roy cooper hearing loss license bill

NC Governor Signs Bill Allowing Deaf & HoH to Designate Hearing Status On Driver’s License

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA — Late last week, North Carolina governor Roy Cooper signed a bill into law that allows people that are deaf and hard of hearing to have a symbol placed on their driver’s license that designates their hearing challenges.

The bill, which unanimously passed both the state House and Senate, would allow for a special voluntary numeric and electronic designation on state driver’s licenses that would indicate that the motorist is deaf or hard of hearing. This designation would be accessible to law enforcement officers in their official vehicles.

Law to Take Effect January 1, 2018


The legislation, which will take effect on January 1st, was proposed 10 days following the tragic shooting death of a deaf driver in Charlotte, North Carolina, by a state trooper last August. In addition to the voluntary designation option for deaf and hard of hearing motorists, the bill also helps establish minimum educational and training standards for criminal justice officers for interacting with a motorist who is deaf or hard of hearing.


nc governor cooper signs deaf license bill
North Carolina governor, Roy Cooper, signs HB 84 into law


Advocates hope that the additional police training, along with the voluntary license designation, will help prevent future tragedies due to communication breakdowns and misunderstandings.


Source: WFAE, JournalNow


1 Comment

  1. I sincerely hope that the training provided to police officers relative to this law includes a substantial piece of information on the differences between Deaf, as in culture, deaf as in a person who has poor hearing who appears to not hear well, but who has no clue what to do about it, and in hard of hearing where a person uses assistive technology of some kind to do the best they can do. That includes hearing aids, cochlear implants that are likely to be worn at the time of ‘an event’. It also includes the add on technology that goes with hearing aids and cochlear implants. In many instances, the use of those add ons will require a movement to connect a device that may either be in a purse, a pocket or a glove compartment in the vehicle. Gestures to retrieve that equipment could easily be perceived as negative. Those who are culturally Deaf, the highly visible minority, will expect to use manual communication. These populations are very different from one another in their needs for effective communication. Please be sure personnel is aware of that.

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