State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_1 > GS_1-105

§1‑105.  Service upon nonresident drivers of motor vehicles and upon thepersonal representatives of deceased nonresident drivers of motor vehicles.

The acceptance by anonresident of the rights and privileges conferred by the laws now or hereafterin force in this State permitting the operation of motor vehicles, as evidencedby the operation of a motor vehicle by such nonresident on the public highwaysof this State, or at any other place in this State, or the operation by suchnonresident of a motor vehicle on the public highways of this State or at anyother place in this State, other than as so permitted or regulated, shall bedeemed equivalent to the appointment by such nonresident of the Commissioner ofMotor Vehicles, or his successor in office, to be his true and lawful attorneyand the attorney of his executor or administrator, upon whom may be served allsummonses or other lawful process in any action or proceeding against him orhis executor or administrator, growing out of any accident or collision inwhich said nonresident may be involved by reason of the operation by him, forhim, or under his control or direction, express or implied, of a motor vehicleon such public highways of this State, or at any other place in this State, andsaid acceptance or operation shall be a signification of his agreement that anysuch process against him or his executor or administrator shall be of the samelegal force and validity as if served on him personally, or on his executor oradministrator.

Service of such process shallbe made in the following manner:

(1)        By leaving a copythereof, with a fee of ten dollars ($10.00), in the hands of the Commissionerof Motor Vehicles, or in his office.  Such service, upon compliance with theother provisions of this section, shall be sufficient service upon the saidnonresident.

(2)        Notice of suchservice of process and copy thereof must be forthwith sent by certified orregistered mail by plaintiff or the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to thedefendant, and the entries on the defendant's return receipt shall besufficient evidence of the date on which notice of service upon theCommissioner of Motor Vehicles and copy of process were delivered to thedefendant, on which date service on said defendant shall be deemed completed. If the defendant refuses to accept the certified or registered letter, serviceon the defendant shall be deemed completed on the date of such refusal toaccept as determined by notations by the postal authorities on the originalenvelope, and if such date cannot be so determined, then service shall bedeemed completed on the date that the certified or registered letter isreturned to the plaintiff or Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, as determined bypostal marks on the original envelope.  If the certified or registered letteris not delivered to the defendant because it is unclaimed, or because he hasremoved himself from his last known address and has left no forwarding addressor is unknown at his last known address, service on the defendant shall be deemedcompleted on the date that the certified or registered letter is returned tothe plaintiff or Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

(3)        The defendant'sreturn receipt, or the original envelope bearing a notation by the postalauthorities that receipt was refused, and an affidavit by the plaintiff thatnotice of mailing the registered letter and refusal to accept was forthwithsent to the defendant by ordinary mail, together with the plaintiff's affidavitof compliance with the provisions of this section, must be appended to thesummons or other process and filed with said summons, complaint and otherpapers in the cause.

Provided, that where thenonresident motorist has died prior to the commencement of an action broughtpursuant to this section, service of process shall be made on the executor oradministrator of such nonresident motorist in the same manner and on the samenotice as is provided in the case of a nonresident motorist.

The court in which the actionis pending shall order such continuance as may be necessary to afford thedefendant reasonable opportunity to defend the action. (1929,c. 75, s. 1; 1941, c. 36, s. 4; 1951, c. 646; 1953, c. 796; 1955, c. 1022;1961, c. 1191; 1963, c. 491; 1967, c. 954, s. 4; 1971, c. 420, s. 2; 1975, c.294; 1989, c. 645, s. 1.)