Driver's Licenses

Photo: Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan)
Jorge Valencia

Members of a North Carolina legislative panel approved a plan on Wednesday to allow undocumented immigrants to obtain a restricted driver’s license if they pass a criminal background check and meet several other requirements.

For sponsors of the bill, the plan is a way to help police enforce local laws when they interact with people who are living in the country illegally. Local charities in Winston-Salem and Greensboro and authorities in Charlotte either issue or are looking for ways to issue identification cards, said Rep. Harry Warren (R-Salisbury).

More Teens Forego Driver's Licenses

Nov 12, 2013
Interstate 40 traffic
Dave DeWitt

For many teenagers, one of the most anticipated rites of passage is getting a driver’s license. Many of us can remember counting down the days until we turned 16, envying our classmates who had earlier birthdays and who could get behind the wheel sooner.

But several recent studies have found that a growing number of teenagers are passing up the opportunity to drive. The percentage of teens with licenses is steadily falling.

teen driver
State Farm Insurance, via Flickr, Creative Commons

Johnston County teenagers will lead a discussion today aimed at stopping deadly crashes involving young drivers.  Organizers of the Teen Driving Summit will welcome students from 12 other counties to discuss safer driving practices among teens.  Johnston County currently has the 4th highest number of deaths among high school-age drivers. 

Lynda Carroll is with the county's Teen Driving Committee.  She says the dialogue will focus on five areas of risky behavior behind the wheel.

New DACA drivr's license

The North Carolina Department of Transportation has made an about face and is abandoning its controversial decision to add a bold pink stripe across the top of new driver licenses for young immigrants.  A news release issued Thursday afternoon by the state DOT confirms that the Division of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing driver licenses on Monday, March 25, 2013 for immigrants qualifying under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  But the attached ‘final’ image of the driver license no longer has the pink stripe or the words ‘No Lawful Status’ printed in large type.

There are thousands of young, undocumented immigrants in North Carolina, dreaming of going to the school of their choice, finding a good job and getting a driver’s license.   Many of these ‘dreamers’ are waiting for official papers from the federal government after applying through the ‘Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals’ program.  But in this state, they’re also waiting to find out for if their new legal status warrants a ‘No Lawful Status’ banner stamped on their driver’s licenses.

Gov. Pat McCrory
NC Governor's Office

Governor Pat McCrory took on a major state issue following a meeting Tuesday with several North Carolina mayors.   McCrory's meeting with members of the Metro Mayors Coalition addressed issues that are critical to cities and towns trying to cope with sequestration, transportation issues and taxation.  The Governor also answered questions on a hot legislative issue.  He disagrees with immigrants' advocates who say pink driver's licenses are no more than a scarlet letter.

North Carolina driver's license

Some state House Democrats are speaking out against a move to create pink driver's licenses to identify young immigrants.  House Bill 184 would prohibit the state Department of Motor Vehicles from issuing the licenses to young people who are legally in this country under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.  The proposed licenses would have a pink strip at the top and the phras

 No grand bargain has been reached between the White House and Congress on a budget, leaving some North Carolinians wondering how hard the sequester will  hit the state.

North Carolina driver's license

State DOT officials will issue redesigned driver's licenses later this year that will visually distinguish citizens from non-citizens.   Immigrants here under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program will notice their licenses will have the words "No Lawful Status" printed on them.  State DOT spokeswoman Greer Beaty says those words will be in a bar across the top that will differ from the blue on a normal license.

Drivers will be subject to new laws taking effect today. Most involve licensing and license plates. One law adds a potential $100 penalty for having a license plate frame that covers important information on the plate. And commercial driver licenses will now expire after five years because of hazardous materials regulations. And more laws go into effect January 1st.

Marge Howell with the DMV says licensing laws are being relaxed for older drivers: