North Carolina car registration renewals

Determine the Status of Your RegistrationRegistration-Renewals

You must renew your registration annually. The month you must renew depends on the month you originally registered the car.

Renew NC Registration
Keep your registration current and maintain car insurance to drive legally in North Carolina.

Register a Vehicle in NC for the First Time
Follow the process for first-time registration if you recently bought or received a car or just moved to the state.

Register a Non-Operational Vehicle
When you take a car off the road and plan drop its insurance, you must turn in its tags to a Vehicle & License Plate Renewal Office before you cancel its insurance. If you maintain the insurance, you must renew your tags.

For details on salvage vehicles, call (919)-3500.

Check Your Renewal NoticeRegistration-Renewals

You’ll be mailed a renewal reminder card before your registration expires. It is not required in order to renew, but it’s useful because it details the identification information you’ll need to provide when you renew. It may also have information about any emissions inspections requirements.

If you didn’t get a notice, you can request one by calling (919) 715-7000. You may also renew online or in person without a notice.

Calculate Your FeesRegistration-Renewals

If your vehicle needs an inspection before you can renew, expect to pay between $6.50 and $30.

Renewal fees for the plates are $28 or $33, depending on your county. Those with specialty plates will pay an additional fee.

Avoid Late Fees and Penalties
There are no fees for renewing late. However, if you are stopped by a police officer and your registration is expired, you may get a citation.

Renew Online, In Person, or By MailRegistration-Renewals

Renew Online

* Find your inspection report
* Know your license plate number and the last five digits to your title number (see your registration or renewal card)
* Have your insurance policy number
* Have a Visa or Mastercard to pay the fees
* Go to the state’s Registration Renewal Service site and follow the instructions
* Expect your new registration materials within seven days

In Person

* Provide proof of a passed inspection
* Find your renewal notice OR know your license plate number and insurance information
* Have a check (along with two forms of ID), cash, or money order to pay the fees
* Visit any Vehicle & License Plate Renewal Office

By Mail

* Complete your renewal notice (may include providing proof of a passed inspection)
* Have the correct renewal fee plus $1 for return postage
* With enough time to receive your tags before your registration expires, mail everything to:
NC Division of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 29620
Raleigh, NC 27626-0620

Affix Your StickersRegistration-Renewals

Affix your stickers to the plates according to the instructions provided.

Get a Tax DeductionRegistration-Renewals

There is a flat registration renewal rate for everyone so it cannot be deducted on your taxes.

Do Your Part to Keep Our Roadways SafeRegistration-Renewals

Make sure your car is stays in good condition. This includes getting regular tune-ups, oil changes, and tire rotations, as well as getting new tires when necessary. Make sure you have a mechanic you can trust, and consider getting an after-market auto warranty to help with the cost of big repairs. A roadside assistance program can add to your peace of mind by offering help if you get stranded or have a breakdown.