Changes in the works for new drivers

Would help for as Level 2 license only

JJ Melton Staff writer

LAURINBURG — Right now, the Division of Motor Vehicles is not conducting road tests, which means applicants who have gone through all of the other requirements to obtain a standard driver’s license have been stuck waiting for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The legislation requires the Division of Motor Vehicles to waive the requirement that an applicant pass a road test in order to obtain a Level 2 limited provisional license if the applicant meets all other requirements to obtain the license,” said Sen. Tom McInnis. “Level 3 licenses are not waived.”

McInnis said he heard from his constituents and responded to meet their need. This legislation will help citizens all across the state of North Carolina.

“This bill takes care of the kids who had not been able to finish driver’s education due to the coronavirus epidemic,” said McInnis. “I heard from parents across our community, and this bill responds to their needs.”

Sponsored by Sen. McInnis, this section is effective when it becomes law and applies to applications for provisional licenses submitted on or after that date.

“COVID-19 stopped the students from completing road tests to get license,” said Rep. Garland Pierce. “The limited provisional will give them more time with a parent to learn more on road safety.”

The law will dissipate when the Division of Motor Vehicles resumes administering road tests for Level 2 limited provisional license applicants.

If passed, the bill will mark the required classroom instruction complete for students enrolled in classroom driver education between January 2020 and March 16, 2020, who completed at least 15 hours of classroom instruction.

“It also ensures students who completed less than 15 hours could be offered the opportunity to take a proficiency examination to waive the classroom instruction requirement entirely,” said Pierce. “It makes clear that behind-the-wheel instruction is not waived for students.

“Public schools are also authorized to resume driver education programs in accordance with guidance issued by the Department of Public Instruction,” added Pierce.

JJ Melton can be reached at [email protected]