Driver's Learning Permit in North Carolina

by Joshua on December 23, 2013

Most teenagers cannot wait until they are old enough to drive a car, but as with anything one must take baby steps to achieve this freedom. To become a licensed driver in North Carolina, a teenager must first have a learner’s permit

  1. Who is eligible for a learner’s permit?
  • A minimum of 15 years of age
  • Someone who has never been a licensed driver
  • A new resident of North Carolina who previously held a license from a different state, but that license has be expired for more than six months
  • A new driver over the age of 18 years of age

Step 1

The first step in getting a learner’s permit in North Carolina is to get a Driving Eligibility Certificate if you have not graduated from high school or received a GED. To get a Driving Eligibility Certificate, you have to complete a Driver’s Education Class You may enroll in a class once you reach the age of 14 ½ years and have a certified copy of your birth certificate or a valid passport. To sign up, you need to contact your local high school to arrange enrollment and to complete all of the necessary paperwork. There are three components of the Drivers Education Class: classroom work, eye exam and then time spent driving under the supervision of an instructor. After completing this step you can move on to the next step. If a person only completes the classroom work they are issued the Driving Eligibility Certificate. If they complete all three components, they are issued a Driver Education Certificate.

Step 2

After receiving a Driving Eligibility Certificate, you may apply for a Level One Limited Learner Permit. First, visit a local North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles with a parent or a guardian if you are under the age of 18. Pick up a copy of the North Carolina Driver’s Manual. You will need to submit an application to the DMV You will also have to provide proof of your birth date and identity. The DMV requires two forms of identification to prove this, and one must have your birth date on it. The list of acceptable forms of identification are: a certified original birth certificate, a valid passport, a valid US Military ID (or Military Dependents Card), an original social security card, a certified marriage certificate, valid documents from the US Bureau of Immigration Services, a drivers license from another state, a US Veterans Universal Access Card, valid court documents from a US jurisdiction or official transcripts from a school with a school official’s signature on them. The next step is to prove your social security number. This can done with social security card, some tax forms or a recent pay stub with social security number printed on it, or another form of government issued ID containing the number. The last component of this process is to pay the $15 fee.

Step 3

After successfully completing all of the parts of Step 2, you will be issued a Level One Limited Learner Permit. This will allow you to drive between the hours of 5:00 am and 9:00 pm with their supervising driver. This time restriction remains in place for the first six months after the permit is issued.

A supervising driver is someone who has held a valid drivers license for a minimum of five years. A supervising driver must be:

  • A parent
  • A legal guardian
  • A grandparent
  • An adult appointed by your parent or legal guardian

Once you have held your permit for longer than six months, you will be allowed to drive with your supervising driver at any time of the day or night. A permitted driver must not use a cell phone at any time while driving.

Step 4

After completing level one for one year without any moving, seatbelt or mobile phone violations, you may move up to a limited provisional license which allows you to drive from 5:00 am to 9:00 pm without supervision. You may also drive to/from work unsupervised. When driving unsupervised, you can only have one passenger in your vehicle under the age of 21.During this stop you have to keep a driving log on form DL-4B.

Step 5

After successfully holding a limited provisional license for six months, without receiving any moving, seatbelt or cell phone violations, you may move up to the full provisional license. This means you can drive at anytime unsupervised.

North Carolina Driving/School Policy

Schools in North Carolina may notify the DMV if a student under the age of 18 drops out or is suspended from more than 10 consecutive days, or is reassigned for more than 10 consecutive days to a different educational setting as a result of disciplinary action. This will result in the suspension of the minor’s license or permit. To reactivate their license, the minor will have to either wait twelve months or complete another Driving Eligibility Certificate.

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