North Carolina (NC) Learner's Permit

Getting Your North Carolina Learners Permit: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 06, 2022

If you’re looking to get a North Carolina learners permit, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll explain all the details you need to know as a new driver.

What is a North Carolina Limited Learner Permit?

The limited learner permit is the first step towards getting your full license. You can apply for one when you turn 15, and it is required for any teen under the age of 18 looking to start their licensing journey. It lets you practice driving under the supervision of a licensed adult.

How to Get a Learners Permit in North Carolina

You will need to complete quite a few requirements and steps to get your learners permit. Here is a summarization of the requirements:

  1. A state-approved driver’s education course is required. You can take one at most public and private high schools throughout the state. It must consist of 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
  2. After successful completion of a driver’s education course, your high school will issue you a driving eligibility certificate. You will take this to the NCDMV in order to complete your permit application.
  3. Upon visiting the DMV, you will be asked to present documentation. Be sure to bring proof of identity, date of birth, social security number, and two documents proving NC residency. Here is a list of acceptable documents.
  4. A vision test will be administered at the time of your visit to the DMV, You will be required to score a 20/40 or higher to pass.
  5. The road sign recognition test and the written knowledge test are the two most important examinations you’ll take throughout the entire graduated driver’s license program. They will test your ability to identify common road signs in North Carolina, as well as how well you know common traffic laws throughout the state. These tests are 25 questions and you must answer 20 correctly to get a passing score.
  6. After successful completion of the above tests, you will be charged a $20 permit fee payable by cash, card, check, or money order. Your drivers permit will be granted to you after payment is collected.

Among the steps above, the most difficult part to complete is the written knowledge test (about 50% fail nationwide). If you want to pass on your first try, use Zutobi. Zutobi is a gamified learning platform allowing new drivers like you to learn how to pass your driving exams.

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Learner’s Permit Restrictions

The state of North Carolina imposes certain restrictions on all drivers holding a learner’s permit. Make sure to read through the list carefully so you don’t accidentally violate any restriction:

  • Must have the permit in hand at all times
  • Must have a supervising driver in the front seat
  • May only drive between 5am and 9pm for first six months, may drive anytime with supervision after first six months
  • All people in vehicle must be wearing a seatbelt

How to Progress to the Next License

To move on to a limited provisional license, you must hold your learners permit for at least 12 months. You must also present a driving log with 60 hours of driving, of which 10 must be at night.

You cannot have had any traffic infractions or violations six months before the provisional license application.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting a North Carolina learners permit as a teenager. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, North Carolina practice tests, and a gamified learning experience on web and mobile. Study with us and pass your knowledge test on your first try!

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