After motorists complained when local Division of Motor Vehicles offices ran out of driver handbooks last summer, DMV has ordered a bigger press run for the new edition this winter.
The handbook explains highway signs, traffic laws and other rules of the road. Many North Carolinians pick up a copy to study before taking their driver’s license tests. Drivers sometimes consult the booklet to settle debates over when to stop for a school bus, or who has the right-of-way at a four-way-stop intersection.
The agency is waiting for printers to bid for a contract to produce 600,000 copies of the new edition, updated to reflect traffic-law changes enacted by the 2011 General Assembly. It should be available in a month to six weeks, DMV spokeswoman Marge Howell said.
The new edition will explain recent changes in the state’s graduated licensing system for young drivers. Teens who start driving with limited learner’s permits now are required to compile written logs to document at least 60 hours spent practicing their driving, with front-seat supervision of parents or other adults.
DMV officials had hoped that a June 2010 printing run of 300,000 copies would keep local offices stocked through 2011, but some offices exhausted their supplies as early as last June.
DMV printed 50,000 more copies in October and another 100,000 in December, and local offices should have sufficient supplies until the new edition is available.
“We ran out and we tried to rectify it as soon as we found out about it,” Howell said. “We’re certainly planning to have that not happen again. We’ll keep an eye on our supplies and print more of them as we need to.”
A digital copy of the N.C. Driver’s Handbook (the old edition) is available online at www.ncdot.gov/dmv.