North Carolina Learner's Permit

A learners permit in North Carolina has different restrictions depending on whether you are over or under the age of 18. 

How to Apply

You must apply at your local DMV. There are no options for applying online or by mail. There is a $15 fee for a learner's permit.

Driver’s Handbook
Study the Driver’s Handbook prior to getting your permit. It contains information you need to know in order to drive.

Proof of Identity

In order to prove your identity, you must provide four of the following documents with your date of birth and full name to the DMV: 


  • Birth certificate
  • Original Social Security card
  • School documents such as a diploma
  • Military ID
  • Passport
  • Certified marriage certificate
  • NC Limited Driving Privilege
  • U.S. government documents
  • U.S. Veterans Universal Access card
  • Court documents

Proof of Social Security
You will need one of the following:

  • Social Security card (no metal cards)
  • 1099 Form
  • W-2 Form
  • Property tax Record
  • DD-214 Form
  • Payroll Record or pay stub
  • Social Security document reflecting the Social Security number
  • Military ID Card/Military Dependents card
  • Medicaid/Medicare card reflecting the Social Security number

Proof of Residency

You must provide proof of residency with any of the following documents: 

  • Any document issued by the state of North Carolina or federal government
  • Bank or corporate statement
  • Business letterhead correspondence
  • Housing documents, such as mortgage records
  • Bill statements
  • School records
  • Letter from homeless shelter

Proof of Liability Insurance

You need to provide insurance documents which can include:

  • DMV form DL-123
  • An original liability insurance policy binder
  • An insurance card that shows your name, policy number, issue and expiration date


To get your permit you'll need to take the following tests:

  • Vision
  • Traffic signs
  • Driving Knowledge

When driving with a learners permit, you must have someone in the passenger seat who is licensed to drive a motor vehicle.

Find out more about drivers education in North Carolina here.