The penalty for letting someone without a license drive your car in North Carolina is as severe as driving without a license yourself.

Both instances are class 3 misdemeanors under North Carolina law.

The following are Class 3 misdemeanors, and if you’re convicted of any of these, you may face up to 20 days in jail and a $200 fine.

  • Driving without ever being licensed
  • Not complying with license restrictions
  • Letting an unlicensed driver drive your car

What happens if you get caught driving without a license in NC?

However, some license issues in North Carolina aren’t as severe, and are treated as moving violations. For example, if you are cited for driving with “no operating license,” or NOL, you will get:

  • A fine of up to $100, plus court costs
  • 3 points on your driver's record
  • 1 point on your insurance record

The NOL violation is given to drivers in the following instances:

  • You have a valid drivers’ license but it’s not in your possession    
  • Your North Carolina drivers' license expired
  • You’ve lived in North Carolina for more than 60 days and still only have a valid out-of-state license

Class 2 misdemeanor penalties in NC for driving without a license

License issues that are not treated like moving violations or Class 3 misdemeanors are classified as Class 2 misdemeanors in North Carolina, and according to the North Carolina-based law firm Caulder and Valentine, these include:

  • Driving with a cancelled or revoked drivers' license
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Knowingly showing a fake drivers' license

These offenses are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

More resources for North Carolina drivers

The following guides provide more details on car insurance coverage and laws: