North Carolina's license reinstatement process resembles that of the majority of states in the nation. This process entails that state motorists who break traffic laws and get their licenses rescinded undergo their suspension or revocation periods. Once this period comes to an end, residents typically pay restoration fees and reapply for their license.
Drivers are also granted the option of requesting an administrative hearing. An administrative hearing - whether it be for a DWI, interlock device, excessive speeding, permanent revocation etc. - allows drivers to make case for an appeal, with the help of a legal professional, in an effort to either completely retain their license or reduce the suspension or revocation period significantly.
As of now, these hearings are available to the public at no cost. However, come January 2018, it's going to cost drivers a pretty penny to try to get their license back once it is suspended or revoked. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles plans to begin charging fees for administrative hearings. According to recent articles, the fees will affect a total of 19 various types of DMV hearings with prices that range from $40 to a whopping $1,200. This price does not include the sum of money that is required for a license to be reinstated.
For example, DWI administrative hearings, which have become increasingly popular in recent years, will cost $425. Motorists with a successful DWI appeal will have to pay the DMV fee for a hearing on top of the existing reinstatement fee, which is currently $130.
The new regulations will undoubtedly affect everyday drivers, commercial drivers, and businesses that handle license certifications. As expected, the decision has spawned conflicting opinions. But there were two main opinions that were continually expressed in public opinion hearings held by the DMV this month.
Some people asserted that since drivers are at fault for having their licenses suspended or revoked, then they are the ones who should pay for their own transgressions, not taxpayers.
“I don't think it's up to the taxpayers to pay for somebody else's fault,” said business owner Mike Hannon. “We abide by the rules that the state wants us recertified every couple years. And we do it in advance to get it done.”
However, other people suspected that the new fees have little to do with personal accountability, and more to do with possible DMV budget cuts. This inclination was inspired by the decision of North Carolina lawmakers to direct the fees to cover its operating budget of $3.37 million this year.
The DMV has offered the option of waiving hearing fees for people who may not be able to afford fees on the costlier side, they are just required to meet criteria set by the department.
North Carolina Defense Attorneys
If you've been charged with a DWI, excessive speeding, or any other traffic offense that compromised your driving privileges, you should consult with a knowledgeable defense attorney. The legal professionals at Caulder & Valentine have extensive experience representing people who have been in your shoes. Contact us today for a consultation.