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Renewing a Vehicle Registration in North Carolina

Renew a North Carolina Driver’s License

There are several ways to renew your North Carolina driver’s license with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can renew your card:

  • Online.
  • By mail (available only to North Carolina residents staying out-of-state).
  • In person.

You can renew your North Carolina ID up to 6 months before your current card expires.

If you wish to apply for a REAL ID when you renew your license or ID, you’ll have to do so at a licensing office.

Non-driver IDs can ONLY be renewed in person.

Renew Your North Carolina License Online

You can renew your North Carolina driver’s license online as long as you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen and North Carolina resident (do NOT need to prove lawful presence).
  • Have a non-commercial license.
  • Are NOT applying for a REAL ID for the first time.
  • Do NOT have a suspended license or have a balance due with the DMV.
  • Do NOT need to change your address.
  • Do NOT have a restriction on your license (besides “corrective lenses”).
  • Have NOT had any changes to your vision occur since your last license was issued.

To renew your license on ID online, visit the DMV online portal, confirm your eligibility and provide your:

  • Driver’s license number.
  • Date of birth.
  • Last 4 digits of your social security number (SSN).
  • Credit/debit card information for payment.

Renew Your NC Driver’s License by Mail

You are ONLY eligible to renew your NC license by mail if you:

  • Are a North Carolina resident that has been staying out-of-state for the last 30 days OR are a NC resident serving as a member of the armed forces.
  • Will NOT have turned 72 before or on the date your license expires.
  • Did NOT renew your last license by mail.
  • Have a photo from the last 5 years on file with the NC DMV.
  • Have your SSN or a document proving your lawful status on file with the DMV.

To renew your license by mail you must:

Military personnel must ALSO provide their credentials along with their application (no alterations on these documents will be accepted. This may include:

  • Department of Defense orders OR credentials.
  • Current military orders OR a copy of your military ID card (front and back).

Mail your documents and check to:

NCDMV
Attn: Military/Internet
Unit 3176 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3176

Renew Your North Carolina License in Person

You’ll need to renew your North Carolina driver’s license in person if you(r):

  • Have a commercial driver’s license.
  • Renewal requires you to pass any license tests. This includes:
    • Vision exams.
    • Written tests.
    • Driving skills tests.
  • Current license is missing or damaged.

Non-driver IDs must be renewed in person.

Consider making an appointment to spend less time waiting in line.

If you wish to apply for a REAL ID at this time, visit our page on REAL ID requirements for instructions.

At your local driver licensing office, you may be asked to:

  • Provide your current driver’s license. If it is missing, you must provide:
    • Two items that prove your identity. This could be your:
      • U.S. passport.
      • U.S. birth certificate.
      • Immigration documents.
    • Proof of social security. This can be your:
      • Social security card.
      • 1099 or W-2 tax forms.
      • Pay stub that contains your full SSN.
  • Provide your medical certification (for non-excepted commercial drivers).
  • Take a vision exam.
  • Take a knowledge or driving skills test (if applicable).
  • Pay your license fee.

North Carolina License Renewal Fees

The cost of North Carolina driver’s license renewals are based on how long the license is valid.

  • NC non-commercial license for drivers between 18 and 65 years old: $44 (valid 8 years).
  • NC non-commercial license for drivers under 18 and over 65 years old: $27.50 (valid 5 years).
  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL): $21.50 per year.
  • Photo ID card: $14.