The North Carolina DMV can be overwhelming, especially for the novice driver or someone who has just moved to the state. While you can figure everything out once you show up in person at a branch office, it’s smarter to do your research beforehand to make sure you’re adequately familiar with the DMV’s practices. The DMV is the one-stop location where you can take care of all your automobile needs such as applying for a title, renewing your car’s registration, lifting a license suspension, learning more about driving laws, or simply changing your address.
Locate Your Nearest North Carolina DMV Branch
It may seem hard to find your nearest DMV office, but North Carolina’s branch locator makes this task simple by allowing you to choose from 4 different types of offices: drivers license/school bus, license plate/vehicle registration, license/theft, and commercial trucks. You should contact your branch prior to your visit and inquire about operating hours and what services they offer. This will prevent you from wasting precious time going to a branch, only to find that it is either closed or does not provide what you need.
Scheduling a Driving Test Appointment
North Carolina unfortunately only allows appointments for drivers license examinations. If this is what you need, you can make an appointment by contacting your local branch and inquiring about the driving test. For every other service, you must visit a branch in person and endure the long wait-times or utilize the DMV website’s online services. To avoid heavy congestion at the lines, avoid visits during lunchtime, Mondays, Fridays, the beginning and end days of the month, and dates consecutive to national holidays when huge crowds tend to visit all at the same time.
Forms for the North Carolina DMV
North Carolina drivers who choose to fill out their forms at a branch office can end up wasting a considerable amount of time. Take a minute beforehand to look up exactly what forms you need and you’ll end up saving valuable time. Fortunately, the North Carolina DMV website provides an extensive list of forms catering to every one of their services, making it easy for you to have them printed and completed by the time you step up to the counter. Find out about the most common applications in Forms.
Introduction to the North Carolina Driving Point System
In North Carolina, drivers accumulate points on their record whenever they are convicted of driving-related violations. The state government seeks to punish repeat offenders and keep reckless drivers off the roads. Collecting 12 points within a three-year period leads to license suspension for 60 days. After the 60 days, if you collect another eight points within a three-year period, your license will be suspended for six months. Upon amassing seven points, the state may require you to take a driver improvement course to reduce your points. The most common point violations include five points for passing a stopped school bus, four points for reckless driving, and three points for running a stop sign. For a detailed list of all point violations, consult the Driver Handbook.
Get a Copy of Your North Carolina Driving Record
Your driving record is a transcript that shows any violations and points you’ve incurred. All resolved and outstanding citations, suspensions, points outstanding, and any other relevant driving history issues can be found on it. Keeping up to date with your driving record is a foolproof method of knowing the current status of your driver’s license. Keep in mind that employers and insurance companies can also view your driving record, which can potentially affect your employment opportunities and cost of premiums, so maintaining a clean driving history is definitely a financial benefit to you.