Types of Driver’s Licenses in North Carolina

by Joshua on July 03, 2013

Anyone living in the state of North Carolina that wishes to operate a motorized vehicle of any kind on the roads must obtain a driver’s license. The essential law helps protects motorized as well as other residents in the state from certain amounts of danger but assuring that each driver must fully understand traffic laws and the consequences of not obeying them. In addition, the information provided can assist all drivers with becoming safe and defensive drivers. There are many different types of driver’s licenses that you can obtain in the state of North Carolina and the one that you will require will depend on a number of factors. Your age, whether or not you have previously held a license, the type of vehicle you wish to operate and even the uses you will have for it will make a difference in which application process you should begin. It is important to understand who each license is intended for so that you do not waste time and money, and fail the testing when you study the wrong materials.

First Time Driver’s License

This license application is meant for those under the age of 18 that have never held a driver’s license in North Carolina or any other state. This type of license is unique in many ways from any other license you can obtain through the Department of Motor vehicles. Applicants must obtain a learner’s permit before they may begin practicing for the tests. In addition, this license is rewarded in three stages:

  • Learners Permit License or driver’s permit is a very restricted license. The holder can only drive with supervision from an approved licensed driver and is not allowed on the highways.
  • Intermediate License is the second phase and is issued after passing the written skills and road tests. This is similar to the standard license as it is obtained after completion of drivers Ed, the signs test and the road skills test but with certain restrictions. These restrictions include the amount of hours that a driver may be on the road and the hours that they are allowed to drive.
  • Full License is the final stage in which case the new driver is granted full road privileges.

Standard Class C Drivers License

This is the most common form of license in the state and is used for regular operation of a person vehicle for work or recreational usage. Any driver over the age of 18 who has not previously held a license and new residents to the state of North Carolina must obtain this license. This license requires two forms of proof of identity such as a state or school ID, proof of citizenship with a birth certificate and social security card and proof of residency such as a utility bill or school records. In addition, applicants must provide acceptable proof of insurance or proof of liability. You can obtain a Class C license without a vehicle and insurance but there will be a ten dollar fee to remove the restriction when you register your first vehicle. To obtain this license driver must complete the following steps:

  1. Apply for the license and provide required proofs. You must also take the vision test at this time.
  2. Take the written skills and signs tests and pass. It is important to study the North Carolina driver’s manual beforehand, as well as use some of the excellent practice tests offered at sites such as dmvcheatsheets.com.
  3. Take the road skills test through a certified testing company. You can find helpful tips to assist you in preparing for this DMV Test online.

Commercial Driver’s License

This is a license meant for those wishing to operate a commercial vehicle to both transport goods and materials, or operate some form of public transportation such as a school bus. You must be over the age of 18 to operate a commercial vehicle within state lines and over 21 if you wish to driver out of the state. This type of license follows the same process as a class C license with a few differences. There are different aspects to driving a commercial vehicle than that of a personal one, so therefore the information you must know is different. It is important to study the North Carolina Commercial Driver’s Handbook as this is where the questions on your written skills test will derive from.

In addition, you will be required to take specific tests depending on the type of commercial vehicle you intend to operate and what its purpose will be. For example you will need a specific endorsement if you wish to drive a school bus, and another if you operate a commercial vehicle transporting hazardous materials.

Motorized Vehicle License

There are several types of vehicle in need of this license. The state defines a motorized vehicle as any vehicle that drivers on the road and is designed with an attached motor. This includes mopeds, motorcycles, off-road vehicle such as RVs and even motorized bicycles. This type of license again has its own specific set of requirements above the standard class C license. For example, all applications are required to take drivers education to operate a motorcycle regardless of age. The testing process is similar to that of the class C but will be specific to attached motor vehicles so it is important to study the motorcycle handbook before testing. In addition a road test is required but in the case it will consist of an obstacle course and point system grading to pass.

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