Article 2B.

Special Identification Cards for Nonoperators.

§ 20-37.7.  Special identification card.

(a)        Eligibility. - A person who is a resident of this State is eligible for a special identification card.

(b)        Application. - To obtain a special identification card from the Division, a person must complete the application form used to obtain a drivers license.

(b1)      Search National Sex Offender Public Registry. - The Division shall not issue a special identification card to an applicant who has resided in this State for less than 12 months until the Division has searched the National Sex Offender Public Registry to determine if the person is currently registered as a sex offender in another state.

(1)        If the Division finds that the person is currently registered as a sex offender in another state, the Division shall not issue a special identification card to the person until the person submits proof of registration pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes issued by the sheriff of the county where the person resides.

(2)        If the person does not appear on the National Sex Offender Public Registry, the Division shall issue a special identification card but shall require the person to sign an affidavit acknowledging that the person has been notified that if the person is a sex offender, then the person is required to register pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes.

(3)        If the Division is unable to access all states' information contained in the National Sex Offender Public Registry, but the person is otherwise qualified to obtain a special identification card, then the Division shall issue the card but shall first require the person to sign an affidavit stating that: (i) the person does not appear on the National Sex Offender Public Registry and (ii) acknowledging that the person has been notified that if the person is a sex offender, then the person is required to register pursuant to Article 27A of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes. The Division shall search the National Sex Offender Public Registry for the person within a reasonable time after access to the Registry is restored. If the person does appear in the National Sex Offender Public Registry, the person is in violation of G.S. 20-37.8, and the Division shall promptly notify the sheriff of the county where the person resides of the offense.

(4)        Any person denied a special identification card by the Division pursuant to this subsection shall have a right to file a petition within 30 days thereafter for a hearing in the matter in the superior court of the county wherein such person shall reside, or to the resident judge of the district or judge holding the court of that district, or special or emergency judge holding a court in such district, and such court or judge is hereby vested with jurisdiction, and it shall be its or his duty to set the matter for hearing upon 30 days' written notice to the Division, and thereupon to take testimony and examine into the facts of the case and to determine whether the petitioner is entitled to a special identification card under the provisions of this subsection and whether the petitioner is in violation of G.S. 20-37.8.

(c)        (Effective until July 1, 2014) Format. - A special identification card shall be similar in size, shape, and design to a drivers license, but shall clearly state that it does not entitle the person to whom it is issued to operate a motor vehicle. A special identification card issued to an applicant must have the same background color that a drivers license issued to the applicant would have.

(c)        (Effective  July 1, 2014) Format. - A special identification card shall include a color photograph of the special identification card holder and be similar in size, shape, and design to a drivers license, but shall clearly state that it does not entitle the person to whom it is issued to operate a motor vehicle. A special identification card issued to an applicant must have the same background color that a drivers license issued to the applicant would have.

(d)        Expiration and Fee. - A special identification card issued to a person for the first time under this section expires when a drivers license issued on the same day to that person would expire. A special identification card renewed under this section expires when a drivers license renewed by the card holder on the same day would expire.

The fee for a special identification card is the same as the fee set in G.S. 20-14 for a duplicate license. The fee does not apply to a special identification card issued to a resident of this State as follows:

(1)        The applicant is legally blind.

(2)        The applicant is at least 70 years old.

(3)        The applicant or who has been issued a drivers license but the drivers license is cancelled under G.S. 20-15, in accordance with G.S. 20-9(e) and (g), as a result of a physical or mental disability or disease.

(4)        The applicant is homeless. To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, a homeless person must present a letter to the Division from the director of a facility that provides care or shelter to homeless persons verifying that the person is homeless.

(5)        The applicant is registered to vote in this State and does not have photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163-166.13. To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, a registered voter shall sign a declaration stating the registered voter is registered and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163-166.13. The Division shall verify that voter registration prior to issuing the special identification card. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163-275(13) for falsely making the declaration.

(6)        The applicant is appearing before the Division for the purpose of registering to vote in accordance with G.S. 163-82.19 and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163-166.13. To obtain a special identification card without paying a fee, that applicant shall sign a declaration stating that applicant is registering to vote and does not have other photo identification acceptable under G.S. 163-166.13. Any declaration shall prominently include the penalty under G.S. 163-275(13) for falsely making the declaration.

(d1)      (Effective July 1, 2014) For a person who has a physician's letter certifying that a severe disability causes the person to be homebound, the Division shall adopt rules allowing for application for or renewal of a special photo identification card under this section by means other than a personal appearance.

(e)        Offense. - Any fraud or misrepresentation in the application for or use of a special identification card issued under this section is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(f)         Records. - The Division shall maintain a record of all recipients of a special identification card.

(g)        No State Liability. - The fact of issuance of a special identification card pursuant to this section shall not place upon the State of North Carolina or any agency thereof any liability for the misuse thereof and the acceptance thereof as valid identification is a matter left entirely to the discretion of any person to whom such card is presented.

(h)        Advertising. - The Division may utilize the various communications media throughout the State to inform North Carolina residents of the provisions of this section.  (1973, c. 438, s. 1; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1979, c. 469, c. 667, s. 30; 1981, c. 673, ss. 1, 2; c. 690, s. 12; 1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1257, s. 3; 1983, c. 443, s. 2; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1062, s. 7; 1985, c. 141, s. 5; 1991, c. 689, s. 328; 1993, c. 368, s. 3; c. 490, ss. 1, 2; c. 539, s. 325; c. 553, s. 77; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 750, s. 2; 2006-247, s. 19(d); 2009-493, s. 3; 2013-233, ss. 1, 2; 2013-381, s. 3.1.)