Updated July 5, 2021
North Carolina is home to a big stretch of the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway — a scenic roadway lined with mountains and forest. 7.6 million licensed North Carolina drivers travel through these winding, hilly and narrow roads. NC roads can also result in low visibility when foggy, making it challenging for even the most seasoned drivers to navigate.
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Though North Carolina ranks in the top 15 safest states for teen drivers, an epidemic of unbuckled teens plagues the state. In 2019, 47% of teens involved in a fatal crash were not wearing a seatbelt. That’s almost half! These fatalities can be avoided with a simple click. Buckle up, North Carolina! Keep reading for more details on driving in NC.
North Carolina Driver’s License Renewal Guide
How to Renew a North Carolina Driver’s License
What do I need and how do I renew my North Carolina driver’s license? Good questions.
Every driver in North Carolina will likely wonder how to renew a driver’s license at one point.
Our NC DMV driver’s license renewal guide explores everything you need to navigate the driver’s license renewal process including online renewal options, renewing your driver’s license in person or by mail, required license renewal fees, renewing an expired driver’s license, North Carolina REAL ID regulations, required license renewal documents, military ID renewal and more.
In North Carolina, you will be working with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles when doing anything with your driver’s license, vehicle registration, or car title. Check out their official website here and give them a call at (919) 715-7000 for answers to any additional questions you might have.
Online Driver’s License Renewal
Can you do NC driver’s license renewal online?
Yes, you are able to renew your driver’s license online in the state of North Carolina. Forget those long lines and crashing computers in days gone by and simply use the e-DMV site to complete your online North Caroline license renewal.
Though this is a quick, convenient option for North Carolina drivers to renew their license, there are a few reasons why you would not be able to use the online service. If you have a license other than a Class C with or without corrective lenses, you will have to visit a local DMV branch.
North Carolina REAL ID Requirements
Is my NC driver’s license REAL ID complaint?
You have the option of upgrading your current license with one that meets the federal standards implemented for REAL ID compliance. You will have to do this in person at your local branch and will need additional documentation when you upgrade, replace, or renew your driver’s license. Required documents to renew your driver’s license in North Carolina include:
- Proof of North Caroline residence.
- Proof of legal presence in the United States.
- Proof of Social Security Number.
- Identification with your birth date and full name.
For a complete list of acceptable documentation, click here. There is no additional fee for getting a REAL ID driver’s license or state ID card.
In Person Driver’s License Renewal
Can I renew my NC driver’s license in person at the DMV?
Yes. Bring your renewal notice received via USPS mail along with your current driver’s license to a convenient NC DMV location near you.
You can find an NC DMV location in every county throughout the state, and can easily find a driver’s license renewal location near you using their location search tool.
Not every location is open 8 AM to 5 PM, so call ahead to make sure they are open and if you would like to schedule an appointment to renew your driver’s license.
The clerk will verify your ID, take your picture, issue a vision test and hand you a paper license. Your permanent license is mailed to you via USPS and will be received in about 14 days (2 weeks).
Required License Renewal Fees
How much does it cost to renew a driver’s license in North Carolina?
It costs $5 a year to have a drivers license renewed in North Carolina.
Renewing an Expired Driver’s License
How long is my NC driver’s license valid?
If you are under the age of 65 and older than 21, your license is valid for up to 8 years. You will pay $40 at the time of renewal.
When you pass your 65th birthday, your license will expire every 5 years and you will be unable to renew online. This allows the DMV clerk to verify your vision and even require a road test if needed.
Military ID and Out-of-State License Renewal
If you will be out of the state when your license expires, you will need to complete your NC license renewal through the mail.
Start by calling the NC DMV to request a mail renewal kit. Proof of work occupation or school enrollment is required if applying for out-of-state license or state ID renewal by mail.
Driver’s License Renewal Test
If choosing to renew your license in person at a NC DMV location, you will have to take a vision and road sign recognition test. If there is difficulty in completing the road sign test, you may be asked to schedule a road skills test.
Scheduling a DMV Appointment to Renew Your License
Should you have any further questions regarding how to renew a driver’s license in North Carolina, contact the NC DMV at (919) 715-7000 or complete one of their online contact forms.