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Frequently Asked Questions - North Carolina Teen Driver

Before applying for a learner’s permit, you should study the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, which covers the following topics:

• Chapter One—Your License
• Chapter Two—Alcohol and the Law
• Chapter Three—Your Driving Privilege
• Chapter Four—Your Driving
• Chapter Five—Signals, Signs and Pavement Markings
• Chapter Six—Sharing the Road
• Chapter Seven—How DMV Serves You

The driver’s handbook is available on the North Carolina Department of Transportation DMV website or at any local DMV office.

To obtain a Limited Provisional License or Full Provisional License in North Carolina, applicants must meet the following requirements:

Level Two Limited Provisional License
• You must be at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old.
• You must have held a Limited Learner Permit for 12 months.
• You must not have any moving violation convictions or seatbelt or mobile phone infractions within six months prior to applying.
• You must be able to pass the road test.
• You must pay the Limited Provisional License fee of $15.

The Level Two Limited Provisional License will automatically expire once you turn 18.

Level Three Full Provisional License
• You must be at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old.
• You must have held a Limited Provisional License for six months.
• You must not have any moving violation convictions or seatbelt or mobile phone infractions within six months prior to applying.
• You must pay the Full Provisional License Fee of $4.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol recommends that parents and teens enter into a driving agreement. You can download a copy at the North Carolina Department of Crime Control & Public Safety website at the following address:

http://www.nccrimecontrol.org/index2.cfm?a=000001,000113,000440,001326,0...

All teen drivers in North Carolina are prohibited from using any type of mobile phone or technology associated with a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle. As of June 2009, all drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.

You must successfully complete a state-approved driver’s education course that includes the following:

• 30 hours of classroom instruction including alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness.
• Behind-the-wheel instruction that will be divided into actual driving time and observing other drivers.

Driver’s education courses are offered through either private or public school programs.

The State of North Carolina has the following restrictions:

Level One Limited Learner’s Permit
• You must be supervised by a parent, legal guardian, grandparent or another licensed adult driver approved by your parent or legal guardian. The supervisor must have held a license for five years and they must be seated next to you at all times.
• During the first six months, you can only drive between 5 am and 9pm with a supervising driver.
• You are prohibited from using any type of cell phone, text messaging device or personal digital assistant while operating a motor vehicle except in an emergency.

Level Two Limited Provisional License
• You can only drive unsupervised from 5 am to 9 pm.
• You can drive unsupervised if you are traveling:

1. To or from your place of employment
2. To or from a volunteer fire, rescue or emergency medical services job.

• You are not allowed to have more than one passenger in the vehicle under 21 while driving unsupervised unless they are a member of your family or household.
• You are prohibited from using any type of cell phone, text messaging device or personal digital assistant while operating a motor vehicle except in an emergency.

Level Three Full Provisional License
• You are prohibited from using any type of cell phone, text messaging device or personal digital assistant while operating a motor vehicle except in an emergency.

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles requires applicants to submit proof of age, identity, residency, liability insurance and Social Security number by submitting the following documents:

Proof of Age & Identity (Two documents are required and they must include your full name and date of birth)
• Valid unexpired driver license or state-issued identification card from anther state, U.S. territory, Puerto Rico or a Canadian province
• Driver license, learner permit or identification card with photo that has been expired less than one year (can be used as one form of identification)
• Valid unexpired driver license, learner permit or identification card without a photo (can be used as one form of identification)
• Certified birth certificate issued by a government agency in the United States, Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory or Canada, or U.S. Report of Consular Birth Abroad (Birth certificates issued by Puerto Rico prior to July 1, 2010 will not be accepted. No photocopies will be allowed unless they are certified by a government agency.)
• Social Security card or documentation issued by the United States government indicating legal presence.
• Official North Carolina school registration records signed by a school official, diploma or GED issued by a North Carolina school
• Unexpired United States military identification including DD-2, DD-214, Common Access Card and U.S. military dependent’s card
• Valid unexpired passport from any nation with unexpired INS stamp (I-94 or I-551) (A passport with a valid INS stamp counts as two documents.)
• Certified marriage certificate from a Register of Deeds or appropriate government agency in the U.S., U.S. territory, Puerto Rico or Canada
• Limited driving privilege issued by the State of North Carolina (cannot be expired more than one year)
• Valid unexpired documents issued by the U.S. government (An expired immigration document may be valid if accompanied by a letter from the INS extending the expiration date (I-797) (Primary INS document must have the applicant’s photo)
• Court documents from U.S. jurisdiction, U.S. territory, Puerto Rico or Canada (divorce decree, court order to change of name or gender, adoption papers, certified court order for child support)
• U.S. Veterans Universal Access Card

Proof of Social Security Number
• Social Security card
• 1099 form
• W-2 form
• DD-214 form
• Property tax record
• Payroll record or paystub
• Social Security document showing applicant’s Social Security number
• Military identification card or military dependent’s identification card
• Medicaid or Medicare card with Social Security number

Proof of North Carolina Residency
• I-551 Permanent Resident Card
• Machine readable immigrant visa
• I-766 Employment Authorization Card
• Temporary I-551 stamp on I-94 or in passport
• I-327 Re-entry Permit with supporting immigration documentation
• I-94 arrival and departure record
• I-20 accompanied by I-94

Proof of Liability Insurance (Provide one document from this category)
• Insurance card
• Original liability insurance policy or binder

The insurance documents must show the applicant’s name, effective date of policy, date the policy was issued and the expiration date of the policy.

When applying for a learner’s permit or driver’s license, you will need to do the following:

• Submit a Driving Eligibility Certificate, high school diploma or its equivalent if you are under 18. The certificate must be signed by your school administrator certifying that you are currently enrolled in high school.
• Your parent or legal guardian must sign the application.
• You must pay the appropriate permit or license fee in cash, check or money order.

The DMV will revoke the license of anyone under 18 if it receives notice that the person is no longer eligible for a Driving Eligibility Certificate.

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the following requirements when applying for a permit:

Level One Limited Learner’s Permit
• You must be at least 15 years old but less than 18 years old.
• You must be able to pass the written, sign and vision tests.
• You must have a high school diploma or an equivalent.
• You must have a Driving Eligibility Certificate if you have not graduated from high school.
• You must pay the Limited Learner Permit fee of $15.

The Level One Limited Learner’s Permit will automatically expire once you turn 18.

The State of North Carolina requires drivers to pass the following tests:

Driving Knowledge Test
• The written knowledge test consists of multiple-choice questions regarding North Carolina traffic laws and safe driving practices. You must correctly answer 20 out of 25 questions in order to pass the test.

Traffic Signs
• You must be able to identify the regulatory and warning signs by their color and shape and explain what each sign means in order to pass the traffic signs test.

Vision Screening Test
• You must be able to pass the vision-screening test with a visual acuity of 20/40 or 20/50 with the use of corrective lenses. If your visual acuity is 20/70 with corrective lenses, you will be restricted to driving on roads that have a speed limit of not more than 45 miles per hour and you will be prohibited from driving on any interstate highway. Your field of vision must be at least 60 degrees in one eye or 30 degrees on each side of the central point of fixation.

Driving Skills Test
• During the road test, you will be asked to perform basic driving maneuvers which include some of the following:

1. Approaching an intersection
2. Obeying traffic signals and stop signs
3. Stopping, starting and parking
4. Backing up
5. Following another motor vehicle
6. Three-point turn
7. Use of turn signals and horn
8. Passing another vehicle and being passed
9. Yielding the right of way to pedestrians and other vehicles

The driving skills test will not be initiated after 4 pm.