If you are 18 or older, you may apply for a Driver’s License in North Carolina.
See the following sites for complete information:
Downloadable Driver’s Handbook
What to Do:
- Download and study the Driver’s Handbook. You will have to take a written test and a driving test even if you already have an International license. If you have never had any Driver’s Education classes, or have never had a license in your home country, you should consider attending a Driving School. You may find information about local schools on the internet.
- Gather your identification documents. You must have a proof of identity such as a birth certificate (if born in the US), a passport, your I-20, and your I-94. In addition, you must have proof of residency, such as your official HPU transcript (obtainable at the Registrar’s office) or a bank statement sent to your HPU address. These must be ORIGINAL documents – no copies.
- To obtain an I-94, click HERE
- Call or email the Office of International Student Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) to arrange for a trip to the DMV. Applicants must arrive before 3 pm, and it’s really better to go first thing in the morning. Making an appointment one week before you plan to take the test is advisable. It can cut down on the wait time. The OISS can make this appointment for you if you are requesting assistance with transportation. WARNING: There is usually a line at the DMV, and it is not uncommon to wait an hour or two before being called. This process will take a couple of hours at least, so don’t plan to go on a morning when you have a class before 11 am.
- Obtain Non-Owner’s Insurance from the insurance carrier of your choice. The OISS has a list of local agents who offer this type of insurance. Usually there is a deposit of around $150, with monthly payments ranging from $135 and up, depending on driving experience, age, and driving record (if you have one). You must have this insurance coverage prior to taking the driving portion of the test.
- On the morning of the test, bring all of your documents including proof of insurance, along with cash or a check for $32 to pay for the license. You should have already arranged for transportation, either through the OISS or with a friend. (You must have a vehicle to drive for the driving test. HPU does not provide a vehicle for you to drive, so you should see if a friend is willing to take you to the site and allow you to drive his or her car for the test. Do not drive your friend’s car to the testing site yourself — until you are licensed you should not get behind the wheel.)
Driving schools will also allow you to use their vehicle for the driving test if you have paid for a certain number of driving lessons.
- Passport or Birth Certificate
- I-20 (if you have an F1 Visa)
- A copy of your official transcript for HPU, signed by the Registrar
Purchasing/Leasing a Car:
If you plan to purchase or lease a car, the OISS can help you with that. Be advised that you will have to purchase automobile insurance, and there are taxes and title fees that have to be paid.
For helpful information about purchasing a car in the US, visit this site: Cars & College: A Complete Guide
Short-Term Car Rental:
If you do not plan to purchase or lease your own car, but would like a license so that you can drive a rental, you are not legally required to maintain the non-owner’s insurance after passing the test; however it is advisable to have your own insurance if you are going to borrow friends’ cars.