North Carolina DMV Office

A North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles office.

(The Center Square) – New drivers in North Carolina temporarily can skip the road test when applying for a license starting Wednesday.

The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) waiver was authorized because of the state’s public health emergency status. North Carolinians applying for or renewing their license or registration, however, will have to pay more. 

As of July 1, about 90 DMV fees have increased by 8 percent. DMV fees are required to be adjusted based on inflation every four years, according to state law. This year's increases range from 25 cents to $7.75.

A regular driver’s license will cost 50 cents more a year. Before July 1, the application fee for the regular license was $5 for each year the license was valid. Licenses are issued for either five or eight years.

A five-year license now costs $27.50, and an eight-year license is $44. Learner’s permits, which were $20, have increased by an additional $1.50. 

Prices have also gone up on the commercial side.

Commercial driver’s licenses, used to transport property or passengers, are $1.50 more at $21.50 plus the application fee.

Before drivers hit the road with cargo or passengers, they are required to get a special endorsement, which costs $4.25 – 25 cents more per year.

Copies of driving records now cost $1 more, and there also was an increase in the fees to reinstate a suspended license.

Regular vehicle registrations went from $36 to $38.75. Registration fees for commercial vehicles, motorcycles, rental cars, house trailers, low-speed vehicles and electric vehicles also have increased.

With uncertainty around the COVID-19 outbreak, DMV officials are not sure when the road tests will resume.

“The Division has been very thoughtful in protecting the health of our customers and examiners and ensuring the safety of the driving public,” DMV Commissioner Torre Jessup said.

Staff Reporter

Nyamekye Daniel has been a journalist for four years. She was the managing editor for the South Florida Media Network and a staff writer for The Miami Times. Daniel's work has also appeared in the Sun-Sentinel, Miami Herald and The New York Times.