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DMV to change office hours, end waivers for road tests

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is making changes to road tests for young drivers and office hours at several driver’s license offices across the state.

The changes also affect how long drivers must have a learner permit.

The state of emergency for COVID-19 has ended, which means waivers for road tests will end Sept. 14.

At the end of the year, North Carolina will once again start requiring 16- and 17-year-olds to have a permit for a year before taking the road test, instead of the shortened six-month period introduced during the pandemic.

“Driving is a privilege,” said Chris Carroll, owner of LKN Driving School. “It’s not a right. We’re talking money, injuries, loss damages.”

LKN Driving School offers behind-the-wheel instruction.

Many parents were against letting their child go without a road test, he said.

“I know a lot of parents who held off on their child getting a license,” Carroll said.

Lora Gilreth’s 15-year-old daughter just got her driver’s permit.

“I am glad that they have the test again,” Gilreth said. “I think that they need that extra driving. The extra testing.”

Gilreth said the changes to the road test bring her peace of mind.

“It just reinforces that they can drive on the road safely and keep everyone safe around them,” the mother said.

Changes to office hours

Saturday walk-in service hours at 16 offices, which began on May 21, will end on Aug. 27.

Beginning Sept. 6, another 10 offices will join 25 offices opening at 7 a.m., an hour earlier than normal, to provide walk-in services. The additional offices are Concord, Hickory, Salisbury, Durham East, Fayetteville South, High Point, Lexington, Lumberton, New Bern and Wentworth.

A current list of offices with Saturday and extended hours can be found here.

Visit the NCDMV’s webpage for more information.