DMV New Rules: Will You Have to Pay for a DMV Administrative Hearing?

Posted by Josh Valentine | Oct 23, 2017

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 This process entails that state motorists who break traffic laws and get their licenses rescinded undergo their suspension or revocation periods.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.

About the Author

Josh Valentine

You could say Josh has a God-given ability for sustaining long-term relationships. He and his wife first met in elementary school and went to Gardner Webb University (GWU) together, where they tied for number 1 in their class. Then, they both started law school on the same day of their graduation and got married during their first semester. He has also known his law partner Blake Caulder since Kindergarten. Theirs is the perfect partnership. “He’s the brake; I am the accelerator,” Josh says. Both Josh and his wife attended an innovative program at Charlotte Law School that allowed them to complete law school in two years instead of the typical three. His wife graduated and passed the North Carolina bar at age 20, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in the state. He readily admits she’s smarter than him. Of course, Josh went on to pass the North Carolina State Bar himself and later the South Carolina State Bar. While in school, he was Associate Editor of the Law Review and received accolades like Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society membership, Order of the Crown, Pro Bono Honors, CALI Awards (highest grade). In his career as a lawyer, he has been admitted to the United States Federal Court for the Western District of North Carolina, is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys, and completed training for DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing. Josh has also been named to the Top 40 Under 40 for Criminal Defense by The National Trial Lawyers, the Business North Carolina 2019 Legal Elite for Criminal Defense, and the 10 Best Attorneys for Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys three years in a row (2016, 2017, and 2018). Community involvement has been important to Josh all his life. In high school, he participated in building a Holocaust museum that has become internationally regarded. He and his wife are actively engaged in animal rescue, which currently means seven cats and two kittens. He served in prison ministry and assisted with fundraiser banquets there, and he provides pro bono and reduced fee legal services to those in need. As if all of that weren’t enough, Josh also mentors high risk youth and helps with his church’s youth group. He participates in other community volunteer projects involving construction, remodeling, drywall, painting, and landscaping. He’s an active student of the Bible and has traveled to Israel, Brazil, and Europe for mission work. No one can say Josh isn’t a well-rounded individual. In his spare time, he likes to play softball, basketball, and tennis, and he can play the piano and trombone. Sometimes on weekends, believe it or not, he enjoys pouring and finishing concrete with friends who own a concrete and grading business. In his law practice, Josh has made it a point to develop positive relationships with officers, clerks, and district attorneys, which has proven invaluable in delivering positive results for his clients. It’s important to him to both listen to his clients and fight for them. Law enforcement officers have important responsibilities to keep our communities safe and uphold the law, but one of the responsibilities of attorneys is to make sure officers do their job correctly. Josh considers it his job to hold them accountable for their actions. Josh is a person of deep faith. He knows that the established order of our universe and strength of America’s Judeo-Christian influenced court system is built on God’s word. His passion to serve each client with innovation, excellence and integrity is a byproduct of his faith. When asked why he became a lawyer, Josh says, “All through my life, I have personally witnessed family members and very close friends endure divorce, child custody battles, bankruptcy, civil lawsuits, and even fraudulent criminal accusations. I both saw and experienced the stress such events can place on an individual, and I realized that everyone, at some point in their life, needs hope, comfort, and encouragement. In each one of those situations, the person who was best situated to provide that vital support was their lawyer. So that’s why I became an attorney. I understand what you are going through, and I’m here to help you. Our office is focused on meeting your needs and guiding you through what may be the most difficult time of your life.” Education: Charlotte School of Law J.D., Magna Cum Laude Class Rank – 21 of 328 Associate Editor of Charlotte School of Law Law Review Certification and Concentration in Employment Law Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society Order of the Crown Pro Bono Honors CALI Awards (Highest Grade)—Lawyering Process I and Contracts I Full Scholarship Gardner-Webb University B.S. in Accounting, Summa Cum Laude Distinguished Senior Student Award – Highest GPA Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honorary Society Bar Admissions: North Carolina State Bar