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How to Replace a Driver License in North Carolina

If you have lost your drivers license in North Carolina, then you should get a duplicate license as soon as possible. You should order a replacement drivers license if your license is lost, stolen, damaged, unreadable or out-of-date since you must have a valid license to drive on the road in North Carolina, according to state law.

You need a replacement driver’s license to avoid incurring penalties while driving. Failing to carry a license while driving is an infraction in North Carolina. If you receive an infraction, then you may be required to pay fines and court costs. You can avoid risking this expense by getting a duplicate license if yours is missing. The sections below describe how to replace a North Carolina driver’s license, what you need to do it and when to complete the process.

Methods of Replacing a North Carolina Driver’s License

You can get a drivers license replacement in North Carolina online or in person depending on your circumstances. However, you may be required to visit a DMV license office to request a duplicate drivers license in some cases if you do not meet the eligibility requirements to do so. Completing the process online may be simpler. However, you must receive your license in the mail. If you apply for a replacement license in person, then you can receive it immediately.


In order to replace a drivers license online in North Carolina, you must meet all the eligibility requirements in place. If any of the following are true, then you must apply in person instead:

  • You have a suspended driver license credentials
  • You have an outstanding debt with the NC DMV
  • You require a duplicate commercial driver’s license with a P or S endorsement
  • You have a U.S. government document indicating legal presence
  • You want to upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant license
  • Your legal name has changed
  • Your driver’s license photo is more than five years old

You are eligible to replace a lost drivers license online if none of the above are true. To replace a license online, visit the NC DMV online services portal and provide your identifying information. Select the request for a duplicate driver’s license and then pay the necessary $13 replacement fee. Once you submit your request and payment, you will receive your replacement license in the mail.

In Person

If replacing your North Carolina drivers license online is not an option, then you must complete the process in person. You may wonder, “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license?” if you are ineligible to get a replacement online. The answer is at your nearest NC DMV driver’s license office. The steps for how to replace your drivers license in person differ from replacing your license online.

Locate your nearest NC DMV license office. You can contact them ahead of time to make an appointment if you do not want to wait in line. Bring your method of payment for the $13 drivers license replacement fee and any required documents. You may be required to retake a driver’s license photo depending on the age of your previous license. Once you submit your payment and complete the requests, you can receive your new driver’s license right away.

If you are requesting a copy of your NC driver’s license because your legal name has changed, then you must plan accordingly. Submit your name change with the Social Security Administration at least one day before you request a duplicate license. In some cases, it may take two days before you can complete the name change process on a driver license. Additionally, you should provide any necessary documents when you submit your in-person application. This ensures that your requested duplicate license will have the most up-to-date information available.

Documents Required to Replace Your North Carolina Driver’s License

In most cases, you do not need to provide additional documentation to replace your North Carolina driver’s license besides identifying information such as your legal name, Social Security Number (SSN) or driver’s license number if known. Additionally, before replacing your driver’s license, you may need to take a new photo in person.

However, if you are replacing your driver’s license due to a name change, then you should expect to provide documentation proving your change of name. This can include:

  • A marriage certificate.
  • A divorce decree.
  • A court document.

Additionally, if you want to replace your driver’s license in order to upgrade to a REAL ID, you must bring all the federally required documents. For a REAL ID, you must provide the following documents:

  • One document proving your identity
  • One document confirming your SSN
  • Two documents proving your North Carolina residency
  • One document proving your legal presence if you are not a US citizen
  • One or more documents verifying a change of name if applicable

When to Replace a North Carolina Driver’s License

You should replace your North Carolina driver’s license when it is missing or no longer functional. For example, if you have experienced a stolen or otherwise lost driver’s license, then you should obtain a duplicate as soon as possible. You are not required to report a stolen driver’s license or provide a police report to request a duplicate.

You must order a replacement driver’s license if your driver’s license is damaged as well. Like obtaining a state-issued ID card, your license is a form of ID, which means your identifying information and photo should be clearly visible on your document. You must get a DMV duplicate license if your license is warped beyond legibility. Water damage, snapping the license or significantly bending it out of shape may all require a replacement.

Finally, you should request a copy of your driver’s license if your legal name has changed. For instance, if you get married or divorced or receive a court-ordered name change, then you must update your documents. Carrying an inaccurate form of identification can lead to complications in situations where you need to prove your identity. You must be sure to submit your change of name with the Social Security Administration before you request a new driver’s license. If not, then you may receive a duplicate with your old name on it.