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How to Get a Learner’s Permit in North Carolina – Tips, Steps, and Requirements

North Carolina Learner’s Permit Requirements:

  • Minimum Age for Permit: 15
  • Test Required: Knowledge Exam
  • Required Time to Hold Permit (GDL): 12 months
  • Supervised Driving Requirement: 60 hours, 10 of which must be at night, learner phase; 12 hours, 6 of which must be at night, intermediate phase
  • Driver’s Education: Driver’s education is required for drivers under 18 years old. A course consists of 30 hours of classroom training and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.

On this page you’ll find all your answers to the common questions on how to get your North Carolina driving permit. 

We’ll cover the eligibility and application requirements, as well as what you’ll need to do before moving to the next step in the licensing process. 

Plus, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to make the process as simple as possible and help you pass your written test on the first try. 

How old do you have to be to get your learner’s permit in North Carolina?

To apply for a learner’s permit in North Carolina, you’ll need to be at least 15 years old. 

The learner’s permit is the first major step towards getting a driver’s license. In this phase, you can expect to:

  • Complete Driver’s Ed.
    • Driver’s Ed consists of 30 hours of classroom training and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training. 
  • Pass a written exam.
  • Practice driving with a supervising driver. 
  • Hold your permit for a minimum amount of time. 

Continue reading below for more details on all of this. 

Do you need a learner’s permit if you are 18 or older in North Carolina?

If you’ve never held a driver’s license before, you still need to apply for a learner’s permit and pass the DMV tests before you can get your full driver’s license to drive by yourself. 

However, unlike younger drivers, you will typically not need to satisfy the other requirements, such as: 

  • Completing a driver’s education course. 
  • Having your permit for a minimum amount of time. 
  • Completing a minimum number of supervised driving hours. 
  • Having a provisional license with passenger restrictions and nighttime driving restrictions. 

In most cases, you’ll be able to schedule and take your road test as soon as you are ready after passing the written exam. 

How to Get a Learner’s Permit in North Carolina

To get your learner’s permit, you’ll need to:

  • Make an appointment.
  • Visit the DMV office.
  • Submit an application, proof of your identity, and proof of residency.
  • Pass a vision exam.
  • Pass a road signs test.
  • Pass a knowledge test.
  • Pay the required fees.

If you are under 18 years old, you should also be prepared to provide proof of school enrollment and have your parent or legal guardian accompany you to the DMV to sign your forms.

If you are under 18 years old, you’ll need to hold your learner’s permit and practice driving for at least 12 months.

How much does a driver’s permit cost in North Carolina?

The fee for a learner’s permit is $21.50.

Who can be in the car with a permit driver in North Carolina?

Remember, you are not allowed to drive by yourself when you have a learner’s permit. 

Whenever you are behind the wheel, you must be accompanied by a licensed adult.

If you are under 18 years old, you’ll need to log supervised driving hours with your supervising driver while you have your permit. 

In North Carolina, you’ll need to complete 60 hours of supervised driving with 10 completed at night.

In most cases, as long as your supervising driver is seated in the front passenger seat next to you, you can have other passengers in the backseat while you drive. 

How to Study for the Driving Permit Test in North Carolina

In order to get your permit, you’ll first need to pass the driver’s license written test

This is something that gives many new drivers a bit of anxiety. 

However, if you study and prepare, you’re sure to pass your test on the first try. 

Every question and answer you’ll encounter on the DMV written test can be found in the North Carolina driver’s handbook.

Your first step in preparing to take the written exam is reading through the handbook. 

After you’ve done that, has all the free resources you could ask for to take your studies to the next level. You can check them out here:

Next Steps: Passing the Road Test and Getting your Driver’s License

Once you’ve satisfied the requirements for your learner’s permit, you’ll be ready to move on to the next step of the licensing process. 

Next, you’ll need to schedule an appointment for your driving test. 

After passing the road test, you’ll be able to drive by yourself!

Find more details about getting your driver’s license in North Carolina

For updates and official information regarding your learner’s permit, please visit the North Carolina DMV website at:

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