North Carolina driver's license laws changed

| 9/6/2006

Gov. Mike Easley has signed a pair of bills into law intended to guard against identity theft in North Carolina and address driving privileges.

One new law allows drivers between ages 18 and 53 to renew their licenses for eight-year terms. The current renewal period is five years.

Younger drivers’ licenses will expire on their 21st birthday. Drivers over the age of 53 will continue to renew their licenses every five years.

Another provision in the new law, previously HB267, allows all applicants for new driver’s licenses to get their permanent licenses by mail. Currently, licenses must be picked up from local Division of Motor Vehicles offices.

As of July 2008, all licenses and permits will be generated at a central location.

Drivers will use temporary licenses during the 20-day renewal period, The Associated Press reported. The new rule is intended to give DMV officials more time to determine whether individuals are trying to generate false identifications or steal someone’s identity.

Lawmakers opted to remove a provision that would have allowed drivers to renew their licenses on the Internet.

Another new law is intended to thwart identity thieves by requiring residents in the state to provide a Social Security number to get a driver’s license.

Previously SB602, the new law changes the state’s license law to say the DMV cannot issue a driver’s license unless the applicant provides a valid Social Security number, The AP reported.

Anyone unable to provide a Social Security number can still get a license as long as they provide a taxpayer identification number.