This Step: Practice Driving
Practice Driving in North Carolina
Your North Carolina learner permit allows you to legally practice driving on NC roads and highways while being supervised. If you are younger than 18 years old, you must hold your permit for 12 months without any moving violation convictions or seat belt/mobile phone infractions within the preceding 6 months before you can graduate to a level two limited provisional license.
If you are 18 years old or older, you can apply for a drivers license when you feel prepared to pass the on-the-road driving skills test.
A) Know Your Learner Permit Restrictions
Anytime you get behind the wheel to practice driving, you must:
- Be accompanied by a supervising driver who is seated in the front passenger seat; this person must be licensed to operate the type of motor vehicle you are driving
- Only drive the specified type or class of motor vehicle allowed with your permit
- Only drive between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. for the first 6 months with your supervising driver (if younger than 18 years old)
- You may NOT use a mobile telephone or other additional technology associated with a mobile phone while driving on public vehicular areas (unless you are faced with an emergency; in that case, you can call an emergency response operator, hospital, physician’s office, health clinic, ambulance company, fire departments, law enforcement agency or your parent, legal guardian or spouse)
B) Get on the Road
Once you are familiar with your permit restrictions and you have your supervising driver with you, begin practicing behind the wheel. The more experience you get with varying road conditions (heavy traffic, not-so-perfect weather, etc.), the better prepared you will be to handle challenging situations when you are driving unsupervised. Plus, the more you practice, the more likely you are to pass the road test the first time around.