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I am under 17 and have a Virginia driver's license. Can I use it to drive in North Carolina with other teens in the car?


From the information we have received if you are a Virginia resident with a learner's permit or are a teen with a driver's license you are allowed to drive out of state as long as you follow the restrictions and conditions of your permit / license.

As you are aware Virginia has teen driving restrictions in place. These include the Commonwealth of Virginia's curfew laws which prohibit a driver under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from driving midnight to 4 A.M. If you hold a driver's license you may drive during these hours:

  • in case of an emergency;
  • when traveling to and from work or a school-sponsored event;
  • when accompanied by a parent or other adult acting in place of a parent;
  • when responding to an emergency call as a volunteer firefighter or rescue squad personnel.

Also if you are under age 18, you may carry only one passenger under age 18 during the first year that you hold your driver's license. After you have held your license for one year, you may carry only three passengers under age 18 until you reach age 18. Learner's permit holders may not carry more than one passenger under age 18. Passenger restrictions do not apply to family members.

Virginia's cellular telephone law restricts a driver under age 18 who holds a learner's permit or driver's license from using any cellular telephone or any other wireless telecommunications device, regardless of whether such device is or is not hand-held. If you are under age 18, you can only use a cell phone or any other telecommunications device:

  • for a driver emergency;
  • when the vehicle is lawfully parked or stopped.

Violations of either the VA curfew or passenger restrictions can result in the suspension of your driver's license.

Now the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) states that any nonresident driving in North Carolina who is at least 16 years old and is abiding by the restrictions on their learner's permit or license as required by the issuing State is authorized to drive in this State.

The NC Division of Motor Vehicles stated to us that you can operate a vehicle in the state of North Carolina with an out of state permit or license however you will be required to obey all restrictions on your permit / license.

So it would appear from the VA teen driving restrictions that you may carry only one passenger under age 18 if you are in your first year of holding your VA driver's license. If you have held your license for over a year then you can hold up to 3 passengers while in either VA or NC.

You can contact the NC DOT yourself to get more information on driving in North Carolina with your out of state license as a teenager and verify that you only have to follow the VA restrictions on your license.

Just so you are aware of what the normal restrictions are on a 17 year old provisional licensed driver in NC are they include:

  • All passengers must be restrained by seat belt or child safety seat.
  • May drive without supervision from 5 am to 9 pm and at any time then driving to or from work or any volunteer fire, rescue or EMS, if you are a member.
  • When supervision is required, the supervising driver must be seated beside the driver.
  • The number of passengers allowed in a motor vehicle under the age of 21 is restricted to 1 when the driver is the holder of a NC Level 2 license.
  • If all passengers under the age of 21 are members of the driver's immediate family or household then there is no under 21 limit restriction in place.
  • The use of a mobile/cell telephone is prohibited. This includes the use of any features related to a mobile/cell telephone, such as a camera, electronic mail, music, games, or the Internet. This applies only when the vehicle is in motion while driving on a street, highway, or public vehicular area.

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1 Responses to "I am under 17 and have a Virginia driver's license. Can I use it to drive in North Carolina with other teens in the car?"
  1. Anonymous

    lots of answers to lots of questions...very informative