* California Course Only.
The process of applying for your North Carolina learner's permit or first North Carolina driver's license can be nerve-racking, but it doesn't have to be if you have the right information. The first thing you need to know is that North Carolina has a Graduated Driver License Program that is specially geared toward younger drivers like yourself. The program will allow you to safely gain driving experience in stages, before being granted full driving privileges.
Each stage of the process has its own guidelines, and there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that applying for your North Carolina driving license goes as smoothly as possible. So let's get started.
The North Carolina Instructional Permit or North Carolina Learner’s Permit
When you turn 14 and a half, you can enroll in a North Carolina driver education course, which will give you a head start on the licensing process (more info on driver education courses can be found at the bottom of this guide).
When you turn 15, you can apply for a North Carolina Learner’s Permit. You’ll need the following:
If you’ve got all of the necessary materials, head on down to your local North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and submit your application. Then, you’ll have to pass a vision test, as well as a written signs test. Your reward for putting up with all of this is your North Carolina Learner’s Permit!
Remember, the purpose of a learner's permit is to give you chance to polish your driving skills before moving on to the "real thing." For that reason, there are a few restrictions on your permit that you must obey:
Once you’ve had your learner's permit for 1 year in good standing and have met these few requirements, you’ll be ready for the next step in the North Carolina Graduated License Program: the provisional license.
The North Carolina Provisional Driver License or North Carolina Full License
You can apply for your North Carolina Limited Provisional license once you’ve held your North Carolina Learner’s Permit for at least 1 year and have met the following requirements:
If you have satisfied these requirements, then head on down to your local North Carolina DMV. Pay the license fee, and then take the road test (many people dread this part, but if you've been practicing diligently, it shouldn't present a problem). If you pass, then congratulations: you’ve just earned your North Carolina Limited Provisional License.
North Carolina Teen Driver License Restrictions and Penalties
You've come a long way since you began this process, but you’ll still have to drive with a few restrictions until you’ve held your new license for at least 6 months without incident:
Also, keep in mind the restrictions on your North Carolina Limited Provisional License:
This may seem awfully restrictive, but look on the bright side: once you’ve had your North Carolina Provisional license for 6 months you can apply for your North Carolina full driver’s license, which will mean freedom!
North Carolina Auto Insurance Financial Responsibility Laws
Once you receive your North Carolina Learner’s Permit or North Carolina Provisional driver’s license, you’re ready to drive--or are you? Not quite! Unfortunately, auto accidents are a fact of life for even the most seasoned drivers. Thus, North Carolina drivers are required by law to be covered by liability insurance. If you are in an accident and found to be driving without North Carolina mandatory liability insurance, your North Carolina license could be suspended.
The minimum liability insurance coverage is:
North Carolina Drunk Driving, Cell Phone, and Text Messaging Laws
As a North Carolina teen driver, it’s important for you to learn the North Carolina drunk driving, cell phone, and text messaging laws. Drunk or distracted drivers, needless to say, are a threat to themselves and others.
DUI. Like most states, North Carolina has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking, and if you are convicted of a North Carolina DUI or North Carolina DWI, you face penalties in addition to those listed below.
Upon your first conviction of a North Carolina DWI, you’ll face the following penalties:
And of course, further North Carolina DWI and DUI convictions will result in increased jail time, community service, fines, and North Carolina license suspension or even North Carolina license revocation.
Cell Phones. Currently, North Carolina teen drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving. The fine is $25-$100 in addition to court costs.
North Carolina Online Driver Education
You will need to complete a North Carolina-approved driver education course to qualify for a learner's permit. You can find more information on approved North Carolina online driver education courses on the North Carolina 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 TeenDrivingCourse.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.
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All teenage drivers are required to take a driver's education course in order to earn a learner's permit and driver's license. However, did you know that you can also earn high school credit by completing our course?
Transcripts will be issued by our partner Orion High School. Orion High School will issue 2.5 credits for completing this course. Please inquire at your school if they will accept this credit for Driver Education.
For only $50 plus shipping, we will process and send the transcript to your home address. Bring the transcript to your high school and they will process the credits!
If you want a transcript, simply add it to your order during online registration or upgrade later.
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