People question if grace period will be allowed for vehicle inspections, registrations and driver’s license renewals

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — FOX8 viewers have been asking the DMV why they are not getting a break on vehicle inspections, registrations and driver’s license renewals.

Right now, there’s no grace period during the coronavirus pandemic.

Greensboro police tell FOX8 they will be ticketing as usual, because it’s the law and the DMV is still open.

Drivers say getting the paperwork done is a health risk.

At the DMV License Plate Agency on Golden Gate Drive in Greensboro on Wednesday, people were standing in long lines, six feet apart.

Some people were wearing masks and gloves, others came unprotected, relying on staff to keep them safe.

“Outside, they ask you if you’ve been out of the country or out of the state. They ask you if you’ve had a fever, have you had a cough, or any respiratory issues,” Rick Hawks said.

He showed up to get his license plate renewed

“If you need to do it, you need to do it,” Hawks said.

It’s a law only the General Assembly can change.

“I’m in the age group that it’s affecting hard. I’m trying to stay safe. I’m trying to go out as little as possible,” Barbara Bailiff said.

People like Bailiff are questioning why there are no extensions available, especially when state officials are ordering people to stay at home.

“I don’t know why it would be so hard to forgo that for the next few months,” she said.

The state’s transportations secretary has asked lawmakers to allow the DMV commissioner to grant an extension of expiration dates and waive late fees.

“It would be so simple for them to get people to pay their taxes on the vehicle, get the sticker, and instead of the sticker having the year on it, have like NC or something on it,” Bailiff said. “That way, police know you’ve at least paid your taxes and your car is registered in the state. It’s just the inspection part is being delayed.”

But the process of getting approval involves some red tape.

FOX8 asked Gov. Roy Cooper what he plans to do.

“We are working on waiving as many fines as we can through an executive order,” he said. “But when the General Assembly comes back, we have already talked to them about delaying in statue, what we can’t change through executive order.”

For now, people will have to follow the law, and count on social distancing and extra cleaning to keep them safe.

“They’re cleaning stuff down every time,” Hawks said. “They tell you not to touch the rails and when you go out the door, they hold the door for you before you go out.”

“I won’t go, it’s not worth it,” Bailiff said.

Cooper also told FOX8 that he wants to discourage people from going out for things that could be delayed a few months.

During his press conference Wednesday afternoon, he seemed confident that when the General Assembly comes back on April 28, there would be action taken on this.

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