Chapter 39

Lodge Under Dispensation


A Masonic lodge at first shall work at least ninety days under authority of a dispensation granted by the Grand Lodge, or by the Grand Master during the recess of the Grand Lodge. In either case the dispensation must be issued by the Grand Master and shall continue in force until the charter is granted unless recalled sooner by the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. [39-7.6; 39-7.7; 39-10.2; 39-13].


The requirement for the issuance of a dispensation for the formation of a new lodge is a petition on the prescribed form signed by not less than twenty Master Masons setting forth the following information: [Official Form 1].

1. Each brother signing the petition shall sign his name in full over his typewritten name and give the name, number, and location of the subordinate lodge of which he is, or was last, a member.

2. Obsolete. (This subsection amended, effective 7/31/2000)

3. The names of those selected to be the first Master and Wardens. The brother named in the petition as Master should be a Past Master. [39-7.3;56-3].

4. The specific place and county in which the proposed lodge will be located. [38-4].

5. A brother who has been rejected for affiliation by any lodge anywhere shall not be eligible for six months thereafter to sign a petition for a new lodge within the state. [39-3: 39-9; 75-1.4].

6. Each petition for dispensation to form a new lodge shall also be accompanied by the following: (This section amended effective 1/1/2006)

A. A copy of its proposed by-laws approved by the Grand Lodge Committee on By-laws, [39-8; Chapter 44]
B. A certificate of a Certified Lecturer to the effect that he has carefully examined the Master, Wardens, Deacons, and Stewards and found them as a group to be fully capable of conferring the three Symbolic degrees in Masonry and of delivering the entire lectures, [34-10.2; Official Form 4]
C. A certificate of the District Deputy Grand Master of the District in which the proposed new lodge would be located certifying the following; [Official Form 5].

(1) That he has personally examined the Master and Wardens on the law and procedure of administering a lodge and found them to be proficient therein,

(2) That a safe and suitable lodge room and the necessary Masonic furniture has been provided, [43-5].

(3) That each brother who signed the petition is a Master Mason, for this purpose he shall examine or cause to be examined each signer for whom he cannot personally vouch, [51-1.1]

(4) That the establishment of the new lodge will be conducive to the good of the Craft, and

(5) That the signers have provided sufficient funds to defray all expenses of the organization of the proposed new lodge, and [77-2.2]

D. Remittance for the fee for such dispensation in the sum of $300.00. [5-1.2]. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)


A brother may not add to, or withdraw his name from, a petition after it has been filed with the Grand Master, unless it is disclosed that he was not qualified to sign such petition, in which event his name shall be withdrawn or removed therefrom. [39-2.5; 75-15; 75-1.4; Chapter 40].

REG. 39-4 Obsolete (This regulation amended, effective 1/1/2006)


A petition for a dispensation to form and open a new lodge shall be filed with the Grand Secretary, who shall examine all documents carefully for form and regularity and shall compare the names of the signers with his records, so far as he has such records, after which he shall forward all papers on the petition to the Grand Master.


The Grand Master may make such investigation as he deems necessary.

1. He may require any of the officers of the proposed new lodge to appear before him for his examination as to their ability to perform their respective duties.

2. He may grant a dispensation authorizing the petitioners to form a new lodge as set forth in their petition, if he is satisfied that so doing will be for the good of Masonry. [13-2.16].

3. If a dispensation is granted by the Grand Master, the Grand Secretary shall cause the petition therefor and the dispensation, when finally executed, to be photographed in such size and style as he may decide for the permanent records of the Grand Lodge, he shall cause a facsimile of both documents to be printed in the Annual Proceedings for the year in which such dispensation is granted. [13-2.16; 23-1.9].


The restrictions as to dispensations to form new lodges shall be as follows: (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)

1. No new lodge shall receive the number of any lodge of this jurisdiction whether active or extinct, nor shall any lodge be named for any living person. The Grand Master or the Grand Lodge may name a lodge, or forbid the use of any proposed name for a lodge under dispensation. [39-2.3;39-7.3; 40-2; 40-3; 41-3].

2. The Master and the Wardens of a lodge under dispensation shall be the brethren selected for those offices by the signers of the petition or those named as such in the petition at the direction of the Grand Master. The brother selected as Master shall be a Past Master. [39-2.2; 39-2.3; 56-3; Official Form 6].

3. The Master named in the dispensation shall name all officers of the lodge except the Wardens and he shall designate the time for holding stated communications until the lodge shall have adopted by-laws. [39-2.2; 39-2.6.A; 39-8; 44-7].

4. Lodges under dispensation have the same officers as are required for chartered lodges, but they shall not be installed.

5. Work of a lodge under dispensation shall cease twenty days prior to the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge and shall not be resumed until the dispensation is renewed or until the lodge has been constituted under authority of a charter granted by the Grand Lodge. [39-1; 39-7.7; 44-10].

6. Every lodge under dispensation shall return its dispensation together with all its records, books, and by-laws to the Grand Secretary not less than fifteen days preceding the next annual communication of the Grand Lodge, and, if qualified, it shall at the same time present its petition for a charter on the prescribed form. [39-1; 39-7.6; 40-1; Official Form 2].


Every lodge under dispensation shall be instituted and set to work by the Grand Master or his personal representative and at that time the proposed by-laws shall be adopted. [13-2.8; 13-3.7; 34-19; 39-2.6.A; 39-7.4; 44-7; 34-19.2].


Master Masons who attach their names to a petition for a dispensation to form and open a new lodge are members thereof as of the date the said lodge is instituted under a dispensation. The Grand Secretary shall send notices to lodges as follows.

1. Whenever a dispensation is granted for the formation of a new lodge and the lodge is instituted, he shall send notice thereof to each lodge in North Carolina having members holding certificates of good standing who signed the petition for the dispensation giving it the names of such members and informing it with respect to each member that he has requested dual membership or directing it to drop the member from its membership as of the date of the institution of the new lodge.

2. At the same time he shall send through the Grand Secretary of any other grand jurisdiction a similar notice as to any members of lodges in his grand jurisdiction who may have signed the petition and who hold provisional demits or certificates of good standing, with the request that the provisional demits, if any, issued by those lodges be honored as of the date such new lodge is instituted or that dual membership should be established as of that date.


A charter shall not be granted to a lodge under dispensation until the following conditions are met.

1. The Committee on Charters and Dispensation has approved its petition for a charter.

2. It has worked at least ninety days under a dispensation. [39-1].

3. It has conferred each of the degrees, Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason at least once, including the lectures pertaining thereto, by its own officers and members and without assistance from non-members. [24-1.5].

4. It is clear of indebtedness.

5. A proper petition therefor is filed with the Grand Secretary to which each member of the lodge shall have affixed his signature. [Official Form 7].

6. It has paid the required fee for the charter.

7. It has a secure lodge hall well adapted for the purpose and the necessary Masonic furniture. [43-5].


Lodges under dispensation may exercise all the rights of chartered lodges, except electing the first three officers, installing any of its officers, granting demits, adopting a seal, or sending representatives to Grand Lodge. They may send the Master and Wardens or any of them as delegates to the Grand Lodge, but they shall have no vote therein. Their members have the same rights and privileges as members of a chartered lodge except the right to demit.[3-5; 38-4.2; 45-8; 52-1.2; 75-15; 76-1.5]. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2005)


If for any reason the Grand Master refuses to grant a dispensation for a new lodge:

1. All regular demits deposited with the petition therefor shall be returned to the owners thereof.

2. Provisional demits, or certificates of good standing issued solely for the purpose of forming the new lodge, shall be returned by the Grand Secretary directly to the lodges issuing them, whereupon the former membership therein shall be resumed.

A. If any such document be from a lodge in North Carolina which shall have become extinct after the issuing thereof, the brother named therein shall receive a Grand Lodge demit from the Grand Secretary.

B. If any such document be issued by a lodge in another grand jurisdiction, the Grand Secretary shall return it through the Grand Secretary of such jurisdiction to the lodge issuing it. [13-2.16].


If a dispensation is granted and a new lodge instituted thereunder, but the dispensation is subsequently recalled by the Grand Master, or if the Grand Lodge refuses a charter and refuses to continue the dispensation, the lodge shall be defunct, and members in good standing who were received on certificates of good standing or on regular or provisional demits, and all who were raised to the Sublime degree of Master Mason therein shall have the status of regularly demitted Masons. The Grand Secretary upon the return of the books and records to him shall issue to each a Grand Lodge demit. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts shall be entitled to certificates of their status to be issued by the Grand Secretary, and they may proceed under the provisions of Regulation49-10.1 in the same manner as unfinished material of a defunct lodge. [13-2.16; 13-3.4; 39-1; 39-12.1; 49-4.6; 74-4].