Motor Vehicle Taxation

Motor vehicles (cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, campers, and similar property) that are registered and tagged are listed with the county automatically after you renew your registration or register a new vehicle. You must still list any unregistered (untagged) vehicles with the tax office annually in January. These unregistered vehicles will be billed with other personal property in August.

When you receive your vehicle registration renewal card from DMV, please make sure your address and county are correct. If the address and county are wrong, DMV must be notified. Otherwise, you will be billed for taxes incorrectly.

Motor Vehicle Taxation – Tag and Tax Together

 The North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 1779, creating what we call the Tag and Tax Together program – a more streamlined method for vehicle owners to pay their registration and vehicle taxes. Beginning in 2013, annual registration fees and vehicle property taxes will be paid to the Division of Motor Vehicles. In turn, the DMV will distribute the taxes to the appropriate counties.

Question 1:  What changes with the passage of this legislation? 

Answer:  Prior to this change, vehicle registration fees and vehicle property taxes have been billed and paid separately. Each county has been responsible for managing vehicle tax collections, while DMV collects registration fees.

In mid-2013, DMV will begin sending out registration renewal notices that invoice the vehicle tax due along with the registration fee. The fees are listed separately, but will be due at the same time. The total amount due on the combined statement will be payable to NCDMV. As before, you can pay online, through the mail or in person at a license plate agency near you.

Question 2:  When does the new Tag and Tax system take effect? 

Answer:  The new system will be phased in with the vehicle registration renewals that are due September 2013. By mid-2014, all North Carolina vehicles will be incorporated into the system.

Question 3:  What will be different about my annual renewal notice? 

Answer:  The new renewal notice combines the information about your vehicle registration renewal fee and the vehicle property tax due. The new notice includes separate contact information for registration questions and for tax questions. The new Tag and Tax Together program allows you to make one convenient payment to NCDMV for both registration renewal and vehicle property tax. NCDMV will forward the property tax portion of your payment directly to your county revenue department.

Question 4:  Will anyone have to pay vehicle property taxes more than once in a tax year? 

Answer:  No owner will have to pay taxes twice in the same tax year for the same vehicle. It is important to look at the vehicle property tax year rather than the calendar year. By law, the tax year for your vehicle begins on the first day of the first month following the date your previous registration expires or the new registration is applied for. While it is possible to pay twice in a calendar year, no vehicle owner will pay twice in the same tax year or for the same 12-month period.

Example: A vehicle with an August renewal date (sticker) was renewed in August 2012, taxes due and paid December 1, 2012. The taxes are for the period of September 2012 to the end of August 2013. Now, when the owner renews tags in August 2013 and pays taxes at that time, the taxes are for the same period, September 2013 to the end of August 2014.

With this program, the due date for the taxes has been moved to the first month of the “tax and vehicle registration year” from the fourth month of the same period. Tags and taxes have always been and continue to be paid for the same upcoming 12-month period.

Question 5:  When is my vehicle tax due? 

Answer:  Your vehicle tax will be due at the same time your vehicle registration is due. The due date will be printed on the new renewal notice that you receive in the mail.

Question 6:  How should I pay both fees? 

Answer:  You no longer have to pay the fees separately. You will pay both fees through the NCDMV:

Go the Vehicle Registration Renewal page and pay with your credit or check card

By mail
Send a check or money order to the address listed on your renewal notice*

In person
Go to a license plate agency near you,
Or to one of the State Registration Offices:

Raleigh DMV Headquarters
1100 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27697
Charlotte State Office
6016 Brookshire Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28216


*If your mailing address has changed since your last registration renewal, the tax amount may need to be recalculated. If this is the case, do not mail your payment in. Contact your county tax office to see if your tax amount needs to be recalculated.

Question 7:  Will my vehicle registration renewal fee remain the same? 

Answer:  Yes. Your vehicle’s annual registration renewal fees will remain the same. The increase in your bill is from the addition of the vehicle property tax.

Question 8:  Do I still need to have my car inspected before I can renew my registration? 

Answer:  Yes. Your vehicle must pass an annual safety and/or emissions inspection before the registration is renewed. As in previous years, you may have your vehicle inspected as early as 90 days before your registration renewal is due.

Question 9:  How will I know how much property tax I owe? 

Answer:  Information about your property tax will be included on the combined notice, along with your county and municipality tax rates and other applicable taxes due.

Question 10:  Can I renew my vehicle registration without paying my property tax? 

Answer:  No. You cannot renew your motor vehicle’s registration unless the total taxes and registration fees on the vehicle are paid at the same time.

Question 11:  Are the vehicle property taxes for the coming year or the preceding year? 

Answer:  Taxes due on the combined notice are for the coming year, covering the same period as the vehicle registration.

Question 12:  Will I receive a notice if I have moved since my previous vehicle registration renewal? 

Answer:  If you reported your new address to NCDMV, you should receive your tag and tax notice at your new address. If you did not notify NCDMV of your new address, you may not receive the renewal notice.

If you have moved since your last renewal, your vehicle property tax may need to be recalculated. DO NOT SEND YOUR RENEWAL AND PAYMENT BY MAIL. YOU WILL NEED TO VISIT YOUR LOCAL LICENSE PLATE AGENCY TO RECEIVE A CORRECTED TAG AND TAX FEE. You can change your address by visiting your local license plate agency or by requesting the change online.

Question 13:   Will I owe vehicle property taxes on a newly purchased vehicle? 

Answer:  Yes. You may pay vehicle property taxes at the time you register your vehicle. However, if you choose not to pay these taxes at the time you register your newly purchased vehicle, you will receive a Limited Registration and Property Tax Notice stating the amount of the vehicle property taxes due. You will receive a limited registration sticker that will expire after 60 days if the vehicle’s property taxes are not paid in full.

Question 14:  What will happen if I don’t pay the registration and vehicle tax by the due date? 

Answer:  Interest will be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration renewals. Your vehicle will also be subject to citation if it is driven after the tags expire.

Question 15:  Can I pay my vehicle property tax at my county tax office? 

Answer:  Once your vehicle becomes part of the Tag and Tax Together program and you have received the combined notice, you will no longer be able to pay your vehicle tax at your county tax office.

Question 16:  Who should I contact if I have questions about my vehicle property tax? 

Answer:  If you have Value and Situs questions concerning registered motor vehicle taxation in Stanly County, please contact the Motor Vehicle Department of the Tax Administrator’s Office at 704-986-3746.  Contact information for your county’s tax office is also on your Tax and Tag renewal notice.

Question 17:  Who should I contact if I have questions about my vehicle registration? 

Answer:  If you have DMV-related questions about your vehicle registration under the Tag & Tax Together program, please call (919) 814-1779.