Tag & Tax System

North Carolina’s Tag & Tax System has been designed as a convenient way to pay annual vehicle tag renewals and vehicle property taxes directly to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. If your address is current with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, you will receive a Tag & Tax Notice listing both vehicle registration fees and taxes due. Just as in the past, vehicle owners will receive the notice about 60 days prior to their vehicle’s registration expiration.

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Senate Bill 704 was signed into law on May 4, 2020. The new law gives NCDMV the ability to extend the validity of vehicle registrations five months for any credential that expires March 1, 2020, through August 1, 2020. Further, it gives NCDMV the authority to waive penalties and interest for this time period.
Below are frequently asked questions that will aid county tax offices in providing assistance to citizens concerning vehicle property taxes for the renewal months affected.

Yes. A valid inspection will be required before a renewal can be processed.

The new law covers renewals from March through July. (Note: All renewals expire at midnight on the last day of the month. February registrations expire the last day of February, not March 1. Therefore, they are excluded.)

No, the renewal month will not be changed. If the registration expired in March 2020, the citizen will have to renew again in March 2021.

Yes. The extended expiration date will be used to determine the deadline to appeal for the affected months. The dates are indicated in the upcoming chart.

The new dates are as follows.

DMV Late Fee
Penalties Begin
Interest BeginsAppeal
Next Renewal
03/31/202008/31/202009/01/202009/16/202010/15/2020March 2021
04/30/202009/30/202010/01/202010/16/202011/14/2020April 2021
05/31/202010/31/202011/01/202011/16/202012/15/2020May 2021
06/30/202011/30/202012/01/202012/16/202001/14/2021June 2021
07/31/202012/31/202001/01/202101/16/202102/14/2021July 2021

No. The new law does not change the expiration date, only extends it. Gaps should not be created for the renewal months covered by the order. License plate agencies (LPAs) have been instructed not to change the expiration date of the renewal, as it will create additional tax liability for the citizen and that is not the intent of the legislation. However, there may be scenarios outside of the order that create registration gap billings.

Yes. Any LRPs that expire and accrue interest during the months covered by the order will have interest waived. This will begin with LRPs that expire in March 2020.

The citizen will be charged one month of interest. Interest will accrue based on the extended registration expiration date.

The citizen should wait for the registration to be updated and the check to clear. The NCDMV headquarters was in the process of relocating. This, paired with COVID-19, has caused a staff shortage and processing delays.

NCDMV will process a refund for the mailed payment when verifying the registration was renewed online. They will also send a separate refund for any penalties and interest paid if the renewal falls within the affected months under the order.

The citizen’s registration will be due for renewal the same month as it was this year. The registration expiration month should not be changed. If the citizen has a March 31, 2020, expiration date and pays the renewal in July, the new registration will expire March 31, 2021.

After passing the required annual vehicle inspection, the citizen may renew their registration by mail, at a license plate agency, or online at the following website. https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/offices-services/online/Pages/my-ncdmv-registration-renewal.aspx

Yes. NC law enforcement is aware of the new legislation and extended registration dates. Their software systems have been updated to reflect the new dates. However, it is recommended that the citizen renew their registration prior to travelling out of state, as it will be difficult to notify law enforcement nationally.

No. Citizens who are currently eligible to renew do not have to wait and may have their vehicle inspected and renew at any time.

Your vehicle tax will be due at the same time you renew your vehicle. North Carolina law requires that your vehicle property tax be paid in order to renew the vehicle registration. The due date will be printed on the notice that you receive in the mail.

No. You cannot renew your vehicle’s registration, whether it is leased or owned, unless the total taxes and registration fees on the vehicle are paid.

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

No. Vehicle property taxes on leased motor vehicles must be paid in full at the time of renewal. A copy of the combined tag and tax notice is not sent to the leasing company.

Yes. State law requires that interest be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration renewals.

Your property tax will be included on the notice with your county and municipality tax rates and other applicable taxes due.

No. If you have paid your vehicle property tax for the year and then transfer the license plate to another vehicle, you will not be eligible for a refund of the taxes paid. The registered motor vehicle to which the plates are transferred will not be taxed until its current registration is renewed.

An owner can apply for a refund of taxes paid when a motor vehicle is sold or registered out of state. The refund will be calculated on any full calendar months remaining in the registration period after the license plate is surrendered to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Within one year of surrendering the license plates, the owner must present the following to the county tax office: (1) Proof of plate surrender to N.C. DMV (DMV Form FS20); and (2) Copy of the Bill of Sale or the new state’s registration.

Active duty non-resident military personnel may be exempt from North Carolina motor vehicle property tax. To qualify for an exemption, you must present a copy of your Leave & Earnings Statement to the county tax office. The statement should be for the month and year in which you register the vehicle and must include your Estimated Time of Separation (ETS) date and home of record.

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