North Carolina Restricted License

North Carolina restricted licenses apply to young drivers with learner’s licenses and drivers with suspended licenses.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In North Carolina, drivers could have a restricted license if they have a learner’s license or a suspended license. If you’re a new and inexperienced driver or a driver charged with certain driving violations, you can still operate a car with limitations aimed to increase safety. 
If you want information about restricted licenses in North Carolina, then this is the article for you! Driving expert and
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comparison app
will break down the two types of restricted licenses in North Carolina. We’ll look at how you can obtain one, what restrictions you will have to drive with, and more.
Before we finish, we'll even fill you in on how to lower your
North Carolina car insurance costs
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What is a restricted license in North Carolina?

To understand the ins and outs of North Carolina restricted licenses, you need to first recognize the two different types:
  • Learner’s license: Drivers ages 15 to 17 years old need a learner’s license. 
  • Hardship license: This is for drivers whose license was suspended for a violation (for instance, a
    with a breathalyzer that showed a blood alcohol content of at least 0.8).
MORE: How to get cheap car insurance for young drivers

How to get a North Carolina learner’s license

If you want to get a learner’s license in North Carolina, you need to do the following:
  • Be at least 15 years old 
  • Pass a written knowledge test, a traffic signs test, a vision test, and a driving skills test
You will need to have the following documents:
  • A document that verifies your age and identity
  • A Social Security card or a document that proves your Social Security number
  • U.S. citizens need a document proving residency
  • Non-U.S. citizens need a document from the U.S. government that confirms their legal presence
Getting your learner’s license is a pivotal step toward getting your driver’s license in North Carolina.

Restrictions on a North Carolina learner’s license

Driving with a learner’s license is exciting but it does come with certain restrictions, all of which can keep you safe as you learn to drive. 
A learner’s license requires you to observe these limitations: 
  • Supervised driving only. Your supervisor must be sitting next to you as you drive and must be your parent, legal guardian, or a driver appointed by your parents. The supervising driver must have been a legal driver for at least five years and needs to have a valid North Carolina driver's license. 
  • You will have to adhere to a curfew. You can’t drive between 9 pm and 5 am for the first six months after getting your permit. 
  • You can not use your cell phone while driving on public roads.
  • If you are older than 18, the only restriction is that you cannot drive alone. A licensed driver has to be sitting next to you while you drive.
These restrictions apply to all drivers with a North Carolina learner’s license. 
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How to get a North Carolina hardship license

Having your driver’s license revoked for
reckless driving in North Carolina
can have a domino effect on the rest of your life. How will you get to work? How will you drive your kids to school? You will have to deal with a lot of inconveniences and getting your license reinstated can be challenging. 
One thing you can do is apply for a hardship license, which is really just another term for a restricted license. 
To apply for the hardship license, you need to do the following: 
  • File for one at a local county courthouse
  • Pay the fees ($100 for court costs and $100 for revocation) 
  • Complete a substance abuse assessment
  • You will need to complete a proof of car insurance via form DL-123
  • You will need to submit documentation of employment or school schedule

Restrictions on a North Carolina hardship license

A hardship license is intended to let drivers with a suspended license drive to and from work and/or school or a medical appointment—that’s it. If you have a hardship license, make sure you do not drive for any other reason.

How to find affordable car insurance in North Carolina

Young drivers and drivers who have been charged with a violation are likely to have high insurance rates. Luckily,
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