Potential drivers may not need to take a road test in North Carolina during pandemic as bill gets house approval

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolinians hoping to get their driver’s licenses may not have to take a road test as a House Bill clear its first hurdle.

House Bill 1189 passed the North Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday with a bipartisan vote of 107-13 after it was introduced May 26.

Schools shut down across the state as the pandemic struck North Carolina. The state remains under Phase 2 of the reopening process.

HB 1189 would allow accommodations for driver education coursework interrupted by school closures and will require the Division of Motor Vehicles to temporarily waive the road test requirement.

Potential drivers will need to confirm they have insurance before the DMV can issue a license.

Rep. John Torbett said he understands the concerns people have about not being able to get a license.

“Odd time, we can all agree with that,” Torbett said. “We just ask folks to be as patient as they can. Believe it or not the government is operating as fast as I’ve ever seen. Our goals are to help as many as we can. This has come up as an issue and we’re going to do our best to address the issues.”

Students who were enrolled in classroom driver education between January and March 16, 2020, will be deemed to have completed all the classroom instruction requirements so long as they finished at least 15 hours of classroom instruction before March 16.

Any students who have not met the 15-hour requirement may be able to take and pass the proficiency exam developed by the Department of Public Instruction to waive the classroom instruction requirement.

Students signed up for driver’s education in the spring of 2020 must finished at least six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction before they can get their North Carolina Driver Education Completion Certificate.

The road test waiver ends once the Division of Motor Vehicles resumes regularly scheduled road tests or 180 days from when this bill goes into effected, whichever comes first.

The bill, if approved by the Senate received the governor’s signature, would go into effect at the beginning of July.

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