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First Time Vehicle Registration in North Carolina

Titling and Registering a Vehicle in North Carolina

When you acquire a new vehicle or move to North Carolina, you’ll have to title and register the vehicle with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

If you wish, you can mail in your title paperwork and a photocopy of both sides of your NC driver’s license using this address:

Vehicle Titles/Liens, Duplicate Registration
3148 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3148

The process for titling and registering a vehicle varies depending on the situation.

NOTE: If you want to title register a vehicle in someone else’s name, you must prove Power of Attorney.

Register and Title a North Carolina Vehicle Purchased From a Private Seller

When you buy a vehicle from a private seller, you’re required to either mail the following documents OR provide them to your local DMV office. The DMV requires:

You have 28 days after purchase to transfer the title of your vehicle or you will be charged a late fee.

Register and Title a Vehicle Purchased From a North Carolina Dealer

For vehicles bought at a North Carolina dealership, the DMV requires your:

You have 28 days after purchase to transfer the title of your new vehicle or you will be charged a late fee.

Moving to North Carolina or Registering a Vehicle Purchased Out-of-State

When you move to North Carolina, you’re required to transfer the title and register your vehicle within 60 days of establishing residency. In order to do this, you must first apply for a North Carolina driver’s license.

Visit your local DMV plate agency and provide your:

  • NC license or temporary driving certificate.
  • Manufacturer’s certificate of origin and bill of sale if the vehicle has NOT been registered.
  • Vehicle title. A registration card will be accepted instead if:
    • The vehicle has a lien (proof of the lien is also required).
    • The vehicle was purchased in a state that does NOT issue titles. You will have to also provide:
      • Proof of purchase.
      • Evidence of registration for the last 3 consecutive years).
  • Notarized Title Application (MVR-1).
  • Odometer Disclosure Statement (MVR-180).
  • North Carolina insurance information.
  • Payment for title, registration, and taxes.

North Carolina Registration and Title Fees

Certain counties may have their own additional taxes. Vehicle property tax will be calculated using a specialized taxing computer.

  • Certificate of title fee: $56.
  • Late title transfer fee: $20.
  • Plate fee (non-commercial vehicles): $38.75.
  • Highway use tax: 3% of sale price (minus trade-in fee if applicable) or a maximum of $250 if the vehicle was purchased outside North Carolina.