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NCDMV waives road test requirement for qualified drivers 18 and over

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Monday, July 20 that with the timeframe for resuming road tests remaining unknown due to the continued impact of COVID-19 cases, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will begin waiving road tests for qualified drivers who are 18 or older starting Wednesday, July 22.

These drivers must have an appointment at a license office, which may be made on the NCDOT website. They should select “Driver License – First Time” as the type of appointment, then pick an office and select a date and time.

Drivers must present all of the required documentation for a new driver as described on the New Drivers page on the NCDMV website at the time of the appointment, as well as documents that verify eligibility of the conditions listed below. Per Governor Roy Cooper’s executive order, all customers must wear a facial covering or mask and they are also subject to pre-screening health questions.

The waiver is allowed under new emergency administrative rules language that states “during a pandemic where an executive order is in place, the requirement of a road test may be waived if previous driver training and/or safe driving records can be established.”

“The Division has been very thoughtful in protecting the health of our customers and examiners and ensuring the safety of the driving public,” said Torre Jessup, NCDMV commissioner. “With the uncertainty of when road tests can safely resume, we are taking this step to help qualified drivers gain the license they need for jobs, school and their families.”

The waiver will be available to drivers who need a regular Class C license and meet at least one of the following conditions:

– Currently hold a Level I permit, are at least 18 years old and meet all requirements to obtain the Level II Limited Provisional License including not being convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation, seat belt infraction or unlawful use of a mobile phone.

– Have received training and passed a driving course from a certified North Carolina driving school approved by the DMV within the previous 12 months and have not been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation, seat belt infraction or unlawful use of a mobile phone.

– Previously held a North Carolina driver’s license that has not been expired more than one renewal cycle and was in good standing at the time of expiration.

o    For drivers who are 18-65 years old – not expired more than eight years.

o    For drivers who are 66 or older – not expired more than five years.

– Are from any other state, district or territory that has N.C. license reciprocity. They must provide their most recent license and a certified five-year driving record.

Drivers who qualify for the waiver will be issued a license of the appropriate length for their age, either eight or five years, according to the NCDOT press release. Waivers under this special provision do not apply to drivers who are governed by legal presence or lawful status or drivers in the medical review program.

This waiver will remain in place until DMV resumes road tests, which is anticipated to be when the state reaches Phase 3 of its reopening.

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