North Carolina holds beautiful Atlantic Ocean sunsets and daring mountain-top panoramas. With six coastal lighthouses and over 20 ferries scattered throughout the state’s lush landscape, “The Tar Heel State” is a uniquely East Coast destination. From whitewater rafting and hiking to bed and breakfasts and antiquing, North Carolina offers attractions that have brought visitors from far and wide. Drivers enjoy the coastal cruises, and CheapCarInsurance.net wants to keep North Carolina driving safely. That’s why this list of essential state car insurance facts has been compiled, organized and made easily accessible.
Average Costs for Auto Insurance in North Carolina
The average cost of car insurance in North Carolina will be around $820 annually across the state. The policy rates you will see in your free quotes will of course be based on your personal driving record, demographics, current city, and vehicle types you wish to insure. To give a better idea – you can check the costs data from our personal database from recent years and multiple drivers broken down by city and vehicle type below:
Costs by County:
State Minimum Insurance Requirements
The North Carolina Department of Insurance requires Liability Insurance and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage on all vehicles driven in the state. The department as produced A Consumer’s Guide to Auto Insurance to help drivers navigate the car insurance search.
Liability Coverage and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists minimums:
$30,000 per individual to cover bodily injury or death.
$60,000 per accident involving bodily injuries or deaths.
$25,000 for property damage.
How to Get a New Drivers License
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) makes it mandatory to have a state driver’s license if operating a vehicle within North Carolina. For new drivers, the state offers a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program to allow drivers under the age of 18 driving experience. The 3 phases of the program are explained below:
Limited Learner Permit. Beginning at age 15, this permit allows the applicant to drive while supervised. The applicant must pass the vision, sign and written tests as well as complete a driver education course to obtain this permit. The following requirements/restrictions apply while the permit is held:
Must hold the permit for at least 12 months
The applicant must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 25 or older who has held his/her license for at least 5 years.
Cell phone use is prohibited
Limited Provisional License. At age 16, applicants who have completed the requirements for the Limited Learner Permit may pass the Road Skills Test and show proof of liability insurance to apply for the Limited Provisional License. The applicant must have had no violations in the preceding 6 months, and the following applies while holding this license:
Must hold the license for at least 6 months
May drive unsupervised between 9am and 5pm
May drive unsupervised at any time if driving to/from work, school or volunteer fire, emergency service or rescue.
When unsupervised, the applicant is permitted to carry only one passenger under the age of 21.
Cell phone use is prohibited
Full Provisional License. To obtain a Full Provisional License, the applicant must have no violations within the preceding 6 months. The applicant can drive unsupervised at any time, but he/she may not use a cell phone device while driving.
Vision Exam. To pass the vision test, an applicant must have a visual acuity of at least 20/50 including corrective lenses and a field of vision of at least 60 degrees in one eye.
Written Test. The written test is made up of information contained in the North Carolina Driver’s Manual. The North Carolina DMV provides practice questions for the written test which are available here.
Sign Test. The applicant must identify a variety of traffic signs by shape, color and/or symbol. The state’s DMV provides the sections for the Regulatory Signs and for the Warning Signs.
Driving Test. Chapter 1 of the North Carolina Driver’s Manual outlines the information necessary to complete the driving test. The test administrator will observe the applicant’s ability to perform the following skills:
Obey stop signs and traffic signals
Correctly use turn signals and horn
Following another vehicle
Complete a three-point turnabout
Fees. North Carolina drivers license fees are as follows:
Limited Learner Permit, $15.
Limited Provisional License, $15
Full Provisional License, $4 per year
Regular Driver’s License, $10
State DUI and DWI Laws
BAC limit: .08 The North Carolina Department of Public Safety has organized DUI offenses into 5 levels. Level 5 is the least serious, and Level 1 is the most serious, receiving the most severe penalties. Following is a list of pertinent penalties for Level 5 and Level 1 DUI convictions in North Carolina:
Fine: maximum $200
License revocation: 1 year
Jail: 24 hours to 60 days, OR
Community service 24 hours, OR
Combination of jail time and community service
Fine: maximum $4,000 (max. $10,000 with aggravated factors)
License revocation: determinate upon factors included in the offense
Jail: 30 days to 2 years. This sentence cannot be suspended (max. 3 years with aggravated factors)