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Getting a License or Learner Permit


DMV Examiner

Contactless Road Tests & Road Test Waivers ​

Contactless road tests are now available at limited locations by appointment for those who may not be eligible for a waiver or those Level 2 drivers that have received a waiver and now need a road test to advance to Level 3. See if you are eligible for a contactless road test.

Temporary road test waivers are still in place to allow some qualified drivers to get their regular Class C license. Read More​.

To get a North Carolina learner permit, an individual must be at least 18 years old and apply in person at an N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles driver license office. (Individuals at least 18 years old may also apply for a driver license.)

Note: Teens 15 to 17 years old must apply for a limited learner permit as part of a graduated licensing process.

Qualified applicants must successfully complete required knowledge, road sign recognition, vision and driving tests (Please note:​ Please see the information in the Contactless Road Tests & Road Test Waivers section above) and take the following required documents to an NCDMV driver license office.

Note: NCDMV also offers an N.C. REAL ID driver license, which requires additional information and requirements.

North Carolina issues learner permits from a central location and mails them to applicants within 20 days. Driver license applicants receive a Temporary Driving Certificate to use until their permit arrives.

Note: Applying for a North Carolina driver license or learner’s permit will cancel any licenses or permits from other states through the State-to-State Verification program​.

Permit Fees

Applicants must pay a fee to be issued a North Carolina learner permit. View a list of licenses and fees.

Appointments Required 

Appointments are required for ALL services that need to be completed in a driver license office. Make your appointment online now. Learn more about making an appointment online.​​​


  • A learner permit authorizes unlicensed drivers to drive a specified type or class of motor vehicles while in possession of the permit.
  • While operating a motor vehicle, a permit holder must be accompanied in the front passenger seat by a licensed adult.
  • 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.

2/12/2021 12:46 PM

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