North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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May 13, 1978

Subject:

Motor Vehicles; Rules of the Road; Non-resident Violator Compact

Requested By:

Lt. R. T. Tester Boone Police Department

Questions:

  1. Does G.S. 20-4.19(a) prohibit an officer from arresting a non-resident (who will sign for personal recognizance) from a reciprocating state for traffic violations that would not result in the suspension or revocation of his licenses under the laws of the State?

  2. Is the officer prohibited in arresting the non-resident (who will sign for personal recognizance), if the non-resident holds a valid operator's license issued from the reciprocal state but has his residence in another state?

Conclusion:

  1. Yes.

  2. Yes, if the license is accepted as valid.

G.S. 20-4.19(a) reads as follows:

§ 20-4.9. Issuance of citation to nonresident; officer to report noncompliance. -- (a) Notwithstanding other provisions of this Chapter, a law-enforcement officer observing a violation of this Chapter or other traffic regulation by a nonresident shall issue a citation as appropriate and shall not, subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, require such nonresident to post collateral or bond to secure appearance for trial, but shall accept such nonresident's personal recognizance; provided, however, that the nonresident shall have the right upon request to post collateral or bond in a manner provided by law and in such case the provisions of this Article shall not apply."

The language of the statute is mandatory; i.e., ". . . shall issue a citation as appropriate and shall not . . . require such nonresident to post collateral or bond to secure appearance for trial . . ."

Rufus L. Edmisten Attorney General

William W. Melvin Deputy Attorney General