NC GOP leaders support changing laws to amend DMV regulations


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina Republican leaders say they support passing legislation that would retroactively extend vehicle inspection deadlines amid the COVID-19 crisis.

In a joint statement, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said a bipartisan effort has been going on for weeks to resolve issues with Department of Motor Vehicles regulations.

“We support passage of legislation when the General Assembly reconvenes to retroactively extend vehicle inspection deadlines. Until such legislation passes, we support bureaucratic flexibility on compliance with the existing deadlines,” the statement from Berger and Moore read.

The Republican leaders said after communication with the executive branch, they believe the Department of Public Safety and Highway Patrol are “not prioritizing enforcement.”

“This shared commitment by the legislative and executive branches provides North Carolinians’ certainty that the state government will provide this flexibility they need now and act to retroactively alleviate DMV deadlines despite the current law temporarily in place,” the statement said.

As the NCDMV closes its doors temporarily amid the coronavirus crisis, many drivers were left with questions surrounding tag renewals and vehicle inspections.

“The DMV doesn’t have legal authority to extend or waive expiration dates on inspections or registration, licensing, and so forth,” said NCDMV spokesman Steve Abbott. “That’s all part of state law so only the General Assembly can make any of those changes.”

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

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