North Carolina's Unified CertificationProgram (UCP) includes an appeals provision for the DBE whose certification has been removed or the applicant whose certification has been denied. This internal appeal option is not a remedy a firm must exhaust before transmitting a certification appeal to USDOT. That is, after a removal of certification or an initial denial, a firm could go through the North Carolina appeals process, and then to USDOT, or go directly to the USDOT process, bypassing the North Carolina appeal process.
A DBE or applicant has 30 days to notify the Department, in writing, of his/her intent to appeal a decision. The date on the returned receipt will start the 30-day appeal clock.
The appeal process may be initiated by the applicant upon receipt of a denial letter generated by the Department. The denial letter will explain to the applicant why the application was denied, provide appeal procedures, and a timeline to appeal.
Appeal rights following initial denial of an applicant's request for DBE certification are more specifically set forth under 49 CFR Part 26.85(a).
Third Party Complaints
Another provision of the UCP is a "Third-Party Complaint" procedure. This provision offers a way for interested parties to inform the NCDOT of their suspicions related to a DBE's certification, including business ownership, transfer of control to or from a non-qualified individual, or personal net worth and gross receipts that have exceeded the requirements. The receipt of a notarized DBE Eligibility Complaint Form
initiates a third-party complaint. The form may be downloaded from this site or requested from NCDOT. The form cannot be accepted without proper notarization.