Very few people want to visit the DMV regardless of the state you live in. Unless you know someone who can give you special treatment, it likely just seems like an exercise in human misery. Forms are everywhere, but which one do you need? Do you have enough money to afford all the fines and fees? How long was someone else using your identity before you found out about it? While North Carolina DMV offices may not be the happiest place in the world, they can be a place where you at least know what’s going on as well as find out what the top 9 most annoying traffic violations drivers commit are. Keep these facts in mind about the most common scenarios before your next trip, and hopefully you’ll feel more prepared to take a number.

1. License Renewals

All renewal applications must go through the DMV, and you have to get your license renewed to be able to drive legally. Because we know you’re such a planner in your life, we encourage you to get it done 180 days before the final expiration date (or the day of, one or the other.) You don’t have to have the renewal card they sent to remind you that your time was up, but it can help. One helpful tip: if your license was lost, stolen or damaged, you may be able to renew rather than replace. You may also be able to renew online, which can be done with your current license and social security number. Just don’t plan to renew if you went from perfect vision to contact lenses in the past few years. Pay the small fee with cash, money order, or check.

2. Traffic Violations

North Carolina makes full use of the points system to indicate drivers who have a need for speed or a taste for rule-breaking. Even if you’re constantly caught for doing 36 miles an hour in a 35 zone, you could be at risk to lose your license with a few too many violations. Just 12 points in three years (or eight if you’ve had your license reinstated) can get your privileges revoked. The worse the offense (e.g., aggressive driving or failing to yield to a pedestrian), the more points you get. Littering while driving will only get you one point, while driving on the wrong side of the road will get you four points. The first suspension is a full two months without your license. (Your license in automatically suspended though if you’re caught drinking and driving, or for excessive speeding.) If you have seven points on your license, the North Carolina DMV may let you take a defensive driving course to make those points a thing of the past.

3. Selling a Car

You’ll first need to start with the paperwork if you’re selling a car. The vehicle title will need to list the buyer’s name and address, the date of sale, the seller’s signature, a damage disclosure statement, and the odometer reading. It also must be notarized by a certified party. In other words, it’s all basic information, but make sure you let the buyer know that at some point you had to have the car fished out of the lake. Should you sell your car privately (e.g., to a neighbor), you don’t have to have a bill of sale. However, you may want to keep one for your own peace of mind (these are found online and are extremely easy to use.) If you lost the title, you’ll need to fill out Form MVR-4, and wait two weeks or more to have your request processed.

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