RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Visiting the DMV can be a nightmare or smooth sailing depending on the complexity of what you need and whether you have the required documentation on-hand. To ease your experience, we’ve compiled four things you’ll need to know next time you plan to visit the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
New teen driver law
The first change is most important for teenagers and their guardians. Starting Monday, a new law went into effect cutting down the time it takes teenagers to get on the road. Teens now need to have their Level 1 Limited Learner Permit for six months before being able to get their Level 2 Limited Provisional License. In 2024, they’ll need to have the Level 1 permit for 9 months.
Previously, the teen drivers were required to have their Level 1 Limited Learner Permit for a year.
Updates to appointment availability
Another change will allow for more walk-ins at the DMV. A recent change will only allow appointments up from open until 11 a.m. Click here to make an appointment.
Wait times for walk-ins can vary greatly by location and day of the week. “We’re making adjustments to increase walk-in availability because that’s what we’ve heard our customers want,” said NCDMV Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. “And given that about 25% of appointments are no-shows, we will be better able to maximize efficiencies by shifting to more walk-in availability.”
For those planning on walking into a DMV office, the agency has a new feature showing the public the current estimated wait time at driver license offices. The DMV said this can help you make the best decision on which office to go to, or whether you want to try again another day.
A check of the wait-time tool for the Raleigh-area Monday showed wait times ranging from 1 minute to four hours. Access the tool by clicking here and hover over the office to see the estimated wait time.
Summertime Saturday hours
Summer is a historically busy time for the DMV. To prepare for that, NCDMV is preparing to offer Saturday hours at 16 locations during its peak season. Hours of operations would be from 8 a.m. to noon from June 3 to Aug. 26.
The 16 locations include Asheville, Charlotte-University City, Charlotte South, Fayetteville West, Greensboro East, Greensboro West, Greenville, Hudson, Huntersville, Jacksonville, Monroe, Morganton, Raleigh North, Raleigh West, Wilmington South, and Winston-Salem South.
DMV said they were exploring the potential for adding more Saturday locations as staffing levels permit.