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Driving Information

NC Driving Information

N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles | www.ncdot.org | 919.715.7000

Driver’s License Info

New Charlotte residents must obtain a North Carolina driver’s license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence. Requirements include a proof of your full name, age and social security number; proof of liability insurance coverage; and proof of residency.

N.C. has a graduated licensing program for drivers age 15 to 18. Licenses for ages 18 to 53 are renewed every eight years. After age 54, licenses are renewed every five years.

For a list of acceptable documentation (for proof of identity, liability coverage and residency) and DMV locations, please visit the DMV’s Web site or call the number above.

Auto Registration & License Plates Info

New residents must obtain an N.C. driver’s license before registering a vehicle. There are some situations under which you can use a driver’s license from another state.

New Charlotte residents must register motor vehicles. Vehicle registrations from other states usually remain valid for 30 days, but this time period varies depending on your prior state of residence. You must provide the title (unless the title is held by a lien holder) and a valid registration card from the state of prior registration. Fees for private passenger vehicles include a $40 title fee and a $28 registration fee. Registration must be renewed annually.

Vehicle must also receive an annual safety and emissions inspection that costs $30. Inspection stations are usually found at service stations, car dealerships and auto repair shops.

Driving Rules & Regulations

Charlotte citywide speed limit is 35 mph unless otherwise posted. Speed limit in school zones is 25 mph. Statewide speed limit is 55 mph unless otherwise posted.

Seatbelts are mandatory for all passengers.

Child restrain devices are mandatory for children less than eight years old and lighter than 80 pounds. Children between 40 and 80 pounds can be secured with a belt-positioning booster seat. They must also sit in the back seat if the vehicle has an active passenger-side air bag and a rear seat. Children under age 16 must use a seat belt or child passenger restraint system at all times, whether in the front or back seat. Placing the shoulder belt under the child’s (or adult’s) arm or behind the back is illegal.

Vehicles must stop for school buses loading or unloading.

Drivers must burn their headlights when using windshield wipers. Motorcyclists must wear helmets and burn head lights at all times.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs carries severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines and the loss of driver’s license.

Visit the N.C. DMV website for additional rules and regulations.