Driver's Education
Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a charge for driver education through the public schools?

Yes.  The 2013 North Carolina General Assembly in its Appropriations Act (SB 402) has authorized each LEA to charge a fee of up to $65.00 for each student enrolled in Driver Education.  Each eligible student under North Carolina General Statue 20-88.1 is afforded a one-time opportunity through the school system to receive a driver education course.  After that, a student would need to obtain instruction privately through a commercial provider.

Who will I pay this fee to?

This $65.00 fee is being collected for the classroom theory phase of Driver Education by Jordan Driving School.  You may prepay this fee with a credit card or debit card online at www.jordandrivingschoolcharlotte.com or you may pay on the first day of class.  When paying on the first day of class, you may pay with cash, certified check or money order made payable to Jordan Driving School-Charlotte.  Personal checks cannot be accepted.  If you wait to pay on the first day of class, you cannot be registered for that class unless there are seats available.

Who needs driver education?

Anyone under the age of 18 and desiring to receive a NC driver permit/license.

Where are the classes held?

Most classes are held on CMS high school campuses, however, classes may be held at off-campus sites.  CMS Driver Education is currently contracted to a North Carolina commercial driving school - Jordan Driving School, Inc.

We live in Mecklenburg County, but attend a private school in a neighboring county.  Where do we take driver education?

State funding requires that you take the course in the county where you are currently enrolled in school.  In other words, the public school in the county where your private school is located is responsible for providing you with the program.

What is the Graduated License Program?

This program took effect on December 1, 1997.  It requires that a licensee hold a valid learners permit violation free for at least 12 months before being eligible for an unrestricted license or be 18 years old.

What is the Drop Out Prevention Driver License Program?

This program took effect on August 1, 1998.  It requires that the licensee pass at least 70% of their courses and be currently enrolled in school.  Progress is reevaluated every six months.  This requirement will terminate with a high school diploma or on the 18th birthday.

I just finished Driver Education and I want to get my license.

Young drivers, who receive their license after December 1, 1997, must go through the Graduated License Program.  Basically, you must have a learner's permit for one year, violation free, or until you turn 18 years old.

I have finished Driver Education and I want to get my license.  What do I need to take with me to the DMV license office?

  • You need the proper identification documents as listed on the NC Driver License Link
  • The DL-123 (insurance verification form) is necessary for the license but not required for the learner's permit
  • A Driver Education Course Completion Certificate from NC or another state that requires at least thirty (30) hours of class-work and six (6) hours of Behind-The-Wheel (BTW) training as in North Carolina
  • A Driving Eligibility Certificate (DEC).  This is obtained from your high school's main office.  NOTE: Allow 5 to 10 days for processing to receive this certificate after your request is submitted to the high school's main office.  Every high school main office issues DEC's on a different schedule during the summer. 

Where should I go to apply for my driver's license?

You may apply for a driver's license at any Department of Motor Vehicle Driver's License Office within the state of North Carolina, however there are four (4) convenient locations within Mecklenburg County to serve you.

Where can I get a Driver Education Course Completion Certificate?

Your BTW instructor will issue this certificate upon successful completion of your BTW training.

How long is my Driver Education Course Completion Certificate valid?

This certificate does not expire and is valid indefinitely.  Please place it with your important documents for safekeeping and for future reference.

How does my son/daughter receive the Driving Eligibility Certificate (DEC)?

You must contact the principal or principal's designee at your high school's main office and fill out the necessary documents.   A Driving Eligibility Certificate cannot be issued without the parent's written consent, so a parent or guardian must be present to sign this document.

How long is my Driving Eligibility Certificate (DEC) valid?

This certificate is valid for only 30 days.  An updated certificate is necessary after 30 days of receiving the first one.  You must follow the same procedure when requesting the update as you did when you requested the first one.  NOTE: Students must be 15 years old to receive this document. Please allow 5 to 10 days for processing to receive this certificate after your request is submitted to your high school's main office.

 My son/daughter does not attend public school.  May we participate in the driver education program?

Yes, according to North Carolina General Statute 115C-551 - Voluntary participation in the State programs.  This statue states: "Any such student may, on a voluntary basis, participate in any State operated or sponsored program."  Additional information is available through the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education.

My son/daughter attends a public middle school in Mecklenburg County and has completed Driver Education.  How do we receive a Driving Eligibility Certificate?

You must contact the main office of the middle school that your son/daughter attends.  The middle school principal or principal's designee will then contact the CMS School Social Work Department at 980-343-0221 to apply for this certificate.

My son/daughter attends a private school, or licensed home school in Mecklenburg County.  How do we receive a Driving Eligibility Certificate?

You must contact your private school's main office or for home schooled students, the NC Division of Non-Public Education for this certificate.

We live in Mecklenburg County; however, my son/daughter attends a private school out-of-state.  How do we receive a Driving Eligibility Certificate?

You must request and show necessary official school records from the school that your son/daughter is attending to the principal or the principal's designee of the CMS School in which your son/daughter would be attending based on your street address in order to prove eligibility to receive this document.  These official records need to certify current and active enrollment and show adequate progress toward graduation and will have to be updated every six months until your son/daughter receives a high school diploma or reaches age 18. State and local policy dictate that parents allow at least 5 to 10 school days to receive this certificate.

Are there any new NC laws that will affect me or my son/daughter?

Yes.

Effective January 1, 2013,  SESSION LAW 2011-385 AMENDED SENATE BILL 636 (Driving Log Legislation) will become law.

The official practice driving log will be available from local DMV offices on January 1, 2012.

Level 2:  A person who is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old may obtain a limited provisional license if the person meets the following requirement:

Has completed a driving log, on a form approved by the Division of Motor Vehicles, detailing a minimum of 60 hours as the operator of a motor vehicle of a class for which the driver has been issued a limited learner's permit. The log must show at least 10 hours of the required driving occurred during nighttime hours. No more than 10 hours of driving per week may be counted toward the 60‑hour requirement. The driving log must be signed by the supervising driver and submitted to the Division at the time the applicant seeks to obtain a limited provisional license. If the Division has cause to believe that a driving log has been falsified, the limited learner's permit holder shall be required to complete a new driving log with the same requirements and shall not be eligible to obtain a limited provisional license for six months."

Level 3:  A person who is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old may obtain a full provisional license if the person meets the following requirements:

Has completed a driving log, on a form approved by the Division of Motor Vehicles, detailing a minimum of 12 hours as the operator of a motor vehicle of a class for which the driver is licensed. The log must show at least six hours of the required driving occurred during nighttime hours. The driving log must be signed by the supervising driver for any hours driven outside the provisions of subdivision (e)(2) of this section and submitted to the Division at the time the applicant seeks to obtain a full provisional license. If the Division has cause to believe that a driving log has been falsified, the limited provisional licensee shall be required to complete a new driving log with the same requirements and shall not be eligible to obtain a full provisional license for six months."

Immediate civil license revocation for provisional licensees charged with certain offenses:  A provisional licensee's permit or license is subject to immediate revocation for 30 days under this section if a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the provisional licensee has committed a criminal moving violation (such as reckless driving, impaired or aggressive driving, or exceeding the speed limit by 15 mph), the provisional licensee is charged with that offense, and the provisional licensee is not subject to a civil revocation pursuant to G.S. 20‑16.5.

Ban Texting While Driving Legislation:

Effective December 1, 2009 it is illegal for any driver, regardless of age or level of driver's license, to use additional technology associated with a mobile phone while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area.  According to G.S. 20-137.3(a)(1) "additional technology" is defined as any technology that provides access to digital media including but not limited to a camera, email, music, the Internet, text messaging, or games.

New law prohibits state name, stickers being hidden on license plates

Beginning December 1, 2009, Operators can be cited, later fined.

Beginning Tuesday, December 1, 2009, a new law went into effect that requires the state's name across the bottom of the  plate as well as the year and month stickers on a license plate to be fully visible.  They can no longer be partially covered by a license frame.  Vehicle owners can be cited for committing an infraction and, after November 30, 2010, fined $100 for the violation.  The law was introduced in the 2009 session of the General Assembly and was supported by law enforcement officials because it increases the readability of registration information on the plate and helps identify vehicles registered in North Carolina.

Electronic Vehicle Inspection

Starting November 1, 2008, North Carolina vehicle safety and emissions inspections will go electronic. This means that windshield inspection stickers will no longer be issued at your next inspection on or after November 1. The North Carolina General Assembly Passed legislation (N.C. General Statute Chapter 20, Article 3A, Part 1) requiring the move to electronic authorization to increase compliance statewide and to further benefit the state's air quality and highway safety. Failure to obtain the required emissions and/or safety inspection on your vehicle will block license plate renewal.

Real ID Act Legislation

Effective May 11, 2008, it will become necessary for every licensed driver seeking to renew his/her NC Driver License and for every new applicant for a NC driver license to provide certain documents as evidence and proof of name, birthdate, principle residence address and legal status/social security number.  Each renewal and/or new applicant must appear in person at the local DMV office before the new license can be processed.

Documentation required before issuing a Real ID Act Compliant License or ID card
Before a card can be issued, the applicant must provide the following documentation:

  • A photo ID, or a non-photo ID that includes full legal name and birthdate.
  • Documentation of birthdate.
  • Documentation of legal status and Social Security number
  • Documentation showing name and principle residence address.
  • Digital images of each identity document will be stored in each state's DMV database.

Click on this link to learn more about Real ID Act

Organ Donor Legislation:

Effective October 1, 2007, (NC House Bill 1372) the heart on the driver’s license will have a new meaning. New legislation will go into effect making the heart symbol legally binding. Examiners from the NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) are still expected to ask citizens applying for a learner’s permit, driver’s license or those applying for state-issued identification cards if they want to be an organ donor.

Key Facts You Should Know About Organ Donation:

  • NC House Bill 1372 converts the heart on the license to legal first person consent, meaning that the donor’s family members can not overturn the donor’s decision. 
  • Consent for donation must still be obtained for individuals under age 18 from parents or legal guardians.  Once the donor turns 18 however, the heart on the license will be upheld. 
  • Those who already have the heart on their license will be grandfathered in.
  • It is still important for donors to tell their next-of-kin their wishes on donation as they will be notified of the person’s decision at the time of death and asked for a medical/social history of the donor.
  • The heart indicates organ and eye donation ONLY.  Family members will continue to be consulted before tissue donation (heart valves, skin, etc.) can take place.
  • Names in the DMV donor registry are kept confidential and can only be accessed at the time of the donor’s death by one of the three authorized donor recovery agencies operating in North Carolina.
  • Names on the registry can be added or deleted by visiting a NC DMV office.
  • An online registry is available for those individuals who want to declare themselves as donors or remove themselves from the list without having to go to a DMV office. The web address is www.donatelifenc.org.


Seat Belt Legislation:

Effective December 1, 2006, (SL 2006-140) all persons in your vehicle must be properly restrained by either a seat belt or child safety restraint.  This new law applies to all drivers.  Any driver or front seat passenger who fails to wear a seat belt as required by this law shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) plus court costs in the amount of fifty dollars ($50.00).  Any rear seat occupant of a vehicle who fails to wear a seat belt as required by this law shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a penalty of ten dollars ($10.00) and no court costs.  No driver's license points or insurance surcharge shall be assessed because of a violation of this law.

Cell Phone Legislation:

Effective December 1, 2006, (SL 2006-177) it is illegal for a driver under the age of 18 to talk on a hand-held or hands-free cell phone while operating a motor vehicle and that vehicle is in motion.  Exceptions are made for 911 emergency calls or calls to the police or calls to doctors and/or hospitals.  Exceptions are also made for calls to the driver's parents and/or guardian or spouse.  Any person violating this law shall have committed an infraction and shall pay a fine of twenty-five dollars ($25.00) and remain at the driver's current level of restricted license for an additional six months.  This is an offense for which a defendant may waive the right to a hearing or trial and admit responsibility for the infraction pursuant to G.S. 7A-148.  No driver's license points, insurance surcharge, or court costs shall be assessed as a result of a violation of this law.

In compliance with Federal Law, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Driver Education Department administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability.