State to issue fees for DMV hearings

By: Staff report

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles has begun collecting state-mandated fees for administrative hearings related to license suspensions.

North Carolina lawmakers asked the DMV hearings unit to impose fees to cover its operating budget this year of $3.73 million.

The hearings – more than 25,000 of them a year – have been free, but the fees kick in as part of the latest state budget, which calls on the DMV to make its hearings unit self-sustaining. Once implemented for a full year, for these fees are slated to bring in more than $3.7 million a year.

Most driver’s license suspensions can be lifted without a hearing after the punishment period runs its course or, for people whose licenses are suspended because they failed to pay court fines, once those fines are addressed. Those hoping to get their licenses back early, or to contest a permanent revocation, can request a hearing.

Under the new policy, only medical and competency hearings will be free. Hearings stemming from a driving while impaired charge will cost $425. Violations of ignition interlock restrictions will run $450. Fees may be waived for those who file a notarized affidavit of indigence that includes their household income.

The new mandate impacts 19 administrative hearings designed to appeal revoked or suspended vehicle license plates, driver’s licenses, and licenses for inspection stations, car dealers and mechanics, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

Fees range from $60 for an insurance lapse hearing to $100 for license suspension or revocation for drivers to $600 for a hearing related to a car dealership.

Forms to request a hearing and a list of fees can be found at ncdot.gov/dmv/driver/hearings/.

The DMV will notify those eligible by mail with instructions on how to request a hearing and any fees as well as deadlines to submit a request.

The majority of hearings will be set once the request is submitted in writing and fees are paid in full.

For information on the hearing process visit the DMV website at MyNCDMV.gov.

Staff report