Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What is the purpose of the Driver Eligibility Certificate (DEC)?

A DEC is used to determine if a student is maintaining adequate progress toward graduation and has not been suspended for having an illegal substance on campus or assaulting a staff member.

When are grades checked to measure adequate progress?

- At the end of the first semester and at the end of the school year.
- When measuring adequate progress at the end of a school year: 
Schools on a traditional schedule use the end of the year grads
Schools on a block schedule use the semester grades.

What happens to students who leave school to attend a Community College?

- When a student leaves a public school to attend a community college and is NOT making adequate progress at the point of withdrawal the public schools should revoke that student's driving privileges.
-When a student leaves a public school to attend a community college and IS making adequate progress the public school should not revoke that students driving privileges.

Who is responsible for issuing a DEC to a student who lives in North Carolina but attends a boarding school out of state?

- A student who has permanent residency in North Carolina but attends a boarding school out of state shall receive a DEC from the school they would normally attend. That school may ask for the following documentation.

  1. Proof of residency within their district 
  2. Transcript/report card showing the latest semester from the school.
  3. A letter on school letterhead stating the student is currently in attendance at that school. 
  4. A report card/transcript at the end of each semester until the child graduates - making sure the student understands that they will lose driving privileges if this is not presented at the end of each semester

Can Public schools share their DECs with other schools?

No.  North Carolina public schools are not permitted to share Driving Eligibility Certificates with conventional non-public schools operating within North Carolina's geographical borders, home schools, community colleges or even other public schools.

Are public schools allowed to revoke private schools students’ license?

No.  Conventional non-public or home schools located within the State of North Carolina wishing to have a student driver's license revoked must contact the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education.

Who can public schools issue DECs to?

Only to students who are currently enrolled in that public school. Public schools may not issue a DEC to a student who currently attends or is enrolled in a conventional non-public school within North Carolina, a home school, community college or an out-of-state correspondence or other distance learning program.

How does Dropout Prevention (DOP)/Lose Control Lose License (LCLL), affect minors who are emancipated? 

- Emancipated minors are still affected by both the Dropout Prevention and the lose Control Lose Your Licenses Laws.

Is a hardship permanent?

Yes.  Hardships should only be granted under extreme circumstances.  Once a student has been granted a hardship, however, his/her driver's license should not be revoked again.

Can the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), or the Division of Community Colleges issue DECs or grant hardships?

No.  Hardships can be granted only by the chief administrator (or his/her designee) of the North Carolina school in which the student is currently enrolled.

Who is responsible for charges incurred when a license is revoked in error?

- If a school revokes a student's license in error and the student has to have a duplicate license issue the school system is responsible for the duplication fee.

What is the earliest date a student under a LCLL suspension can be issued a DEC?

- A student who is under a Lose Control Lose Your License suspension may only be issued a DEC after at least 6 months has expired from the date the license was suspended, and the student demonstrated exemplary behavior and successfully completed a drug and alcohol counseling program (for those suspend for drugs or alcohol on campus). DMV examiners cannot accept a DEC for a LCLL suspension before the end of the 6-month waiting period.

When should the school send the names of licenses to be revoked to the DMV? 

- A school should wait the determined time period to receive any hardship requests after notifying parents of the student's license revocation before sending the names to the DMV.
- It is imperative that schools revoke a student's driving privileges immediately following the 30 day grace period post withdrawal.
- It is also important that once a student drops out of school and their name is sent to the DMV that their name is removed from the list so that it is not inadvertently sent in again to the DMV.

How does summer school affect students who lose their license under DOP?

At the end of the school year (once final grades are posted), non-public schools should send DNPE their license revocation recommendations. At the conclusion of summer school, those students eligible may then receive a DEC from their North Carolina non-public school principal in order to have their license re-instated. Schools should not wait until summer school is over to turn in the names of students not making progress toward high school graduation.

When errors occur...

- If a school places a suspension in error it is important that DPI is contacted and the suspension is deleted. If suspension placed in error are not delete the student may incur increases in their insurance premiums.
-Schools should use extreme caution when entering suspension so, as not to label a student as a Lose Control suspension when it should been under Drop Out Prevention. Each suspension has different guidelines for reinstatement and special attention should be paid when entering this information.

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