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North Carolina Auto Driving Laws

Suspensions and Revocations

In addition to criminal penalties that the court might mandate, conviction of certain traffic offenses of North Carolina driving law will result in the loss of your driving privilege.

Revocation of Driving Privilege

Under North Carolina traffic laws, your driving privilege will be revoked for at least 30 days if you are convicted of:

  • driving any vehicle more than 15 mph over the speed limit, if you are driving at a speed higher than 55 mph.

It will be taken for 60 days if you are convicted of:

  • a second charge of speeding over 55 mph and more than 15 mph above the speed limit within one year; or
  • speeding plus reckless driving on the same occasion.

Suspension of Driver License

In accordance with North Carolina traffic laws, the DMV can also suspend your license for the following:

  • Two convictions of speeding over 55 mph during the same year;
  • One conviction of speeding over 55 mph and one conviction of reckless driving within a year;
  • A conviction of willful racing with another motor vehicle, whether it is pre-arranged or unplanned.
  • A suspended court sentence or part of a sentence mandating that you must not operate a motor vehicle for a specified period of time; and/or
  • A conviction for speeding over 75 mph.

In accordance with North Carolina driving law, in cases like the above, the DMV may suspend your driving privilege as soon as it receives the conviction report from the court. If your driving privilege is revoked, you may have the right to a hearing in the judicial district where you reside.

To request a hearing, call or write to the DMV in Raleigh. You will be notified by mail of the time and place for the hearing. At the hearing you may state any facts that you think should entitle you to driving privileges or to a reduction of the suspension period.

North Carolina driving law stipulates that if you believe your driving privilege should not have been taken and the hearing gives you no help, you may appeal the DMV's decision within thirty (30) days to the Superior Court of the county where you live. The court will review your case to see if there were proper grounds for taking your driving privilege.

Offense - Suspension Time

  • Driving while under the influence of an impairing substance (first offense) - 1 year
  • Driving while under the influence of an impairing substance (second offense) - 4 years
  • Driving while under the influence of an impairing substance (third offense) - Permanent
  • Manslaughter - 1 year
  • Death by vehicle - 1 year
  • Manslaughter while under the influence of an impairing substance - Permanent
  • Assault with a motor vehicle - Permanent
  • Speeding in excess of 55 mph and at least 15 mph over the legal limit while attempting to avoid arrest - 1 year
  • Prearranged racing with another motor vehicle on the highway - *3 years
  • Watching, betting on or loaning a car for prearranged racing - *3 years
  • Willful refusal to submit to a blood or breath test - 1 year
  • Two charges of reckless driving committed within 12 months - 1 year
  • Getting a license or learner's permit under false pretense - 1 year

* In accordance with North Carolina driving law, when an officer finds that someone has loaned or is operating a motor vehicle willfully in prearranged racing, he/she will seize the vehicle. If the person is convicted, the court may order the vehicle sold at public auction.

Out-of-State Conviction

In accordance with North Carolina driving law, convictions occurring outside North Carolina may result in your license being suspended or revoked just as if the violations occurred in this state.

Failure to Appear and/or to Pay a Fine

North Carolina driving law stipulates that your driving privilege will be revoked when the DMV receives notification from the court that you have failed to appear in court or to pay fines for a citation you received in North Carolina or another state.

In the case of failure to appear and/or to pay a fine, your driving privileges remain revoked until the DMV receives notice that you have complied with the citation.

Complying with the citation does not relieve you of the consequences for the actual offense, if you are convicted.

Provisional Licensee (under age 18)

In accordance with North Carolina driving law, there are other rules that apply to persons under 18 years of age.

Under North Carolina traffic laws, if you are a provisional licensee, your license may be suspended for:

  • 30 days, upon conviction of a second moving violation occurring within a 12-month period;
  • 90 days, upon conviction of a third moving violation occurring within a 12-month period; and
  • six months, upon conviction of a fourth moving violation occurring within a 12-month period.

Some examples of moving violations:

  • passing a stopped school bus;
  • reckless driving;
  • hit-and-run;
  • following too closely;
  • driving on the wrong side of the road;
  • illegal passing;
  • running through a stop sign or red light;
  • failure to yield right-of-way;
  • failure to stop for an emergency siren; and speeding.

Driver License Points

North Carolina driving law stipulates that if you are convicted of certain motor vehicle violations in North Carolina, driver license points are placed against your driving record. If you accumulate seven points, you may be assigned to a Driver Improvement Clinic. The clinic fee is $25.

Upon satisfactory completion of the clinic, three points are deducted from your driving record. If you accumulate as many as twelve points within a three-year period, your license may be suspended. The accumulation of eight points within three years following the reinstatement of your license can result in a second suspension.

In accordance with North Carolina driving law, if your driver license is suspended by the point system, it may be taken for:

  • 60 days for the first suspension;
  • 6 months for the second; and
  • 12 months for the third.

When your driving privilege is reinstated, all previous driver license points are canceled.

North Carolina driving law stipulates that points are given for the following offenses:

Conviction - Point Value

  • Passing a stopped school bus loading or unloading children - 5
  • Reckless driving - 4
  • Hit and run, property damage only - 4
  • Following too closely - 4
  • Driving on wrong side of road - 4
  • Illegal passing - 4
  • Running through stop sign - 3
  • Speeding more than 55 mph - 3
  • Speeding through a school zone - 3
  • Failure to yield right of way - 3
  • No driver's license or license expired more than one year - 3
  • Running through red light - 3
  • Failure to stop for siren - 3
  • Speeding through safety zone - 3
  • Failure to report accident where such report is required - 3
  • No liability insurance - 3
  • All other moving violations - 2
  • Littering involving a motor vehicle - 1

Insurance Points

Insurance companies use a different point system to determine insurance rates. If you have any questions concerning insurance points, contact your insurance agent.

For More Information

North Carolina Department Of Transportation

(Source: StateDrivingLaw.com)


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