in school, an individual must show that they or their family would face a substantial hardship if the individual did not receive a driver license.
Students attending schools outside of North Carolina can obtain an eligibility certificate from the public school they would normally attend if they were not enrolled in an out-of-state school.