Bill Summary for H 328 (2015-2016)

Summary date: 

Mar 23 2015

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2015-2016 Session
House Bill 328 (Public) Filed Monday, March 23, 2015
AN ACT TO REDUCE IDENTITY THEFT BY INCREASING PENALTIES FOR THE MANUFACTURE, SALE, AND POSSESSION OF COUNTERFEIT DOCUMENTS; TO CLARIFY WHICH DOCUMENTS ARE ACCEPTABLE FOR IDENTIFICATION BEFORE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND AGENCIES; TO CREATE A REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION AGAINST THE PRETRIAL RELEASE OF CERTAIN UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS; AND TO ENSURE THAT CITIZENS AND LAWFULLY PRESENT ALIENS CAN TRAVEL SAFELY ON THE ROADS OF THIS STATE BY ENSURING THAT EVERY DRIVER ON THE ROADS OF THIS STATE HAS BEEN PROPERLY LICENSED OR PERMITTED.
Intro. by Warren, B. Brown, Collins, Jordan.

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Bill summary

Part I.

Names the act The Highway Safety and Citizens Protection Act of 2015.

Part II.

Amends GS 14-100.1 to also make it unlawful to knowingly sell a false or fraudulent form of identification for the purpose of deception, fraud, or other criminal conduct. Increases the penalty for violating the statute (which includes violations for possessing, manufacturing, or selling certain fraudulent forms of identification) from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class G felony. Makes the following violations a Class 1 misdemeanor: (1) a violation based on the mere possession of a false or fraudulent form of identification, rather than the manufacture or sale of a false or fraudulent form of identification; (2) a violation by a person under the age of 21 for the purpose of the underage purchase of alcohol; (3) a violation by a person under the age of 18 for the purpose of the underage purchase of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers.

Amends GS 20-30 to add restricted driver permits and restricted identification cards to the list of documents included in the acts prohibited in the statute (violations of license, learner's permit, restricted driver's permit, restricted identification card, or special identification card provisions). Makes it unlawful to possess more than one special identification card for a fraudulent purpose. Makes violations of the statute a Class G felony, with specified exceptions. Specifies other penalties as follows: (1) violations by a person under age 21 for the purpose of the underage purchase of alcohol are punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor and (2) a violation by a person under age 18 for the purpose of the underage purchase of tobacco products or cigarette wrapping papers is punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Repeals GS 20-37.8, concerning the fraudulent use of a special identification card.

Makes clarifying changes to GS 143-341.

Effective December 1, 2015.

Part III.

Amends GS 15A-533 to create a rebuttable presumption that no condition of release will reasonably assure the appearance of the person and the safety of the community if the person is unlawfully present in the United States and a judicial officer finds either: (1) there is probable cause to believe that the person committed one or more of the following offenses: a sex offense; a violent felony, or any criminal offense other than a violation described in GS 14‑33(a) that includes assault as an essential element of the offense or as an aggravating factor in sentencing; a driving offense; a drug offense; or a gang offense or (2) there is probable cause to believe that the person committed an offense not listed above and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has issued a detainer for the initiation of removal proceedings against the person or has indicated that it will do so. Makes conforming changes and makes language in the statute gender-neutral. 

Enacts new GS 15A-534.7 to require a defendant to execute a secured appearance bond as a condition of pretrial release when the defendant is an alien who (1) is not lawfully present in the US and (2) is charged with a felony or a Class A1 misdemeanor. 

Effective December 1, 2015.

Part IV.

Enacts new GS 64-6 to require verification of a person's immigration status to be consistent with federal law and allows verification to be done: (1) pursuant to 8 USC §§ 1373(c) and 1644 or any other provision of federal law, (2) by a law enforcement officer who is authorized by the federal government to verify or ascertain an alien's immigration status, (3) in any other manner authorized by the federal government. 

Enacts new GS 64-7 making a verification of an alien's immigration status received from the federal government proof of that alien's status. Requires state court to consider only a verification of immigration status made under new GS 64‑6 in determining whether an alien is lawfully present in the United States. Makes any record related to a person's immigration status admissible in state court without further foundation or testimony from a custodian of records if all of the following apply: (1) the record is certified as authentic by the federal government agency responsible for maintaining the record; (2) the State notifies the person at least 15 business days before the proceeding at which the evidence would be used of its intention to introduce the record into evidence and provides the person with a copy of the record; and (3) the person fails to file a written objection with the court, with a copy to the State, at least five business days before the proceeding at which the record would be used that the person objects to the introduction of the record into evidence. 

Enacts new GS 64-8 allowing a a state or local law enforcement agency to securely transport an alien who is in the agency's custody and whom the agency has verified is unlawfully present in the United States to a point of transfer into federal custody that is outside the jurisdiction of the law enforcement agency; however, requires a law enforcement agency to obtain judicial or executive authorization before securely transporting an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States to a point of transfer that is out of state. 

Enacts new GS 64-9 concerning construing GS Chapter 64 and adds a severability clause.

Enacts new GS 64-10 prohibiting the possession of a restricted driver's permit or a restricted identification card, standing alone, from being used as a basis for a criminal investigation, arrest, or detention in circumstances in which a person who possesses some other form of identification would not be criminally investigated, arrested, or detained.

Part V.

Enacts new Article 18 of GS Chapter 15A, Identification Documents. Enacts new GS 15A-306 providing that the following documents are not acceptable for use in determining a person's actual identity or residency by a justice, judge, clerk, magistrate, law enforcement officer, or other government official: (1) a matricula consular or other similar document, other than a valid passport, issued by a consulate or embassy of another country and (2) an identity document issued or created by any person, organization, county, city, or other local authority, except where expressly authorized to be used for this purpose by the General Assembly. Prohibits a local government or law enforcement agency from establishing the acceptability of any of those documents as a form of identification to be used to determine the identity or residency of any person. Repeals any local government policy or ordinance that contradicts this statute. Makes conforming changes to GS 20-7, which provides examples of documents considered to be reasonably reliable indicators of residency; to GS 58-2-164, which provides examples of documents considered to be reliable proof of residency or eligible risk; and GS 108A-55.3, listing documents that can be used to meet the proof of residency when applying for medical assistance benefits.

Effective October 1, 2015. 

Part VI.

Amends GS 20-4.01 to add and define the term criminal history as it is used in GS Chapter 20.

Amends GS 20-7 to add that the duration of the driver's license or permit listed in the statute are valid unless the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) determines that a restricted driver's permit should be issued under new (u) of the statute. Prohibits a restricted driver's permit from expiring later than one year after issuance. Enacts new GS 20-7(u) requiring the DMV to issue a restricted driver's permit under subsection (f) to an applicant present in the United States who meets all of the following: (1) the applicant is not lawfully present in the US; (2) the applicant agrees to a criminal history check, including taking the applicant's fingerprints, and the check shows that the applicant does not have a criminal history; and (3) the applicant meets all other requirements for a driver's license. Further amends GS 20-7 as follows. Makes the fee for a restricted driver's permit the same as the fee for a regular driver's license. Requires the Secretary of Transportation to set the fee for an initial one-year restricted driver's permit and prohibits the fee from being lower than the actual cost of processing the application and providing the permit. Sets the renewal fee for a restricted driver's permit at $25. Specifies the format of a restricted driver's permit. Requires that where state law refers to a "drivers license," the term be construed to refer to a restricted driver's permit, except where the law being construed confers a benefit, privilege, or a right for which lawful presence is required. Prohibits a state agency or official from using any information submitted as part of a restricted driver's permit application to seek the applicant's removal from the United States or from releasing information pertaining to the applicant's immigration status except where expressly required by law to do so. Requires the DMV to work with other state and local agencies to ensure that restricted driver's permits are not used to obtain public benefits for which only citizens and lawfully present persons are eligible.

Amends GS 20-15 to require the DMV to cancel and revoke the restricted driver's permit of a person convicted for violating GS 20-313 ( Operation of motor vehicle without financial responsibility). Makes clarifying and conforming changes.

Enacts new GS 20-309.3 to require an insurer who receives a request to refund any funds to an insured because of the cancellation of a liability insurance policy on a vehicle to first ask the DMV whether the insured currently has a valid restricted driver's permit and refuse to refund the money if the person has a valid restricted driver's permit. 

Enacts new GS 20-37.8A to require the DMV to  issue a restricted identification card to an applicant who: (1) is not lawfully present in the United States, (2) completes the application form used to obtain a driver's license, and (3) and does not have a criminal history. Sets out the required format of the restricted identification card. Sets the card to expire no later than one year after issuance. Allows the Secretary of Transportation to set the fee for the initial one-year restricted identification card, and requires that the fee not be lower than the cost of processing the application and providing the card. Sets the renewal fee at $25. Requires DMV to keep a record of all restricted identification card recipients. Prohibits a state agency or official from using any information submitted as part of a restricted identification card application to seek the applicant's removal from the United States or from releasing information pertaining to the applicant's immigration status except where expressly required by law to do so. Defines criminal history as it is used in the statute. Requires the DMV to work with other state and local agencies to ensure that restricted identification cards are not used to obtain public benefits for which only citizens and lawfully present persons are eligible.

Amends GS 20-37.9 to make the provisions of the statute, concerning notice of a change of address or name, also applicable to a restricted identification card.

Enact new GS 143B-966 to require the Department of Public Safety (DPS), when requested, to provide DMV with the criminal history from the State and National Repositories of Criminal Histories of applicants for restricted driver's permits or restricted identification cards. Specifies information that the DMV must provide to DPS, including fingerprints. Requires the fingerprints to be forwarded to the State Bureau of Investigation for a search of the state's criminal history record file and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a national criminal history record check. Requires DMV to keep all information obtained under the statute confidential. Allows DPS to charge a fee to offset the cost of conducting the criminal record check. 

Amends the following statutes to include restricted driver's permits and restricted identification cards within the statutes' reach: GS 18B-302 (defenses for selling to or purchasing alcohol by an underage person); GS 18C-131 (defenses concerning selling lottery tickets to minors); GS 19A-32.1 (release of animals by an animal shelter); GS 20-7 (issuance and renewal of driver's licenses); GS 20-7.3 (concerning organ, eye, and tissue donor cards); GS 20-43 (concerning DMV records); GS 20-43.2 (concerning information on the Organ Donor Registry website); GS 20-52 (application for registration and certificate of title); GS 20-31.1 (violations for wrongful issuance of a driver's license or an identification card); GS 25-9-503 (name of debtor and secured party); GS 66-253 (display of identification upon request); GS 66-254 (records of source of new merchandise); and GS 90-106.1 (photo ID requirement for Schedule II controlled substances).

Makes additional conforming changes.

Effective October 1, 2015.

Part VII. 

Enacts new GS 20-28.10 making a vehicle subject to seizure, impoundment, and forfeiture when the driver commits any of the following offenses: (1) a violation of GS 20‑313 (Operation of motor vehicle without financial responsibility a misdemeanor) or (2) driving without a license or restricted driver's permit unless the person possesses an expired drivers license or an expired restricted driver's permit. Sets out exceptions.  Sets out the laws and procedures governing the seizure, impoundment, and forfeiture of vehicles under the statute and defines an innocent owner. 

Effective October 1, 2015.

Part VIII.

Unless otherwise indicated, effective when the act becomes law.

Includes a severability clause.

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