License to drive

The freedom of getting behind the wheel is something that most teenagers look forward to, but it requires a lot of time and driver education as well. / Photo illustration provided by Metro Creative Graphics

Commentary by Zoie Nelson
Times-News correspondent

   There are many amazing things about turning 15, but the biggest thing is getting your permit. But what does one need to do to get a permit?
It all starts with driver education. Students can take this class at any participating high school during specific times in the summer or fall, but must be at least 14½ years of age, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website,
Most classes are half a day Monday through Thursday for two weeks but that can vary. Throughout the classes, there will be tests or quizzes given and at the end there will be an overall test. In order to pass driver education, students must make an average grade greater than 70.
After students pass driver education, they will be contacted by a driving instructor to go driving with them. They will be taught how to drive while behind the wheel of the car, but they are not allowed to drive with anyone other than a driving instructor until they get their permit. After they have driven enough with the instructor, they will be given a certificate of completion. Students need to hold on to the certificate of completion in order to get their permit.
When students turn 15, they can go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take the written test for their permit, but they must have something to prove their identity and age, along with residency and insurance. There also will be a fee of $15 for the permit. If the students pass the test, they will be given a log to track 60 hours of driving with someone at least 21 years old who has had a driver’s license for at least three years in order to get their license, according to
Students are not allowed to go get their license until they have had their permit for a full year. After a year, they can return to the DMV to take the driving test in order to get their license.

For more information on getting your license in North Carolina, visit

Zoie Nelson is a rising sophomore at Williams High School and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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