2012 Amendments to Teenage License Revocation Law

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I wrote here about a 2011 law that requires law enforcement officers to arrest teenage drivers who are charged with, among other offenses, driving more than 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.  The law required that these drivers be arrested so that they could be brought before a magistrate who could immediately revoke the teen’s license.  The procedure was sort of the shock and awe of graduated licensing. Not surprisingly (and notwithstanding all 100 views of this YouTube video featuring yours truly blathering on about the subject) the law caught some teenagers and their parents unawares.

The General Assembly in its 2012 session responded to concerns that the law unwisely required that young drivers be arrested for commission of relatively minor offenses by amending the provisions of G.S. 20-13.3, effective for offenses committed October 1, 2012 or later, to permit a teenage driver’s license to be revoked without the driver having been arrested and hauled before the magistrate for an initial appearance.  G.S. 20-13.3, as amended by S.L. 2012-168, continues to apply to 16- and 17-year old provisional licensees who are charged with a criminal moving violation and are not subject to license revocation under G.S. 20-16.5 based upon commission of an implied-consent offense.  For offenses committed October 1, 2012 or later, a law enforcement officer may issue a citation charging a provisional licensee with a misdemeanor criminal moving violation without also arresting the person.  When this happens, the officer must expeditiously file a revocation report with the clerk of superior court. Upon determining that the conditions requiring revocation under G.S. 20-13.3 are satisfied, the clerk must issue a revocation order and mail it to the provisional licensee. The ensuing 30-day revocation becomes effective on the fourth day after the order is mailed.

S.L. 2012-168 also creates a procedure for challenging the lawfulness of a revocation order entered pursuant to G.S. 20-13.3, where none previously existed.  New G.S. 20-13.3(d2), effective for offenses committed on or after October 1, 2012, permits a provisional licensee to request in writing a hearing to contest the validity of the revocation.  These review provisions are modeled on those provided in G.S. 20-16.5(g) for review of license revocations issued by the magistrate or clerk in connection with implied consent charges.

As amended, G.S. 20-13.3 continues to provide for a relatively immediate license revocation while restoring to law enforcement officers discretion over whether to arrest a driver for commission of a criminal moving violation.  Equal awe with less shock, you might say.

If you’d like the nitty-gritty details, this paper reviews in detail the provisions of G.S. 20-13.3, as amended by S.L. 2012-168.

1 thought on “2012 Amendments to Teenage License Revocation Law”

  1. If the LEO fails to arrest or file a revocation report, is there any other method by which the provisional license can be suspended (for, say, a charge of 20-over — and assuming no conviction) under this statute? I’ve run into the situation twice where clients were charged but not arrested.


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