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North Carolina May Fingerprint and Photograph Drivers
North Carolina House committee clears a bill authorizing fingerprinting and facial photography for those accused of certain traffic offenses.

Representative Dale R. Folwell
North Carolina state Representative Dale R. Folwell (R-Winston-Salem) has introduced legislation that would fingerprint and photograph every motorist pulled over for certain traffic offenses. The state House Judiciary Committee approved the bill last week.

Under the proposed law, any motorist who refuses to identify himself when pulled over by a police officer -- whether or not he is suspected of any crime -- would find himself subjected to fingerprinting. The legislation is being pushed as a means of combating identity theft. Backers do not see it as a first step for the government to fingerprint suspects during every traffic stop.

Article Excerpt:
Committee Substitute #2 Favorable
June 19, 2006


AN ACT to protect the identity of individuals by authorizing the taking of photographs for motor vehicle violations of failing to produce a license or learner's permit to any law enforcement officer requesting it for lawful purposes pursuant to G.S. 20‑29, and violations of the drivers license and learner's permit provisions in G.S. 20‑30.

The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:

SECTION 1. G.S. 15A‑502(b) reads as rewritten:

"(b) This section does not authorize the taking of photographs or fingerprints when the offense charged is a Class 2 or 3 misdemeanor under Chapter 20 of the General Statutes, "Motor Vehicles," except that photographs may be taken for violations of G.S. 20‑29 or any of the provisions of G.S. 20‑30. Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a photograph of a person from the neck up may be taken for law enforcement records when the person is issued a citation, but not arrested, for violating G.S. 20‑29 or any of the provisions of G.S. 20‑30."

SECTION 2. This act becomes effective December 1, 2006, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

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