SESSION LAW 2008-217




AN ACT to change the format of a DRIVERS license or special identification card being issued to a person less than twenty-one years of age from a horizontal format to a vertical FORMAT to make recognition of UNDERAGE persons more easy for clerks dealing in restricted age sales of products such as alcoholic beverages and tobacco products as recommended by the child fatality task force.


The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:


SECTION 1.  G.S. 20-7(n) reads as rewritten:

"(n)      Format. - A drivers license issued by the Division must be tamperproof and must contain all of the following information:

(1)       An identification of this State as the issuer of the license.

(2)       The license holder's full name.

(3)       The license holder's residence address.

(4)       A color photograph of the license holder, taken by the Division.

(5)       A physical description of the license holder, including sex, height, eye color, and hair color.

(6)       The license holder's date of birth.

(7)       An identifying number for the license holder assigned by the Division. The identifying number may not be the license holder's social security number.

(8)       Each class of motor vehicle the license holder is authorized to drive and any endorsements or restrictions that apply.

(9)       The license holder's signature.

(10)     The date the license was issued and the date the license expires.

The Commissioner may waive the requirement of a color photograph on a license if the license holder proves to the satisfaction of the Commissioner that taking the photograph would violate the license holder's religious convictions. In taking photographs of license holders, the Division must distinguish between license holders who are less than 21 years old and license holders who are at least 21 years old by using different color backgrounds or borders for each group. The Division shall determine the different colors to be used. The Commissioner shall ensure that applicants 21 years old or older are issued drivers licenses and special identification cards that are printed in a horizontal format. The Commissioner shall ensure that applicants under the age of 21 are issued drivers licenses and special identification cards that are printed in a vertical format, that distinguishes them from the horizontal format, for ease of identification of individuals under age 21 by members of industries that regulate controlled products that are sale restricted by age and law enforcement officers enforcing these laws.

At the request of an applicant for a drivers license, a license issued to the applicant must contain the applicant's race."

SECTION 2.  The Office of State Controller, with the support of the Office of State Budget and Management, shall identify and make all efforts to secure any matching funds or other resources to assist in funding this initiative.

SECTION 3.  This act becomes effective October 1, 2008, and applies to drivers licenses and special identification cards issued or renewed on or after that date.

In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 8th day of July, 2008.



                                                                    s/ Beverly E. Perdue

                                                                         President of the Senate



                                                                    s/ Joe Hackney

                                                                         Speaker of the House of Representatives



                                                                    s/ Michael F. Easley




Approved 11:20 a.m. this 16th day of August, 2008