DMV adjusts road test waiver requirements for drivers 18 and over

Published 3:09 pm Friday, July 31, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Waiver to remain in place until road tests resume

RALEIGH — The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is providing clarification for road test waiver requirements to help drivers better understand if they meet the criteria for issuance of a driving privilege under the recent emergency rule.

To qualify for the road test waiver, drivers 18 and older must have:

• Passed the N.C. Driver’s Education course consisting of 30 classroom and six “behind the wheel” hours within the previous 12 months, participated in the N.C. Graduated Licensing Program (Having a Level 1 Limited Learner Permit, or a Level 2 Limited Provisional License that has not been expired for more than one year); and not have been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation, seat belt infraction or unlawful use of a mobile phone. Details on the Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications and requirements are on the NCDMV website.

• Hold an N.C. Learners Permit for at least 90 days and successfully completed a driving log (the log is available on the NCDMV website), demonstrating 60 hours of behind the wheel driving. The log must show 10 hours of the required driving occurred during nighttime hours. The log must be signed by a supervised driver with a valid license of the same class license or higher, and it must be submitted to the division at the time the driver seeks to obtain a license. The driver must not have been convicted of a motor vehicle moving violation, seat belt infraction or unlawful use of a mobile phone.

Other people 18 and older who qualify include those who:

• Previously held a North Carolina driver’s license that has not been expired more than one renewal cycle. The individual’s driving privilege must have been in good standing at the time of expiration.

◦ For drivers who are 18-65 years old, the driver license must not have expired more than eight years.
◦ For drivers who are 66 or older, the driver license must not have expired more than five years.

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

“The division’s top priority is safety, not only of our customers and examiners, but also the driving public,” said NCDMV Commissioner Torre Jessup. “We believe that in addition to the knowledge test required to receive a learner’s permit, the supervised driving requirement provides sufficient behind the wheel experience and instruction to prepare members of the public for issuance of the driving privilege without a road test under the current pandemic conditions.”

These drivers must have an appointment at a license office, which can be made online on the NCDMV website. Once on the website, select “Driver License — First Time” as the type of appointment, then pick an office and select a date and time.

At the time of the appointment, drivers must present all of the required documentation for a new driver as described on the New Drivers page on the NCDMV website and the documentation that verifies eligibility of the qualifications above. Also, per Gov. Cooper’s executive order, all customers must wear a facial covering or mask, and they are also subject to pre-screening health questions.

Drivers who qualify for the waiver will be issued a license of the appropriate length for their age, either eight or five years. 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.

The waivers announced July 20 are allowed under 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.”

This waiver process will remain in place until DMV resumes road tests, which is anticipated when the state reaches Phase 3 of its re-opening.