State laws, changes in effect Aug. 1

By Terri Flagg -

As of August 1, an electronic signature may be used on applications for titles, a registration plate, a registration card and other documents required by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Required notarization of any of those signatures may also be performed electronically. The electronic signatures and notarization must be in accordance with governing general statutes.

Other laws going into effect August 1 include:

• Various changes to the laws regarding the Innocence Inquiry Commission, special judicial panel that investigates and evaluates post-conviction claims of factual innocence.

Among those changes, the law now requires the director of the commission report to the director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts.

Claimants, which are persons who have been convicted of a felony in North Carolina and are asserting their innocence, will no longer be allowed to refer their case to the commission, except for certain homicide, robbery or sex offenses requiring registrations. Claims must be referred by any court, state or local agency, or a claimant’s counsel.

A public hearing is now required at the completion of a formal inquiry, which was formerly at the discretion of the commission. The district attorney or defense counsel may not be excluded from the hearing.

• If the owner of a manufactured home seeks to separate the manufactured home from the real property upon which it was located, verification of the identity of the current owner of the real property is now required.

By Terri Flagg

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.

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