May 12, 2020 9:30 AM, EDT

North Carolina Extends Expiration Dates for Licenses, Registrations

North CarolinaGov. Roy Cooper sits for an interview. (Gerry Broome/Associated Press)

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The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will extend license and registration expiration dates for more than two dozen credentials, including those that apply to truck drivers, in accordance with Gov. Roy Cooper’s COVID-19 relief package.

Cooper signed two bills, designed to offer constituents relief during the pandemic, on May 4. The legislation granted a five-month extension to the expiration dates of various credentials, including commercial driver licenses, learner’s permits, vehicle registrations, inspection mechanic licenses and manufacturer licenses.

“I am signing into law two critical relief bills that will provide assistance to families, schools, hospitals and small businesses as our state battles COVID-19,” Cooper said. “There is more work ahead of us, and I hope the spirit of consensus behind these bills will continue.”

Additionally, as part of the package, the DMV is allowed to waive any penalties for a late registration renewal during the extension period. Customers who paid a fee for a late renewal in March or April will be reimbursed.

“I appreciate the successful collaboration among our legislative colleagues and the governor to provide this powerful support for North Carolinians,” said the speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives, Tim Moore.

The legislation extended the due dates for motor vehicle taxes associated with vehicle registration. It also extended the expiration dates of Intrastate Medical Waivers, as long as the DMV Medical Review Unit determines the extension is acceptable. The medical waivers are granted to commercial drivers with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, who can safely operate a truck if their condition is stable and monitored regularly.

The relief package includes almost $1.6 billion for critical expenditures related to public health, education, small business assistance and state government operations. It also contains provisions for policy changes. In addition to extended license and registration expiration deadlines, policy adjustments include modified final grade testing requirements for public schools and permission for pharmacists to administer a COVID-19 vaccine once it’s developed.

North Carolina is one of several states that has relaxed license and registration requirements amid the pandemic.

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles extended the expiration dates for driver’s licenses to May 31 for drivers younger than 70. CDLs set to expire between March and June were made valid through June 30.

In Connecticut, the Department of Motor Vehicles is offering an extension for licenses, permits, identity cards and registrations. Eligible credentials that expire between March 10 and June 8 are automatically covered by this extension.

Relief regarding licenses and permits has come from the federal level, too.

On March 24, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a notice indicating limited exemptions will be granted for expired CDLs, learner’s permits and medical certifications. FMCSA also issued a three-month waiver allowing truck drivers with commercial learner permits to operate during the pandemic without a commercial licensed driver in the front seat of the cab, provided the CDL driver is in the truck.

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