Raleigh, N.C. — The state Division of Motor Vehicles will begin charging new fees as high as $450 soon for people who want to end a driver's license suspension early.
These hearings – more than 25,000 of them a year – have been free, but the fees kick in as part of the latest state budget, which calls on the DMV to make its hearings unit self-sustaining. Once implemented for a full year, for these fees are slated to bring in more than $3.7 million a year.
Most driver's license suspensions can be lifted without a hearing after the punishment period runs its course or, for people whose licenses are suspended because they failed to pay court fines, once those fines are addressed. Those hoping to get their licenses back early, or to contest a permanent revocation, can request a hearing.
Under the new policy, only medical and competency hearings will be free. Hearings stemming from a driving while impaired charge will cost $425. Violations of ignition interlock restrictions will run $450. Fees may be waived for those who file a notarized affidavit of indigence that includes their household income.
New hearing charges for automobile dealers contesting an issue before the division will run as high as $1,200.
The fees will be in addition to the $65 to $130 the DMV charges now as a license restoration fee.
The division is accepting public comment online through Oct. 3 about the changes. A public hearing was set for 6 p.m. Monday at the John Chavis Media Center, 505 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Raleigh.