I called the Sheriff that issued my CHP today (Beaufort Co.) and asked if they could change my address on my CHP to my new MD address, so it would match my new MD DL. Per NC Statute, if you move, you are required to notify the Sheriff within 30 days of your address change. (I am well within that timeframe, having changed my DL over on 16 May)
They told me that since I had moved out of the state my NC CHP was no longer valid, effective the moment I changed residency.
I asked them if they could point me to the statute that said this, and they said that you had to be a resident to have a NC permit. I countered by quoting the Statute, and the CHP Application form, which only stipulates that you must be a resident to APPLY for a permit. I told them that nowhere in the NC Statute does it say that if I already HAVE a permit, and move out of state, does it become invalid, but she insisted that it was no longer valid.
She did tell me that I did not have to return the physical card though, but that I just shouldn't use it anymore because it wasn't valid.
So I called the AG and asked them the same question. After several hours they got back to me, and confirmed my interpretation--that there is NOTHING in NC Statute that says your permit becomes invalid if you move out of state, and technically, it should remain valid as long as it hasn't expired. The only difficulty is that the adress on your card won't match your new DL, because most sheriffs would probably not issue a replacement card with an out-of-state address. But she said that there was nothing in the law that prohibited them from doing it, and such a CHP would be perfectly legal, if I already had a valid NC CHP before I moved.
I've still got 2 years left on my NC CHP, and it just irks me that I have to throw it away because I moved. I don't "need" it--I have several other non-resident permits, so I'm still good to go most everywhere I travel (except of course, in MD and DC, where there is NO WAY I could get a permit because I'm not well-connected or rich enough...)
She then told me to call the Sheriff back tomorrow and tell them what she said--that the permit was still good-- and that if the Sheriff maintained their position to give them her name and number and have them call her, and she would set them straight.
It was good to finally get a straight answer from the AG that actually held to the letter of the law in NC. I was, however, rather disappointed with the response from the Beaufort Co. Sheriff's office. I have previously had nothing but praise for them, and they have been very helpful and functioned under the letter of the law with regards to CHP and OC issues. But this one sort of has my hackles up....
The woman I spoke with from the AG's office did admit that she'd never had to field a question on this specific issue, and was not aware of ANY court cases addressing it. She said that the only way to resolve it authoritatively was probably in the courts, and that would involve me getting charged with CCing with an invalid NC permit which is a pretty big risk to take to prove a point. I agreed, and thanked her for her time and help. I also let her know that she would probably be hearing from me again soon, and probably the Beaufort Co. Sheriff's office too.
I'll keep everyone posted on this issue, and let you know how it all ultimately works out.