NC Legislation Becomes Law in December, New Year's Day

The North Carolina General Assembly has passed several laws that will become effective on the first of December, 2010 and on New Year’s Day, 2011.

You can view a comprehensive list in a press release from the NC Department of Transportation.

Here are a few:

• Beginning December 1, 2010, a vehicle owner whose “license plate frame or cover makes a number or letter on the plate, or the number or month on the registration renewal sticker illegible can be penalized up to $100.” That’s right; if a cop can’t see your license plate information, you are likely to be pulled over and fined!

• Also beginning December 1, 2010, the NC DMV “will no longer charge vehicle owners a $1.00 postage and handling fee for renewing their vehicle registration by mail.” Not that a single greenback helps much if you’re fined the $100 mentioned above, but the gesture is appreciated.

• It appears that as of New Year’s Day, 2011, 65 years old is the new 55 years old! According to the NCDOT press release, “the term of issuance for persons receiving a driver license will increase to eight years for a person 18-65 years old. A driver license issued to a person 66 years old and older expires after five years.” Previously, driver licenses expired after five years for drivers 55 years old and older.

• Starting January 1, 2011, there will be some new requirements for folks who want to drive motorcycles. A learner’s permit for motorcyclists will be issued for only 12 months, and only one renewal of six months will be permitted. Also, if you’re under 18, keep in mind that you will be required to pass a course taught by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation or the NC Motorcycle Safety Education Program “to get a motorcycle learner’s permit or a driver license with a motorcycle endorsement.”

In case you’ve forgotten or haven’t heard, here are a few more changes in motor vehicle laws that are already in effect as of earlier in 2010:

• Since September 1, 2010, “the fee for restoring a driver license which has been revoked for impaired driving increased from $75 to $100.” The extra $25 contributes to a fund for a statewide chemical alcohol testing program administered by forensic experts with the Department of Health and Human Services.

• Another legislative change became effective as law on October 1, 2010. Now, the holder of a commercial driver license cannot “have a disqualification expunged from his record.”

Staying up-to-date is tough, even for professionals in the legal field! I hope this heads-up and reminder helps.

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