What is the driving age in North Carolina?

My 14-year-old-son is asking about a learner’s permit. We just moved to North Carolina, and I haven’t had time to look into license requirements yet. What’s the driving age in North Carolina?

Amber Reed · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
The driving age in
North Carolina
is 15. Teens can get a learner’s permit at 15 years old as long as they’re enrolled in driver’s ed. Just bring your son to the local DMV office with proof of identity, and once he takes (and passes) the vision and written tests, he’ll be issued a learner’s permit.
A North Carolina learner’s permit allows teens to operate a vehicle under the supervision of a licensed driver. The learner’s permit can be upgraded to a limited provisional license (LPL) once the driver:
  • Turns 16 years old
  • Has had their learner’s permit for at least six months
  • Has logged 60 hours of supervised driving
The LPL allows teens to drive alone between the hours of 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. if they’re going to or from school, work, or an essential service like a medical appointment.
Once the driver has held the limited provisional license for six months and logged an additional 12 hours of driving, they are eligible to schedule a road test and earn their full provisional driver’s license (FPL). This license allows teens to drive at any time without supervision, but it may be revoked if the driver is suspended from school.
Once the driver turns 18, they can visit their local DMV office and exchange their FPL for an unrestricted license.
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