Friday, 12 June 2020 16:35

Bill waiving road tests during COVID-19 pandemic, sponsored by McInnis, heads to governor

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RALEIGH — A bill to waive road test requirements, supported by both of Richmond County’s state legislators, now heads to the governor’s desk.

HB 158 was first filed in the state House of Representatives on Feb. 25, 2019 and sat in the Senate for nearly a year before being picked back up June 3.

The original bill was to make changes to Department of Transportation reporting requirements, however it was amended to mirror a bill sponsored by Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond, filed on May 26.

That bill calls for the Division of Motor Vehicles to waive the requirement that an applicant for a Level 2 limited provisional license take a road test as long as all other requirements have been met.

Those obtaining a Level 3 license must still take the road test.

Other primary sponsors of the bill were Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, and Sen. Jim Perry, R-Lenoir.

According to McInnis’ office, the DMV is not conducting road tests because of the COVID-19 pandemic and applicants have been waiting for months.

“This bill takes care of the kids who had not been able to finish driver’s education due to the coronavirus epidemic,” McInnis said in a statement. “I heard from parents across our community, and this bill responds to their needs.”

The act goes into effect when it becomes law and applies to applications for provisional licenses submitted on or after that date, and expires when the DMV resumes road tests.

The bill cleared the Senate unanimously on Thursday and passed in the House with a vote of 107-12. Rep. Scott Brewer, D-Richmond voted in favor.

The twelve state representatives who voted no were all Democrats, according to legislative records.