The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles administers and issues vehicle registrations within the state. Register your vehicle in person at a local DMV by bringing valid personal identification, the vehicle title, a bill of sale when applicable, proof of insurance and an acceptable form of payment for registration fees. When transferring ownership, a new title is issued to the buyer or lien holder.
North Carolina offers vehicle registration to residents with a valid state license or new residents who apply for a North Carolina driver's license. State-issued license requirements exempt military personnel, nonresident college students attending school in North Carolina, vehicles garaged for at least six months per year, court ordered vehicle sales, jointly owned vehicles, motor homes or documented medical reasons.
Bring the vehicle title issued in your name or a notarized title signed over to you by the previous owner. Provide the out-of-state registration if applicable. Any liens against the vehicle must be declared and an odometer statement is required for vehicles less than 10 years old. North Carolina requires vehicle inspection prior to registration for vehicles transferred within the state. Out-of-state transfers or purchases require proof of vehicle inspection before the next year's registration renewal. A damage disclosure statement is required for purchased cars and trucks. Vehicles purchased from car dealerships require a bill of sale stating the sale price.
North Carolina requires insurance for all vehicles registered within the state. For passenger cars and trucks, you must obtain minimum liability insurance of $30,000 for one person, $60,000 for two or more people and property damage insurance of at least $25,000 prior to registration. Additionally, you must fill out an “eligible risk” statement verifying that you are eligible to obtain insurance in North Carolina. Bring proof of insurance to the DMV when registering your vehicle. Your insurance company will notify the DMV if your insurance lapses. Failure to provide proof of new insurance may result in a 30-day loss of your license plate and penalty fees.
Payment and Fees
At the date of publication, the registration fee for passenger class vehicles and trucks weighing less than 4,000 pounds is $28. A titling fee of $40 applies for title transfers and changes. A plate transfer fee of $15 applies when transferring license plates from one vehicle to another. Additionally, a highway use tax of three percent of the purchase price or value of the vehicle and county taxes may apply. The North Carolina DMV accepts cash and money orders, or checks with at least two types of identification.
- North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles: How do I Title and Register a Vehicles?
- North Carolina Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles: Vehicle Titling and Registration Insurance Requirements
- North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles: Eligible Risk Statement for Registration and Certificate of Title
- CARFAX. "Car Registration: Everything You Need to Know." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. "Motor Vehicle Registrations." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. "Vehicle Registration." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Oklahoma Insurance Department. "Auto Insurance FAQs." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Rhode Island Insurance Division. "Consumers Guide to Auto Insurance," Page 5. Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Wyoming Insurance Department. "Auto Insurance FAQs." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- South Carolina Department of Insurance. "What Is Auto Insurance?" Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. "Insurance Requirements." Accessed April 9, 2020.
- State of New Hampshire Insurance Department. "Your Guide to Understanding Auto Insurance in the Granite State," Page 1. Accessed April 9, 2020.
- State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. "Vehicle Registration Suspensions." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Direct Auto Insurance. "Everything You Need to Know to Understand Your Car Title." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- AAA. "Digest of Motor Laws: Emissions Inspection." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- AAA. "Digest of Motor Laws: Safety Inspection." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- State of California Department of Motor Vehicles. "Applying Registration Sticker to License Plate." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "Display of License Plates and Validation Stickers." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- National Conference of State Legislatures. "Vehicle Registration Fees by State." Accessed April 10, 2020.
- LegalMatch. "License Plate Laws." Accessed April 10, 2020.
Jeannie Knudson is an avid traveler with a love for the written word. She has been a freelance writer for over 15 years and holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences on eHow and Travels.com.