The Basics

Life in Durham

Once you find a place to live, you’re going to need to know where the grocery stores are, where to open a bank account, and how to get your electricity up and running in your apartment. This section provides some information on essential services like getting a North Carolina Driver’s License or finding the best student checking account

Auto Registration and Insurance

When moving to North Carolina you must obtain a North Carolina driver license BEFORE you can register a vehicle.

You are required to register your vehicle for North Carolina license plates within 30 days of establishing residence or accepting employment in this state (non-residents do not need to do this). To register your vehicle, you must provide proof of ownership such as the title or current registration card, plus a notarized bill of sale for a used car, or a manufacturer’s certificate of origin for a new car. You must also prove that your car is covered by liability insurance from an insurance company licensed to operate in North Carolina. Visit for more information.

Local North Carolina License Plate Agencies

Chapel Hill

1704-B E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 942-4972


Downtown Durham: 1058 West Club Boulevard Suite 626
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 286-4908
Southern Durham: 5410 NC Highway 55 Suite AB
Durham, NC 27713
(919) 544-3662

Driver’s Licenses

North Carolina will honor an out-of-state driver’s license for 60 days after you move here, but after that, you will need a North Carolina driver’s license if you intend to establish residency. For a new license, see this fee schedule. You will need to provide proof of insurance and are required to pass a vision test, a road-sign recognition test, and a written test on driving knowledge. A valid driver’s license from another state usually exempts new residents from taking a road test. The North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, a study guide for the written and road sign recognition tests, may be checked out free of charge from any driver’s license office and should be looked at before taking the test. In the same vein, you may also consider updating your voting registration. There are typically opportunities to do this at the law school during elections.

For Local North Carolina Driver License Offices check the DMV website:


The intersection of NC 54 Bypass & NC 54 Business, 104 V Carrboro Plaza (919) 929-4161


Southern Durham: 277 NC Hwy. 54 West (Homestead Market, Exit 276 off I-40) (919) 560-3378
Eastern Durham: 101 South Miami Blvd(919) 560-6896


1201 Hwy. 70 West; (919) 732-2427


Duke University Credit Union

Visit: 2200 West Main St, Durham, NC 27705
Phone: (919) 684-6704
ATM On Campus Locations: Brodhead Center 

Become a Member. Duke Graduate Students qualify to become a member of the Duke University Federal Credit Union with a minimum deposit of $25 in a share/savings account. ($5 administrative fee will be waived). Your membership entitles you to financial services with better rates and lower fees than most banks. Nationwide surcharge-free ATMs.

Bank of America

Visit: 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham, NC 27701
ATM On Campus Locations: Law School Second Floor, Lower Level, Bryan Center on West Campus

No monthly maintenance fee for eligible students.

SunTrust/Truist Bank

Visit: 2714 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705
ATM On Campus Location: The Bryan Center on West Campus

PNC Bank

Visit: 500 Morgan St. Durham, NC, 27701

Wells Fargo

Visit: 2000 W Main St, Durham, NC, 27705
ATM On Campus Location: The Bryan Center on West Campus, Fuqua, Medical Center
Grocery Stores

Whole Foods

Visit: 621 Broad Street
Durham, NC 27705

Whole Foods Market Durham is located in Old West Durham, directly across the street from the Duke University East Campus and nearby the Duke University Hospital System. Nestled in the heart of Durham near the 9th Street Corridor, Whole Foods Market Durham has been a well-known location for organic and natural foods and an active member of the local community since 1991.

Whole Foods Market Durham prides itself on selling only the highest quality natural and organic foods and providing customer service to every guest who walks through the doors.

Durham Farmer’s Market

Visit: Located in The Pavilion at Durham Central Park, 501 Foster Street, Durham, NC 27701

Downtown, Year Round!
Main Season Market: Saturday from 8 am-Noon
(April through November)

Mid-Week Market: Wednesday from 3-6 pm
(April through October)

The Durham Farmers’ Market is a community of farmers, growers, and crafters. We are strongly committed to local products: every item you see at the market was produced by the people selling it, and it all comes from no more than 70 miles away. Like small farmers and crafters everywhere, we believe in raising food sustainably and being good stewards of the environment.

Harris Teeter

Visit: 2107 Hillsborough Rd, Durham, NC 27705 US

A large supermarket, nice meats and fruit, pharmacy, and western union services.

Durham Co-op

Visit: W Chapel Hill St
Durham, NC 27701

The co-op is community owned, and community-focused health store, but You don’t have to be a member to shop there. The co-op is supporting local farms, selling locally made products, and supporting local jobs. Featuring a cafe, hot bar, and salad bar, that offer ‘Meatless Monday’ on the hot bar, every Thursday is $3 Dinner night from 4 – 8 pm and Brunch is on the hot bar every Saturday and Sunday from 9 – 1 pm! 

Trader Joe’s

Visit: 1800 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27514-5816

At Trader Joe’s Chapel Hill, is your neighborhood grocery store. Step inside and you’ll find unconventional and interesting products in the Trader Joe’s label like Mandarin Orange Chicken and Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, as well as everyday basics like milk, eggs, meat, and fresh produce.


Visit: 7906 NC Hwy 751, Durham, NC 27713

German retail chain selling a range of grocery items, including produce, meat & dairy, at discount prices.

Religion and Spiritual Centers


White Rock Baptist Church
3400 Fayetteville Street, Durham

The Summit RDU
2335 Presidential Dr.
Durham, 919.383.7100


Eno River Buddhist Community
4907 Garrett Road, Durham


Duke Catholic Center
Sunday Masses:
11am – Divinity School Chapel
9pm – Duke Chapel

Holy Cross Catholic Church
1400 S. Alston Avenue, Durham

Holy Infant Catholic Church
5000 Southpark Drive, Durham

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church
810 Chapel Hill Street, Durham

St. Matthew Catholic Church
1001 Mason Road, Durham

Christian Science

First Church of Christ Scientist
1800 N. Roxboro Road, Durham

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
3902 Berini Drive, Durham

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Durham North Carolina Stake Center
1050 Airport Road, Chapel Hill
919.967.0997 (Office)
919.967.0989 (Foyer)
919.967.0988 (Family History Center)

Durham 1st and 2nd Wards
3902 Berini Drive, Durham
919.383.5799 (1st Ward)
919.967.0989 (Hall)

Durham 3rd (Young Single Adult) Ward
400 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill 1st and 2nd Wards
1050 Airport Road, Chapel Hill
919.967.0986 (2nd Ward)


St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church
1902 W. Main Street, Durham

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
1737 Hillandale Road, Durham

St. Philips Episcopal Church
403 E. Main Street, Durham

Greek Orthodox

Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Barbara
1316 Watts Street, Durham


Hindu Society of North Carolina
309 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville


Masjid of Jamaat Ibad Ar-Rahman
3034 Fayetteville Street, Durham

Muhammad’s Mosque #34
304 South Driver Street, Durham

Jehovah’s Witness

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witness
635 Bon Air Ave., Durham


Beth-El Conservative & Orthodox Synagogue
1004 Watts Street, Durham

Freeman Center for Jewish Life
1415 Faber St., Durham

Jewish Federation and Family Services of Durham & Chapel Hill
3700 Lyckan Pkwy., Suite B, Durham

Judea Reform Congregation
1955 W. Cornwallis Road, Durham


Advent Lutheran Church
230 Erwin Road, Chapel Hill

Our Savior Lutheran Church
2109 N. Duke Street, Durham

Christus Victor Lutheran
Evangelical Church
1615 E. Highway 54, Durham

Church of the Abiding Savior
1625 S. Alston Avenue, Durham

Grace Lutheran Church
824 N. Buchanan Boulevard, Durham

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church ELCA
1200 W. Cornwallis Road, Durham


Durham Mennonite Church
603 Lynn Road, Durham

Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship Friends Meeting House
531 Raleigh Road, Chapel Hill


Asbury Temple United Methodist
201 S. Alston Avenue, Durham

Bethesda United Methodist Church
2309 S. Miami Boulevard, Durham 919.596.3948

Duke University Chapel
West Campus, Duke University

Duke Memorial United Methodist Church
504 W. Chapel Hill Street, Durham

Epworth United Methodist Church
3002 Hope Valley Road, Durham

Glendale Heights United Methodist Church
908 Leon Street, Durham

McMannen United Methodist Church
4102 Neal Road
Durham NC 27705

Mount Sylvan United Methodist Church
5731 N. Roxboro Road, Durham

Resurrection United Methodist Church
4705 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham

University Methodist Church
150 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill


Christ The King Moravian Church
4405 Hope Valley Road, Durham


Duke Chapel
11am Sunday Non-Denominational Worship Service

Chapel Hill Bible Church
260 Erwin Road, Chapel Hill

Christian Faith Center
101 S. Peachtree Street, Creedmoor

Churches Serving Internationals
1305 Odyssey Drive, Durham

Cornerstone Bible Church
5707 Guess Road, Durham

Durham Congregations In Action
504 W. Chapel Hill Street, Durham

Hope Creek Church
4723 Erwin Road, Durham

King’s Park International Church
1305 Odyssey Drive, Durham

Raleigh Christian Chinese Church
1426 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh

Triangle Vineyard Christian Fellowship
3915 Western Boulevard, Raleigh


Upper Room Church of God in Christ
3300 Idlewood Village Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27610


Blacknall Memorial Presbyterian Church
1902 Perry Street, Durham

Church of the Good Shepherd PCA
3741 Garrett Road, Durham

Covenant Presbyterian Church USA
2620 Weaver St, Durham

First Presbyterian Church
305 E. Main Street, Durham

North Carolina Korean Presbyterian Church
116 Tom Wilkinson Road, Durham

Presbyterian Urban Ministry
305 E. Main Street, Durham

Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church
927 W. Trinity Avenue, Durham

Westminster Presbyterian Church
3639 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham

University Presbyterian Church
209 East Franklin Street, Chapel Hill

Seventh-Day Adventist

Five Oaks Seventh-Day Adventist Church
4124 Farrington Road, Durham

Immanuel Temple Seventh Day Adventist Church
1309 Lincoln Street, Durham

Unitarian Universalist

Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
4907 Garrett Road, Durham

United Church of Christ

Pilgrim United Church of Christ
3011 Academy Road, Durham

Zion Temple United Church of Christ
508 Sparella Street, Durham

Shopping Centers

Brightleaf Square

On the corner of Main St. and Gregson St., downtown Durham, Brightleaf Square is a restored tobacco warehouse with very nice though somewhat expensive specialty shops. Contains a travel agency, a record store, and several restaurants including Satisfaction, a favorite Duke hangout, The Little Dipper “fondue on main”, El Rodeo, and Mt. Fuji.

Bull City Market

Broad St. and Main St. Contains Whole Foods, Hair Cuttery, Mad Hatter’s Coffee Shop and Bakery, Vine Sushi.

9th Street

This shopping area is very popular with the Duke community. Eats, errands, and eclectic gifts – everything you need in a unique, walkable district with a rich history and a friendly neighborhood feel. Referred to by the Herald-Sun as “Durham’s Greenwich Village,” Ninth Street is a cure for your shopping-mall blues. This is a street with character, a street with a soul. The area has a Panera Bread, Full Lotus Juice Bar & Cafe, Juju, Zen Fish Poke, Elmo’s Dinner and several other small shops.

Shops at Erwin Mill

The Shops at Erwin Mill offer a hip collection of commerce that appeals to an energetic demographic. Nestled in the heart of the Ninth Street Business District and Duke University, the Shops at Erwin Mill features nationally acclaimed and locally owned retail establishments and restaurants. The area has a Panera Bread, Harris Teeter, Full Lotus Juice Bar & Cafe, Juju, Burger Bach and several other small shops.

New Hope Commons

15-501 immediately before I-40. A strip mall containing Barnes and Noble Bookstore and Cafe, Best Buy, Marshall’s, Michael’s, and several other stores and eating places.

North Pointe

Off of Guess Road at the I-85 exit. Includes Home Depot, PetSmart, and several small stores. Costco, a members-only discount warehouse club, is next door.

South Square Area

On 15-501 Business. The area has a Super Target, a Carolina Alehouse, El Rodeo Mexican and a Sam’s Club. Three smaller strip malls are very close to South Square Mall: Westgate, Regency Plaza, and Parkway Plaza. These strip malls contain a K-Mart, Food Lion, Office Depot, and several other stores and restaurants.

The Streets at Southpoint

The mall is located at I-40 and Fayetteville Rd. Contains many upscale specialty stores and most major mall chain stores including, Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Sears, Apple Store, a movie theater, and an open-air walkway boasting larger stores such as Barnes and Noble and Pottery Barn, Restauration Hardware, and several restaurants including Maggiano’s Little Italy, Cheesecake Factory, Firebird’s Rocky Mountain Grill and California Pizza Kitchen.


Airport Travel

Approximately 11 miles from the city centers of both Durham and Raleigh, Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) is conveniently located off exits 284 and 285 of I-40. Parking is available at the airport along with several Park and Ride lots to help avoid parking congestion close to the terminals. For parking rates and other airport parking, visit the ParkDRU website.

Airport Shuttles

  • Lyft at RDU Airport
  • Uber at RDU Airport
  • RDU Airport Taxi(919) 840-7277
  • Airport & Intown Taxi(919) 942-4492
  • Airport Transport & Taxi Company(919) 667-0800
  • Brad’s Airport Transportation(800) 467-3302
  • Dave’s Airport Transportation Service(919) 632-5509


The Carolinian route travels daily between Charlotte and New York City with stops in Durham, Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia, among other stops.

Duke Share the Ride Program

Duke’s Share the Ride NC platform is the digital ride-matching service you’ve been seeking! This website will help you quickly and securely find carpool partners anywhere in North Carolina! Using your home and school or work addresses, you will be matched to nearby commuters with similar schedules. Your home address will never appear on match lists.

Regional Bus (for eligible commuter)

Duke is offering GoPass, a free local and regional bus pass, to students and eligible Duke staff and faculty. To be eligible, employees must work on East, West, Central and Medical Center campuses; the American Tobacco Campus; or within one-half mile of the East,West, Central or Medical campuses. All undergraduate, graduate and professional school students are eligible. Local and regional bus transportation is provided off-campus by the Durham Area Transit Authority and Triangle Transit. Be sure to check out the Bull City Connector, a fare-free service that connects downtown with Duke University and medical facilities.


Staff, faculty and students who bike to Duke and do not regularly bring a vehicle to campus are not required to purchase a parking permit and may register as a bicycling commuter.

Duke Parking Permits

With nearly 13,000 students at Duke, the university is continually making strides to provide the best and easiest ways to park on campus.



Applications for service can be made by phone or in person at the Duke Energy on 410 W. Chapel Hill Street. One business day’s notice is required for connection of service. Customer service: (919) 382-3200.


Dominion Energy (formerly PSNC Energy) supplies North Carolina residents with natural gas. Unless you have had service in the last 12 months, you must go to the office with a copy of your lease and I.D. The deposit, which is based on the number of rooms in the house, may be waived by obtaining a cosigner or three letters of credit. Customer Service: 1-866-366-4357. Customer service is available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

Water and Sewer

These utilities are provided by the City of Durham. Most apartment complexes will take care of arranging this service. Houses may or may not need this service. Ask your landlord if you are not sure. Located at 101 City Hall Plaza. (919) 560-4411