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So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in North Carolina? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of North Carolina has implemented a graduated driver license program for Iowa drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you begin the process of becoming a licensed driver in North Carolina.
You need to be 15 years old to be eligible to get an instruction permit in North Carolina. However, you may enroll in a state-approved drivers education course when you are 14 years, 6 months old to get a jump on the licensing process.
When you're ready to get your instruction permit, head down to the local driver's license office with the following items:
At the driver's license office, you will first be given a vision screening exam and then a written (knowledge) test. If you pass, then you will be issued an instruction permit.
Once you have your instruction permit, you may begin driving under the following restrictions:
To be eligible to move up to a provisional license, you must have had your 16th birthday, have held your instruction permit for 1 year and have had no traffic violations during the previous 6 months (this includes seat belt violations & cell phone violations).
When you're ready to upgrade to a provisional license, head down to the local driver's license office again, pay the license fee, and take the road test. If you pass it, you will be issued a North Carolina Provisional License.
With a provisional license, some restrictions still apply:
After you've had your provisional license for 6 months, you may apply for a full, unrestricted North Carolina driver's license.
State law requires that you have at least a certain amount of auto insurance/liability coverage on any vehicle you drive. The minimum amount of liability coverage required in North Carolina is as follows:
Driving without the required insurance liability coverage is a crime. If you are found to be driving while uninsured, you risk losing your license and paying a hefty fine.
Drinking while under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited in North Carolina, and the law is strictly enforced.
Upon your FIRST North Carolina DUI conviction, you will face the following penalties:
Further DUI violations will result in more severe penalties, including jail time and the revocation of your driver's license.
North Carolina law currently prohibits teen-aged drivers from using cell phones or text-messaging devices (this includes reading, composing, & sending text messages) while they are driving.
You can learn more about state-approved drivers education courses available in North Carolina by visiting the N.C. DMV website.
You’re free to go to the North Carolina licensing office and take the test for the North Carolina learners permit as soon as you receive your North Carolina CyberEdDriverEd.com driver education certificate of completion. Depending on where you live, you may be required to provide additional documentation, such as parental consent forms, medical records, your birth certificate, etc.
We strongly recommend that you contact your local North Carolina driver's license office to find out exactly what paperwork is needed when you go in to take your North Carolina learner's permit test.