A Happy DMV Customer

Yesterday I had the most fantastic experience:  I renewed my driver’s license in a matter of minutes. I didn’t have to take a sign test. I didn’t have to leave my office.  And I get to keep my old picture.

No, DMV isn’t cutting me any special breaks. I used their newly launched on-line renewal system, and my new license will arrive in my mailbox in the next week or two.

The General Assembly authorized DMV to offer remote driver’s license renewal in G.S. 20-7(f)(6), a provision that became effective August 7, 2014, but applied only to driver’s licenses renewed after DMV adopted rules implementing its provisions. The rules adopted by NCDMV are codified in Title 19 of the North Carolina Administrative Code at Section .0201, and DMV launched the on-line system last June. The website for on-line renewal contains easy to follow instructions.

Who’s eligible?  You can renew on-line if you have a valid, unexpired Class C North Carolina driver’s license that was issued when you were at least 18 years old and that has no restriction other than a restriction for corrective lenses. Your most recent renewal must have been an in-person renewal and you must otherwise be eligible to renew your license.

The website requires you to make several attestations that correspond to the requirements in the administrative rules.

  • I am who I say I am and live at the address shown on the license that I’m renewing.
  • No changes in my vision have occurred in the last 6 months [the rules actually refer to the time that has passed since the last visual acuity test by DMV] that may impair my ability to safely operate a motor vehicle.
  • All information provided during the application for remote renewal is truthful.


The requirement for road sign tests and for a newly captured photo are waived.

My new license will be bulletproof.  Oh wait, that’s Kevlar.  These have a Teslin coating.  That apparently makes them waterproof.  Close.  In any event, it will be more durable and contain fancy new security features.  (My old one has held up just fine, but that may be because no one ever asks to see it.)  The front will display the year North Carolina signed the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence.  (providing a nice tie-in to our new First In Freedom license plate).

All in all, I’m happy to report that something good has come this year from having a summer birthday—not having to take that sign test almost makes up for never having a cupcake party at school.  Almost.