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Can a person with an out-of-state license drive a North Carolina-registered car?

Jim Ware

Obviously there’s nothing to prevent a person with an out-of-state driver’s license from driving a car registered in North Carolina.

However, if that person with the out-of-state driver’s license has recently moved to North Carolina, the clock is ticking.

New residents have 60 days after establishing residence to get a North Carolina driver’s license or learner’s permit, according to the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles Driver’s Handbook. Of course there are exceptions, which are detailed in the handbook.

New residents must register motor vehicles at the expiration of the time granted by the reciprocity agreement between North Carolina and their prior states of residence — usually 30 days — “or when gainful employment is accepted, whichever occurs first,” according to the N.C. DMV website. Again, check the website for exceptions.

Here’s the catch: “As a new resident of North Carolina, you will not be able to register your vehicle here until you apply for and receive your new North Carolina driver license or North Carolina ID card,” according to the DMV site.

Related links:

Does a person have to have a Social Security number to get a N.C. driver’s license or state ID card?

Can registered vehicles in North Carolina still have an out-of-state license plate on the front bumper?

Why are some North Carolina license plates blue and some red?

Are the owners of license plates public information?

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3 Responses to “ Can a person with an out-of-state license drive a North Carolina-registered car?”

  1. On January 19, 2011 at 2:41 am DJ wrote:

    I dont think you even remotely answered the question which was about somebody with an out of state DL driving a vehicle registered in NC and as far as I know the answer is common sense. OF course a licensed driver can drive a vehicle registered in NC as long as their license is not suspended or otherwise impinged and the vehicle itself is legally registered and insured.. Next time Reporter pls read the question and then re-read it to make sure of what your answering before you answer a totally different question entirely which was basically about somebody moving into the state which I dont recall being asked.

  2. On January 19, 2011 at 11:19 am Anonymous wrote:

    The question is a rather simple one:
    Can a person with an out of state driver’s license drive an vehicle registered in North Carolina?

    The answer is obvious: Yes.

    If the answer were no, then there would be no rental car industry in North Carolina.

  3. On January 19, 2011 at 11:56 am Jim Ware wrote:

    Good points, DJ and Anonymous. I made a couple of changes to the post to reflect your comments.

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