The Ultimate North Carolina Car Insurance Guide (Costs + Coverage)
|North Carolina Statistics Summary||Stats|
|Miles of Roadway||Total in State: 106,334|
Vehicle Miles Driven: 111,879 million
|Number of Vehicles||Registered: 7,740,051|
|Most Popular Vehicle||Accord|
|Total Driving Related Deaths||Speeding: 327|
|Full Coverage Annual Premiums||Liability: $359.42|
|Cheapest Provider||Libery Mutual|
North Carolina continuously lavishes us with its rich, historic American roots.
Not only was America’s first colony attempted in 1587 along the Outer Banks on Roanoke Island, but the American Revolution and Civil War both had battles on its rich grounds that were once booming with tobacco and cotton in the mid-1600s, making the state a luxury to Scottish, English, Quaker, and German immigrants during that time.
It is also home to a very important moment that kick-started the civil rights movement when African American college students in Greensboro refused to leave an all-white cafe in the 1960s.
Today, small coastal towns are still rooted in their colonial traditions. You’ll also find that the western Appalachian towns still maintain their folksy traditions. And who can forget large cities in the east and Piedmont, where the tech industry and business are thriving?
Whether you’re a local or planning to relocate, finding the right car insurance is a must if you want to enjoy this historically rich state. Or perhaps you’re simply interested in the state of North Carolina and want to learn more about car insurance.
Whatever the case may be, we know it can be a bit tricky. With all the various promotions and rates, it’s almost impossible to sift through all of the jargon and fine print and find the real deal.
That’s why we want to help you.
Imagine having a complete comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about North Carolina car insurance.
We’ll educate you on coverage and rate types, as well as the North Carolina companies.
We’ll also cover insurance and state laws, as well as rules of the roads and fatalities, to keep you informed whenever you’re out on the road.
So let’s get to it.
Use our free tool by entering your ZIP code above or keep reading in case you want to learn more about North Carolina auto insurance.
North Carolina Car Insurance Coverage & Rates
Where does one start when finding the right insurance?
We know this is no easy task.
We’ve done the work of collecting and dissecting information on coverage needed in North Carolina, as well as additional liability and premiums as a percentage of your income.
We’ve also compared male and female rates and rates by city and ZIP code to set the foundation for what you may be working with.
– North Carolina’s Car Culture
While some southern states may desire ultra-powered pickups, North Carolina is modest and practical, as the most popular vehicle in North Carolina is the Honda Accord.
And rightfully so.
Saving money on gas allows its residents to explore their vast North Carolinian routes without hurting their wallets. Whether cruising in the city or out on a road trip amidst its mountains or coastal villages, the Honda Accord gets the job done for most North Carolinian residents.
Now let’s talk minimum coverage in the state.
– North Carolina Minimum Coverage
|Bodily Injury Liability||$30,000 per person|
$60,000 per accident
|Property Damage Liability||$25,000 per accident|
Each state differs when it comes to insurance requirements.
Liability insurance, which is required in all states except New Hampshire, is the most state-regulated insurance in the game. It pays for damage, repairs, or injuries you cause the opposing party if an accident occurs.
The two main types of liability car insurance are bodily injury liability and property injury liability.
Bodily injury covers medical expenses and lost wages of the opposing party, along with passengers and bystanders affected by the accident.
Property injury covers damages to the opposing party’s vehicle or even government property, such as structures and fixtures.
In North Carolina, the minimum liability requirements are as follows: bodily injury for a person, $30,000; $60,000 per accident; and property damage, $25,000 per incident.
If you don’t meet these minimum insurance liability requirements, you can’t legally drive in the state of North Carolina.
Being covered in the right capacity will indeed keep you out of trouble with the law, but how does one verify that you have insurance?
We’ll talk about those types of proof or forms of financial responsibility next.
– Forms of Financial Responsibility
Financial responsibility are laws mandated for each state, specifying the documentation acceptable for proof of insurance.
They are used to determine the minimum requirements are met and the status of the insurance policy is active.
Certification of liability insurance coverage must be submitted on DMV Form DL-123, or an original liability insurance policy, binder or certificate of insurance.
Proof of insurance is not optional, it is law, so make sure you have one of the above.
Next, we will explore how much money drivers in North Carolina spend on average for their car insurance.
– Premiums as a Percentage of Income
A person’s income per capita is the amount of money one has after taxes to spend or to save.
So how much of this disposable income did North Carolinians put toward their car insurance? We managed to get these telling numbers from the NAIC (or National Association of Insurance Commissioners).
|Year||Average Disposable Income||Average Full Coverage||Percent of Disposable Income|
While this data is a bit dated and premiums have probably increased since then, it still provides a reliable reference point in which one could evaluate the impact of car insurance on the lives of North Carolinians in recent years.
In 2014, the income per capita for each person in North Carolina was $35,099.00.
This means drivers in North Carolina spent $768.28 for a full comprehensive car insurance policy, 2.19 percent of their annual income.
This number stayed the same in 2013, after declining from the 2.07 percent drop in 2012.
How did this compare to its surrounding neighbors? Virginia paid the cheapest that year, at 1.9 percent. However, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Georgia paid more than North Carolina at 2.32 percent, 2.81 percent, and 2.87 percent, respectively.
While 2.19 percent of one’s income may seem a bit pricey, North Carolina was lower than the national average all three years.
That’s something to keep in mind.
Again, this data is a bit dated. You can find out what percentage of your income is going to your insurance policy by using our free calculator tool below.
Next, we’ll take a look at core coverage.
– Core Coverage
North Carolina’s numbers for liability, collision, and comprehensive were lower than national numbers, allowing it to beat out the total national average by a couple hundred dollars.
|Coverage Type||Average Rate in Nevada (2015)||Average Cost Nationwide (2015)|
But what type of additional coverage exists? We’ll talk additional liability next.
– Additional Liability
Learning about your insurance premiums is extremely important, and so is learning the financial health of a state’s auto insurance providers. Yes, we have access to that information, and it’s all according to a little something called loss ratios.
A loss ratio shows how much a company spends on types of claims compared with how much money they take in on premiums.
Let’s say we have a loss ratio of 0.6. This displays that a company spent $60 on claims out of every $100 earned in premiums.
A good range for loss ratios is 0.6 to 0.7 because it indicates that a company is managing the money coming in and doing a good job paying out its claims.
Anything below 0.5 means a company is making money but is not paying out its claims.
And 0.9 through 1.0 indicates a company in distress, as they may be paying out their claims but are losing money.
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||82.73%||80.48%||81.38%|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)||60.91%||54.20%||58.32%|
The chart above shows additional types of liability for medical payments and uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, types of coverages people usually tend to use to bulk up their policy.
For both MedPay and UUM insurance, companies in North Carolina are doing a fairly good job of paying out their claims.
So buying additional liability insurance, in this case, may be worth it. Furthermore, 6.5 percent of drivers in North Carolina are uninsured.
While that’s only 48th out of the entire United States (Florida ranks number one with 26.7 percent, respectively), accidents happen, so buying additional liability is something to always consider.
– Add-Ons, Endorsements, & Riders
In case you’re looking to bulk up your insurance policy, here are a few add-ons you may not be too familiar about. Feel free to click and explore them below.
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
- Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
We’re talking male and female rates next.
– Male vs. Female Rates
Here are male and female rates for companies in North Carolina.
|Company||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male|
Usually, women have lower rates, as men tend to have more traffic violations and DUIs. If you look at the chart, however, male and female rates are the same across the board.
This is because basing one’s rates on gender has been outlawed in the state of North Carolina. This is not the case for all states, however.
Rates drop from when someone turns 25, because of the theory that younger drivers are a liability to insurance companies. State Farm seems to give younger drivers a break in this respect, with only a difference of $600 — much less compared to the rest of the companies listed.
Rates also decrease when one gets older, aging from 35 to 60. Perhaps it’s because older drivers are more experienced and spend less time on the road, making them less of a liability.
Did you know where you live can also affect your rate?
We’ll take a look at that next.
– Cheapest Rates by ZIP Code
Here are the 25 least expensive ZIP codes in North Carolina.
|25 Least Expensive Zip Code||City||Average by Zip Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|27265||HIGH POINT||$2,883.83||Allstate||$6,076.76||Travelers||$2,750.53||Liberty Mutual||$1,918.26||Progressive||$1,993.83|
|28711||BLACK MOUNTAIN||$2,891.80||Allstate||$6,227.12||Travelers||$2,681.73||Liberty Mutual||$1,865.73||Progressive||$2,054.26|
|27516||CHAPEL HILL||$2,894.00||Allstate||$6,543.38||Travelers||$2,628.40||Liberty Mutual||$1,833.71||Progressive||$1,926.80|
|27103||WINSTON SALEM||$2,906.04||Allstate||$6,155.71||Travelers||$2,750.53||Liberty Mutual||$1,918.26||Progressive||$2,038.99|
|27105||WINSTON SALEM||$2,906.78||Allstate||$6,155.71||Travelers||$2,750.53||Liberty Mutual||$1,918.26||Progressive||$2,027.48|
|27045||RURAL HALL||$2,911.84||Allstate||$6,076.76||Travelers||$2,750.53||Liberty Mutual||$1,918.26||Progressive||$2,035.22|
|27101||WINSTON SALEM||$2,913.24||Allstate||$6,155.71||Travelers||$2,750.53||Liberty Mutual||$1,918.26||Progressive||$2,025.74|
Several unincorporated cities make up the list here. This means there are no emergency services within those designated areas. Small towns also appear, as well as census-designated areas, that is, cities with no municipal government.
You can see why these places aren’t as desirable as some of the big-name cities, which we’ll look at in a second.
|25 Most Expensive Zip Codes||City||Average by Zip Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|28205||CHARLOTTE||$4,803.84||Allstate||$10,255.09||State Farm||$4,754.10||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,600.76|
|28206||CHARLOTTE||$4,801.37||Allstate||$10,255.09||State Farm||$4,730.74||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,606.80|
|28212||CHARLOTTE||$4,795.85||Allstate||$10,255.09||State Farm||$4,752.72||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,546.16|
|28208||CHARLOTTE||$4,786.44||Allstate||$10,176.40||State Farm||$4,724.45||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,587.28|
|28217||CHARLOTTE||$4,746.83||Allstate||$9,909.55||State Farm||$4,710.84||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,590.48|
|28262||CHARLOTTE||$4,649.95||Allstate||$9,496.84||State Farm||$4,569.67||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,466.15|
|28215||CHARLOTTE||$4,639.07||Allstate||$9,084.42||State Farm||$4,766.92||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,605.20|
|28213||CHARLOTTE||$4,633.71||Allstate||$9,102.08||State Farm||$4,674.82||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||GEICO||$3,621.01|
|28216||CHARLOTTE||$4,530.13||Allstate||$8,427.84||State Farm||$4,764.99||Liberty Mutual||$3,198.09||Progressive||$3,501.10|
|28310||FORT BRAGG||$4,347.17||Allstate||$9,218.95||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,204.08|
|28308||POPE A F B||$4,330.29||Allstate||$9,205.54||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,149.93|
|28307||FORT BRAGG||$4,328.13||Allstate||$9,218.95||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,108.69|
|28390||SPRING LAKE||$4,274.80||Allstate||$8,991.91||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,113.76|
|28348||HOPE MILLS||$4,256.98||Allstate||$8,867.89||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,092.61|
The latter table shows the 25 most expensive ZIP codes in North Carolina. Is it a surprise that Charlotte appears the most attractive and expensive for cities in North Carolina?
It is one of the most famous cities in North Carolina, the most populated, and home to many historic and innovative attractions.
– Cheapest Rates by City
The 10 least expensive cities in North Carolina are as follows:
|City||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Black Mountain||$2,891.80||Allstate||$6,227.12||Travelers||$2,681.73||Liberty Mutual||$1,865.73||Progressive||$2,054.26|
And the most expensive?
|City||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Pope Army Airfield||$4,330.29||Allstate||$9,205.54||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,149.93|
|Fort Bragg||$4,328.13||Allstate||$9,218.95||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,108.69|
|Spring Lake||$4,274.80||Allstate||$8,991.91||Travelers||$4,040.19||Liberty Mutual||$2,815.72||Progressive||$3,113.76|
|Hope Mills||$4,135.67||Allstate||$8,944.64||Travelers||$3,802.86||Liberty Mutual||$2,670.66||Progressive||$2,928.48|
|Rex||$4,043.21||Allstate||$9,021.39||State Farm||$3,678.16||Liberty Mutual||$2,525.61||Progressive||$2,824.28|
While the unincorporated community of Newell may not be as popular, it sits along the northeast edge of Charlotte, which could be why we find it at the top of the list of most expensive cities.
Best North Carolina Car Insurance Companies
So what truly makes an auto insurance provider the best?
We also have information on complaints, thanks to the NAIC, as well as who has the best rates considering various factors, such as one’s credit history and driving record.
Want to learn about the best North Carolina insurance companies?
– The Largest Companies’ Financial Rating
Companies can get graded, too, based on their performance in various areas. That’s what A.M. Best is all about, looking at various factors to determine an institution’s financial health.
The opinion represents a comprehensive analysis consisting of a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of balance sheet strength, operating performance, and business profile or, where appropriate, the specific nature and details of a security.
Why is this important?
Because you want to ensure the provider you choose does a great job of maintaining their organization from an internal perspective, versus simply its outer, and often glamorized, persona.
Let’s take a look at the A.M. Best scores for companies in North Carolina below.
|Company||AM Best Rating|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||A|
Everyone knows getting an A is great in itself, but A.M. Best awards an A++ to companies it considers to be superior on all levels.
Thus, companies like Geico, State Farm, Nationwide, and USAA rank above the best.
But what about customer satisfaction?
We’ll get into that next.
– Companies with Best Ratings
J.D. Power, world-renown in its leadership of consumer insights, advisory services, and data and analytics, recently did an Auto Insurance Survey.
The 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 20th year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors (in order of importance): interaction; policy offerings; price; billing process and policy information; and claims.
The study is based on responses from 42,759 auto insurance customers and was fielded from February through April 2019.
The results for the Southeast region of the United States are as follows:
|Farm Bureau Insurance - Tennessee||888||5-Among the best|
|USAA (for military members and their families only)||878||5-Among the best|
|Alfa Insurance||855||4-Better than most|
|Auto-Owners Insurance||852||4-Better than most|
|Erie Insurance||870||4-Better than most|
|State Farm||853||4-Better than most|
|KY Farm Bureau||830||3-About average|
|Southeast Average||841||3-About average|
|Liberty Mutual||809||2-The Rest|
|National General||820||2-The Rest|
Only one company surpassed the rest, rating among the best — Farm Bureau Insurance of Tennessee.
We’ll talk complaints next.
– Companies with the Most Complaints in North Carolina
What companies have the most complaints? Here is some data provided by the NAIC for the biggest companies in North Carolina.
|Company Complaint Ratio 2017||Total Complaints 2017|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||1||0.66||33|
State Farm had the most complaints at 1,482. Looking at their loss ratio of .44, one can infer that they are not paying out their claims as well either.
On the other hand, companies like Eerie showed strength as a company with a loss ratio of .75, with only 22 company complaints.
Something to definitely consider.
– Cheapest Companies in North Carolina
So what are the cheapest companies in North Carolina?
|Company||Average||Compared to State Average||Percentage Compared to State Average|
Liberty Mutual and Progressive prove to be the cheapest providers, at 55.45 percent and 42.41 percent below the state average, respectively.
Allstate, however, is 52.81 percent above the state average.
– Commute Rates by Companies
Is your commute long or short? Which companies charge more rates for commutes? Which are more forgiving?
Let’s check it out.
|Company||10 Miles Commute, 6000 Annual Mileage||25 Miles Commute, 12000 Annual Mileage|
Nearly all companies give their customers a break when it comes to having longer commutes.
State Farm charges a few extra bucks but is still not nearly as bad as companies in other states.
– Coverage Level Rates by Companies
Every person starts off with a basic amount of coverage. But what if you wanted to expand on this coverage? Will it be a costly ordeal?
|Company||Low Coverage||Medium Coverage||High Coverage|
Every company listed bumps up their rates a bit for higher coverage levels.
But what about credit history?
We’ll take a look at that next.
– Credit History Rates by Companies
Can your credit score have an impact on your car insurance premium? Absolutely.
Let’s see how these companies in North Carolina fare.
Companies such as Liberty Mutual and Nationwide offer no additional charge for having a bad credit history.
Customers for State Farm and Allstate, however, paid 101.78 percent and 76.23 percent more, respectively.
And what about driving records? Which companies reward you for a good driving record and which are less forgiving?
Keep reading to check it out.
– Driving Record Rates by Companies
|Company||Clean Record||With 1 Speeding||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI|
From the data provided, we see that companies are charging more than 200 percent for bad driving records.
Be sure to keep your record clean to avoid higher insurance premiums.
– Largest Car Insurance Companies in North Carolina
A market share is the portion of a market controlled by a particular company.
|Company||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share|
|North Carolina Farm Bureau||$566,514||9.46%|
In North Carolina, State Farm has the highest market share with 15.3 percent, followed by Nationwide with 12.7 percent, respectively.
– Number of Insurers in North Carolina
And lastly, how many insurers exist within the state of North Carolina?
|Domestic||Foreign||Total Number of Licensed Insurers|
Domestic insurance laws are formed under the laws of that particular state, while foreign insurance laws are formed under U.S. laws.
In North Carolina, there are 56 domestic companies and 855 foreign companies, totaling 911 insurers — that’s a lot of insurance options to choose from.
Want to explore your options and start saving on auto insurance now? Simply enter your ZIP code in the box below to get started.
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North Carolina Laws
If shuffling through countless pages of information to know how to stay informed on North Carolina laws doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry.
In this part of our comprehensive guide, we outline state laws that are useful for all types of drivers in North Carolina, including teens, new, and older residents.
We’ll cover laws off and on the road, including car insurance laws, vehicle licensing laws, rules of the road, and safety laws.
– Car Insurance Laws
Car insurance laws vary from state to state. Whether you’re driving through historic North Carolina for the first time or you’re a regular, knowing these laws are extremely important.
Let’s take a look.
– How North Carolina Laws for Insurance are Determined
North Carolina is under a prior approval system. This means government interference is necessary to ensure adequate but not excessive rates.
Thus, insurance companies must obtain approval for rate changes, with the justification of those rate changes submitted as well, prior to their implementation.
Next, let’s take a look at something extremely practical: laws regarding windshield coverage.
– Windshield Coverage
Some states have no laws pertaining to windshield coverage.
In North Carolina, however, when replacing a windshield, aftermarket parts are allowed with written notice and must be at least equal in terms of fit, quality, performance, and warranty.
There are no laws stating the customer must choose the insurer’s repair vendor; they may choose their own.
Next, we’ll talk about laws surrounding high-risk insurance.
– High-Risk Insurance
Some drivers are deemed high-risk if they have too many violations on their driving record.
If you live in North Carolina and can’t find coverage with auto insurers in the state, the insurance company may choose to turn your insurance policy over to the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility (NCRF).
As stated on their site: “Created in 1973, the mission of the North Carolina Reinsurance Facility (NCRF) is to ensure that all eligible risks can purchase auto liability insurance, to ensure the right premiums are collected and the correct losses are paid, and to minimize the impact on policyholders and companies in North Carolina.”
You’ll be subjected to higher rates through the NCRF, so you’ll want to make sure, if you do end up in the pool, that you focus on improving your driving record to ensure lower rates and eligibility with traditional markets.
– Low-Cost Insurance
And what about low-cost insurance?
Some states, like California, Hawaii, and New Jersey, have low-income car insurance assistance for their residents.
North Carolina, though it offers insurance for high-risk individuals, does not have a program to help low-income families.
The next subject we’ll cover is insurance fraud — something everyone needs to be wary of.
– Automobile Insurance Fraud in North Carolina
According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance fraud amounts to $30 billion each year.
And this fraud may be committed by different parties — applicants for insurance, for example, and even policy insurers and third-party claimants.
Insurance fraud can be either hard or soft. Hard fraud refers to fabricating claims, and soft fraud is misrepresenting the payment of lower premiums by a policy insurer, for example.
North Carolina is one of the states that have set up fraud bureaus to address this crisis.
If you suspect fraud, you can report through the following ways in North Carolina:
- Online Fraud Reporting System (OFRS)
- Phone: 919-807-6840 or toll-free 888-680-7684 (North Carolina only)
- Fax: 919-715-1156
- Email: email@example.com
- Mail: Criminal Investigations Division, N.C. Department of Insurance, 1201 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1201
Next, we’ll talk about the statute of limitations.
– Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations is the amount of time one has to bring a legal matter to court.
In the state of North Carolina, the statute of limitations for personal injury is three years.
The statute of limitations for property damage is also three years.
While three years may seem like a lot of time, the processes your case may go through could take time. Insurers may handle thousands of cases, so filing right away if there is an accident is extremely important.
– State-Specific Laws
Some states have common laws across the board, such as seat belt laws and speed limits (which we’ll get into in a second). However, laws can vary from state to state.
Take North Carolina’s fender-bender law. Under this law, if a non-major collision or injury occurs, the vehicle must pull over at the shoulder.
This is done to keep traffic moving and to reduce the risk of secondary collisions. Failure to do so could result in a $110 fine and court costs.
North Carolina is one of the few states that have a contributory negligence rule. This law states that if a collision occurs and you’re considered even 1 percent at fault, you’re completely barred from recovering any compensation.
There is no empirical rule; one must be able to negotiate with either a claims adjustor or persuade a judge or jury.
– Vehicle Licensing Laws
What exactly does the law call for when getting a license? We’ve outlined the state’s vehicle licensing laws for you.
Let’s keep reading to learn more.
– REAL ID
What’s the deal with REAL ID?
Beginning October 1st, 2020, federal agencies will enforce the REAL ID act.
This requires a REAL ID, U.S. Passport, or another federally approved identification to board commercial flights and enter federal buildings.
The North Carolina REAL ID is a driver’s license that complies with the REAL ID act.
Let’s check out the video to learn more:
While you do not need to upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, you might want to do so, as it makes everyday life easier. If you don’t, you’ll be required to carry additional documentation in the scenarios listed above.
– Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
What are the consequences of driving without insurance in the state of North Carolina?
Let’s take a look at the following:
- Fine: $50; registration will be suspended until you provide proof of financial responsibility. It rises to a 30-day suspension if you’re in a car accident or knowingly drive without insurance. There is a $50 restoration fee plus a license plate fee.
- Fine: $100 within three years; registration will be suspended until you provide proof of financial responsibility. It rises to a 30-day suspension if you’re in a car accident or knowingly drive without insurance. There is a $50 restoration fee plus a license plate fee.
We don’t want you to be penalized for driving without insurance, so be sure to always have your proof readily available whenever you’re out on the road.
– Teen Driver Laws
Now let’s talk teen driver laws.
- “Graduated licensing” is the process a teen in North Carolina must go through before receiving full and unrestricted driving rights.
- This process involves strict requirements, preparing teens with experience on the road that would ultimately lead to no supervision and minimal limitations.
- For a teen to be eligible, they have to be at least 15 years old and acquire both of the following from a driver’s education course: 1) a Driving Eligibility Certificate and 2) a Driver’s Education Certificate.
Now let’s look at driver renewal procedures for our older drivers in the state of North Carolina.
– Older Driver License Renewal Procedures
If you are 66 years old and older in the state of North Carolina, you must renew your license every five years.
Proof of an adequate vision test is required at every renewal. The older population can renew their license online every other renewal.
But what about new residents?
– New Residents
If you are a new North Carolinian, you must apply for a license and title and registration within 60 days of establishing your permanent residence. This can be done at any North Carolinian DMV office with one of the following:
- Out-of-state license or one document (with full name) proving identity and date of birth
- Social Security card or other document proving Social Security number
- One document verifying your physical address in North Carolina (two are required if getting a North Carolina REAL ID)
- For individuals not born in the United States, one document (with full name) proving legal presence/lawful status
- A document proving liability insurance coverage from a provider licensed to do business in North Carolina
Written and road tests will be waived for individuals with a valid license from another state.
To learn more, visit the DMV website.
– License Renewal Procedures
About 60 days before your license expires, the North Carolina DMV will mail a reminder card with options for renewing your driver’s license.
Renewal can take place six months before it expires at any North Carolina DMV license office and can be done online in many cases. Licenses can be renewed online up to two years after the expiration date. Otherwise, renewals can be done in person at an NCDMV office.
Next, we’ll talk about something a little more sobering — negligent operator treatment systems.
– Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
If an individual is convicted of certain violations in North Carolina, they are allocated points which damage their overall driving record.
An individual’s license may be suspended if they accumulate as many as 12 points within a three-year period.
If more convictions are accumulated after reinstatement, one’s license is subject to further suspension.
If you’re a driver in North Carolina, you can see the status of your license, including the number of points assessed on your record, through your MyDMV account.
Insurance companies use a different point system when determining rates.
Now let’s talk rules of the road.
– Rules of the Road
Nobody likes getting a ticket or having an accident. That’s why discussing the rules of the road is so important.
We’re talking seat belts and car seats, speed limits, and more.
Knowing these rules before you get behind the wheel is imperative when driving through historic North Carolina.
– Fault vs. No-Fault
North Carolina is a fault state. The person who was at fault for causing the car accident is responsible for compensating anyone who suffered harm as a result of it.
This differs from a no-fault state, where you must use your own car insurance coverage for paying medical bills and other out-of-pocket losses, regardless of who caused the collision.
Seat belts and car seats are on the agenda next.
– Seat Belt & Car Seat Laws
Seat belts are extremely important, as they often act as the first line of defense when you’re involved in a collision.
In the state of North Carolina, people who are 16 years old and older must have their seat belts on in all seats. Failure to comply will result in a $25 maximum base fine for the first offense (additional fees may apply).
Child seat laws, of course, differ.
Children must be in a safety seat when they are 7 years and younger and less than 80 pounds.
They can use an adult seat belt when they are 8 through 15 years old, and sit in seats without shoulder belts when they weight 40-80 pounds. Again, failure to comply will result in a $25 maximum base fine for the first offense, with additional fees applicable.
Children who are 4 years and younger who weigh less than 40 pounds must be in the rear seat unless the front passenger airbag is deactivated or the restraint is designed for use with airbags.
Restrictions on cargo seats apply as well. Who is not covered?
- People 16 and older
- People 15 and younger if a supervising adult is present in the cargo area
- When the child is belted
- Vehicles that are being used in agriculture
- Vehicles with permanent overhead structures.
Now that we’re all buckled up, we’ll talk about move-over laws.
– Keep Right & Move-Over Laws
In North Carolina, the move-over law states that when seeing a vehicle in distress or law enforcement, for example, one should move over or, if they can’t move over, reduce their speed.
Failure to do so could result in a $250 fine.?
This video explains how the state is working to create less conflict on the road with this law and other advances:
Next, we’re talking speed limits.
– Speed Limits
Here are the speed limit restrictions for driving in North Carolina:
- Rural interstates: 70 mph
- Urban interstates: 70 mph
- Other limited-access roads: 70 mph
- Other roads: 65 mph
TNCs (or “Transportation Network Companies”) such as Uber and Lyft are becoming a part of the way we get around.
Farmers and Liberty Mutual provide rideshare coverage in the state of North Carolina.
With rideshare advances also come additional advances, such as automation on the road.
– Automation on the Road
Automation refers to any computerized feature or system, such as sensors, that were once done by human hands.
In the state of North Carolina, the law allows the deployment of these autonomous vehicles.
Currently, North Carolina law does not require the operator to be licensed to operate a fully autonomous vehicle when the automated driving system is engaged.
And while we may be able to get away with doing things autonomously, we can’t escape insurance coverage, as it is a requirement that these vehicles have liability insurance.
– Safety Laws
Safety is prominent to any driver. Simply knowing laws on DUIs or distracted driving could save your life, or another’s.
We’ve compiled everything you need to know about both topics below.
– DUI Laws
|DUI Law in North Carolina||Details|
|Name of Offense||Driving While Impaired (DWI)|
|High BAC Limit||0.15|
|Criminal Status by Offense||1st-3rd classified as level 1-5 based on sentence length, 4th+ class F felony|
|Look Back Period||7 years|
In North Carolina, it is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol content is .08 percent or more.
And the consequences are sobering. Simply look at the chart below.
|Offense Number||ALS or Revocation||Imprisonment||Fine||Other|
|1st||60 day suspension, 1 year revocation||1 day minimum. See columns 55 & 56 for NC sentencing structure and additional penalties||no minimum|
|2nd||2nd in 3 years: 4 year revocation; 1 year if 2nd in 4+ years||4 days minimum||no minimum||24-72 hours community service|
|3rd||1 year minimum, but permanent revocation possible; IID required for 7 years if restoration granted||14 days - 2 years||no minimum||possible vehicle seizure|
|4th||Permanent revocation; IID required for 7 years if restoration granted||12 months min|
You could spend a minimum of 12 months in jail and have your license permanently revoked if you have a fourth offense of drinking and driving.
Be sure to take the necessary precautions.
– Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws
Marijuana, like alcohol, can impair your ability to drive safely on the road.
In North Carolina, there is no marijuana-specific driving law. There is, however, zero tolerance for THC.
And last, but definitely not least, we’ll talk distracted driving.
– Distracted Driving Laws
Distracted driving refers to anything that prohibits or distracts your focus while driving, such as eating in the car or holding a cellular device.
The most notorious form of distracted driving is texting while driving.
In North Carolina, there is no handheld ban on cellphones, but there is a young driver’s ban for drivers younger than 18 years old.
In addition to this, all drivers have a texting ban in the state.
Let’s see what the state of North Carolina is saying about their notice in the rise of distracted driving collisions.
In response to this lawmakers are pushing the Hands Free NC Act to eliminate collisions.
Driving Safely in North Carolina
Vehicle thefts. Road fatalities.
We’ll be exposing the sobering traits you’ll want to know when you’re driving on North Carolina roads.
– Vehicle Theft in North Carolina
Did you know that there is data on the type of vehicle theft in North Carolina?
Let’s take a look.
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2004||424|
|Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||2003||370|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||1999||203|
The most popular car stolen in North Carolina in 2016 was the 1997 Honda Accord. This was followed by the 2004 full-size Ford pickup.
And the following data below on motor vehicle theft was extracted by the FBI.
|Kill Devil Hills||11|
|Pine Knoll Shores||0|
Charlotte-Mecklenburg had the most thefts with 2,622 thefts. Cities such as Banner Elk and Beech Mountain had zero thefts.
– Road Fatalities in North Carolina
Now, we want to present an in-depth look at statistics surrounding road fatalities in North Carolina.
– Most Fatal Highway in North Carolina
According to Geotab, Highway I-95 is the most fatal highway in North Carolina. This highway had 200 fatal crashes in the last decade.
This is important information, especially if you find yourself on that freeway often.
– Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition & Light Condition
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
Most fatal crashes in North Carolina occurred under normal conditions — mainly in the daylight. There were 384 fatal crashes that occurred while it was dark.
– Fatalities (All Crashes) by County
According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, here are fatal crashes, by county.
|2015||2016||2017||2018||Fatalities Per 100,000 Populations|
|New Hanover County||18||22||20||18||12||8.33||10.03||8.9||7.87||5.17|
Mecklenburg County, whose county seat is Charlotte, had the highest amount of fatalities in state while Tyrrell County was fortunate to have no fatalities for all five years.
– Traffic Fatalities
Most accidents occurred in rural areas. The total number of traffic fatalities is on a steady rise overall.
– Fatalities by Person Type
There is also data on the type of people who are involved in fatalities.
Let’s take a look.
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||19||23||17||29||18|
|Light Truck - Other||0||1||1||3||1|
|Light Truck - Pickup||152||154||174||149||164|
|Light Truck - Utility||144||149||184||170||186|
|Light Truck - Van||52||39||55||51||47|
Most crashes occurred by occupants in a passenger car. This was followed by pedestrians and motorcyclists, respectively.
– Fatalities by Crash Type
What if you could tell what type of crash was most prominent?
|(1) Single Vehicle||756||751||819||765||756|
|(2) Involving a Large Truck||121||129||163||165||177|
|(4) Involving a Rollover||336||332||361||360||295|
|(5) Involving a Roadway Departure||771||803||889||797||797|
|(6) Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||230||256||245||269||255|
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)*||1,284||1,379||1,450||1,412||1,437|
Most crashes occurred involving a roadway departure. Single-vehicle crashes caused the second-most fatalities, preceding crashes involving speeding.
– Five-Year Trend For the Top 10 Counties
Here is the five-year trend for fatalities in the top counties:
Mecklenburg County displays the most fatalities over a five-year period. It displays a gradual increase since 2014.
Harnett County had the least amount of fatalities from 2014-2016. From 2017-2018 Davidson County had the least amount.
– Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
Next, we have fatalities involving speeding by county.
Take a look.
|2015||2016||2017||2018||Fatalities Per 100,000 Populations|
|New Hanover County||8||8||6||4||3||3.7||3.65||2.67||1.75||1.29|
Following 2014, wherein Guilford county had the most speeding fatalities, Mecklenburg County had the most in the proceeding years.
Chances are if you’re living in Camden County and Tyrell County, however, you are safest from speeding fatalities.
– Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver by County
Did you know that we also have data on alcohol-impaired fatalities by county?
|2015||2016||2017||2018||Fatalities Per 100,000 Populations|
|New Hanover County||8||6||5||4||6||3.7||2.73||2.22||1.75||2.58|
Not only is Mecklenburg County the county with the most fatalities for speeding, but it is also the county with the most alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.
If you’re living in either Mitchell County, Tyrell County, or Washington County, you are safest from alcohol-impaired driving fatalities.
– Teen Drinking & Driving
Teen drinking and driving continues to be an epidemic in the United States.
|Teen Drinking and Driving||North Carolina||National|
|DUI Arrest (Under 18 years old)||201||102.82|
|DUI Arrests (Under 18 years old) Total Per Million People||87.44||94.84|
|Under 21 DUI fatalities for 100,000 population||1.5||1.2|
In 2016, the state’s average of under-21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100,000 population was 1.5. This was higher than the national average of 1.2 per 100,000 population.
– EMS Response Time
Finally, here’s a look at average EMS response times in North Carolina:
|EMS Response Time||Time of Crash to|
|EMS Notification to |
|EMS Arrival at Scene|
to Hospital Arrival
|Time of Crash to |
Typically, rural areas have higher wait times because of the lack of services available in those particular areas, and this proves to be the case in North Carolina.
– Transportation in North Carolina
And lastly, we’ll talk about transportation. How many cars do North Carolinians own? What is their commute time like? And what is their favorite method to commute?
We’ll also look at congestion.
– Car Ownership
According to DataUSA, most households have two cars. This is followed by three cars.
Next, we’ll talk commutes.
– Commute Time
The average U.S. commute time for the average worker in 2017 was 25.5 minutes.
North Carolinians had a shorter commute overall, averaging 23.4 minutes in 2017.
– Commuter Transportation
Most North Carolinians (81.1 percent) drove alone on their way to work. Next, people usually carpooled (8.85 percent), followed by those who worked at home (6.1 percent).
– Traffic Congestion
How does congestion affect North Carolinians?
According to the INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, three cities from North Carolina show up globally on the map.
They are the following:
|City||World Rank||Hours Lost in Congestion||Cost of Congestion Per Driver||Inner City Travel Time (Minutes)||Inner City Last Mile Speed (mph)|
If you live in one of these areas, we’re sure you’re more than acquainted with this heavy flow of traffic. Luckily, North Carolina got its first continuous flow intersection, which was created to help regulate the flow of traffic.
Take a look:
We hope that you found this guide to be more than useful. Do you believe we missed anything? What was most helpful to you?
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