Petitions for Degrees
No petition for the degrees in Masonry shall be received except for the three Symbolic Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. A petition shall be received only at a stated communication. A unanimously favorable vote by secret ballot shall be required to elect to the three degrees unless the lodge has adopted the balloting procedure as specified un Article 19 of its bylaws. [45-3.4.B; 49-10.1; 68-3.15; 68-9]. (this regulation amended, effective 1/1/2013)
Each petitioner for the degrees shall affirm his belief in the existence of God.
All petitions for the degrees shall be:
1. Made in writing on the form designated Official Form 17, which form is hereby made a part of this regulation and shall not be substantively amended except in the same manner as any other part of THE CODE, [Official Form 17]
Every petitioner for degrees shall be recommended by two North Carolina members at least one a member of the lodge to which he petitioned, each of whom must have personal acquaintance with the petitioner.[74-2].
No petitioner for the degrees shall withdraw his petition except by unanimous consent of the lodge, which does not require the secret ballot, nor shall any such petition be withdrawn after any member of a Committee of Investigation shall have reported unfavorably, nor after a ballot has been taken thereon. No one but the petitioner may request withdrawal of his petition, and his request must be in writing, signed by him, and filed with the Secretary. [45-3.4; 66-2; 68-9; 69-2; 73-1].
When a petition for the degrees to a lodge which has jurisdiction is presented and read in open lodge, the Master or lodge may refuse to entertain it and may order it returned to the petitioner. If such action is not then taken, the Master shall declare that it is received, which declaration shall constitute the act of receiving the petition by the lodge. [59-2.47].
When a petition for degrees is received by a lodge, the Secretary shall, within five days after presenting and reading in open lodge at a stated communication, forward the original petition to the Grand Secretary. The Grand Secretary shall order a criminal background check of the petitioner, and information with respect to the petitioner as he may possess, verify the appropriate membership of the recommenders and return the same with his record to the Secretary of the subordinate lodge within five days from its receipt by him. The cost as set forth in the invoice from the Grand Secretary shall be added to the fees for the degrees as provided for in Article 9, Section 1 of the uniform by-laws. [59-12.19; Official Form 49]. (This regulation amended, effective 1/1/2011)
No lodge shall ballot on any petition for the degrees until the reports of the Grand Secretary and the Committee of Investigation thereon have been received by it. The penalty for violation of this regulation shall be such as the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge may inflict. [68-1].