Vehicle Code in North Carolina
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While North Carolina's driver handbook is useful for teaching new students how to drive and giving new residents the facts about driving in our state, it is not thorough when it comes to the law.
The Vehicle Code is a set of state statutes that applies to drivers and motor vehicles. Designed to keep us safe on the road, the Code also allows the state to prosecute violators who commit motor vehicle crimes. The Code also includes legislation that pertains to automotive dealers and manufacturers, repair and inspection stations, and salvage yards.
North Carolina's General Assembly lists all its statutes online. The Vehicle Code is Chapter 20 of the North Carolina General Statutes. You can look up any of the statutes online, though as a motorist, you might be interested in the sections on traffic laws, property tax, titling and registration, or provisional licensing for teen drivers.
When you violate the law, ignorance is not a defense. So learning about the laws that govern drivers and others in the motor vehicle industry can only help you. It may prevent you from driving poorly and improperly registering a vehicle or making mistakes on your driver license application. You will also learn your rights and responsibilities when you buy a car from a dealership.
It may also help you defend yourself in traffic court if you think you are not guilty. If you find yourself headed for traffic court to contest a ticket, researching the law would be a great way to strengthen your defense with or without a lawyer's help. Your traffic citation will cite the statute that you allegedly violated, and you can look it up online to read and understand it.
Chapter 20 is divided into 17 articles with almost 400 sections. There is a lot of legalese to digest, but if you are interested, you can quickly find the statutes that pertain to your interests. Simply do a search for a keyword from the main page and you will locate the sections you need.
Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver’s license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver’s license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what’s on record at the DMV. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.
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