Parents with teen drivers, take note: there are some changes coming to the graduated driver licensing program, and the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles wants to make sure a trip to your local DMV office goes as smoothly as possible.
The General Assembly passed a bill that went into effect earlier this week which requires teen drivers to have their Level 1 learner permit for 6 months before they get their provisional license. Other requirements remain the same: drivers must be at least 16 years old, log 60 hours of driving time, pass a road test and show printed proof of insurance in the teen driver’s name.
This could lead to bottlenecks at the local DMV, as demand for road tests increases so teens can get provisional driver licenses.
“We ask for your patience as we work to accommodate the thousands of teen drivers that are suddenly eligible to take a road test and receive their Level 2 provisional license,” Goodwin said.
One reminder: road tests, which teen drivers must pass to achieve the Level 2 license, will not be scheduled after 4 p.m.
Customers who need to make an appointment for a road test or conduct DMV business as a walk-in have a new tool which will show the current average wait time at their local DMV office. Find it on the https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices. Customers can now hover over the icon marking each driver license office and a box will pop up with the current walk-in wait time. The wait time is defined as the current average length of time from check-in until the customer is called to the workstation for service.
“I’m very excited about this new tool that will show customers the walk-in wait time at driver license offices so they can make an informed decision on which office to go to, or whether to try again another day,” said DMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “This tool will be most useful in the afternoon when our 115 driver license offices are serving walk-ins only.”
During COVID-19 restrictions, the long-standing requirement that teen drivers have their permits for 12 months was temporarily shortened to 6 months; that requirement lapsed at the end of 2022. Furthermore, beginning Jan. 1 2024, the 6-month period will permanently extend to 9 months.
Another change to the graduated driver license process allows Level 2 permit holders to be able to drive one passenger under 21 who is not a family member, if they are being driven directly to or from school. This is in addition to the existing provision allowing one passenger under 21 that is a family member.
Schedule an appointment at https://skiptheline.ncdot.gov/