This Step: Get a Learner Permit

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    Get a Learner Permit in North Carolina

    To legally practice driving, you must obtain one of the following North Carolina learner permits:

    • Level 1 Limited Learner Permit―15 to 17 years old and completed a state-approved driver ed course
    • Regular Learner Permit―18 years old and older

    All applicants must pass written driving knowledge, traffic sign and vision tests. Check the steps below for age-specific details on obtaining your NC learner permit.

    A) Ace a Few DMV Practice Permit Tests

    Before you apply, prepare for your North Carolina permit exam by taking multiple online practice permit tests. Sample test questions cover topics you’ll find on the North Carolina written permit exam.

    In addition to passing some practice tests, thoroughly study the North Carolina Driver’s Handbook until you feel prepared enough to breeze through the actual North Carolina learner’s permit test.

    B) Gather Required Documents and Permit Fees

    Make sure you have the following in check for your visit to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles office to take your written knowledge, traffic sign and vision tests.

    Level One Limited Learner Permit Requirements

    • Either a high school diploma (or equivalent) or a Driving Eligibility Certificate
    • The $15 permit fee. The NC DMV accepts cash, money order or personal checks

    Regular Learner Permit Requirements

    C) Take the Required NC Learner Permit Tests

    With the above requirements in hand, go to a nearby North Carolina DMV office to apply in person and take the required exams:

    Once you pass all three tests, you will receive either a Level 1 Limited Learner Permit (if you are 15 to 17 years old) or a regular learner permit (if you are 18 years old or older).

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