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How to Get an NC Driver's License for New Residents

New to the State? How to Get Your North Carolina Driver's License


New residents have 60 days to apply for an NC driver's license. Licenses in North Carolina are issued from 5-8 years depending on your age. Your license is issued for a period of 5 or 8 years depending on your age. If you are ages 18-65 it is 8 years and if you are 66 or older then it is 5 years.

If you are a new resident age 18 or older, applying for the first time for an NC drivers license you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of Residency - You will need one document that proves your residency like a voter registration card, an NC vehicle registration or correspondence from the Social Security registration. Examples of qualifying documents for proof of residency.
  • Proof of Age & Identity - You will need two documents that prove your age and identity. One of those documents must be a Social Security Card, or documentation issued by the U. S. Government indicating legal presence. If you are not eligible for a Social Security Card, you must provide documentation issued by the U. S. Government indicating your legal presence in this country. The other document can be your driver's license from another state, your birth certificate or any one of these other documents.
  • Proof of Liability Insurance - You will need one document that proves that you have liability insurance. Most people provide their insurance card or policy for this
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When applying for your NC Driver License you will be also asked about organ donation, voter registration and selective service registration.

You will be required to pass the following tests:

  • Knowledge test (must be completed by 4:30 p.m.)
  • Vision test
  • Traffic signs recognition test
  • Driving skills test (if the examiner deems necessary). No driving skills test will be initiated After 4 p.m.
For more about the various tests and to download the NC Driver's Handbook go here.

Your picture will be taken and you will be charged the appropriate fees. Note that payment for transactions at DMV Offices are limited to cash, money order or personal checks. No other forms of payment are accepted, including debit and credit cards. North Carolina has started issuing driver's licenses from a central location in Raleigh, so instead of your license you may receive a temporary permit whild you wait for you license to arrive in the mail.

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