Motor Vehicle Taxes

Tag & Tax Together Program
In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law to create a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system. Pursuant to this law, the responsibility of motor vehicle tax collection is transferred to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (NC DMV). This new Tag & Tax Together program was designed as a convenient way to pay annual vehicle tag renewals and property taxes in one transaction.
Beginning with renewal notices mailed in July 2013 and due in September 2013, your registration renewal and property tax will be due the same month each year. You will now receive a mailed notice of which combines both the vehicle registration fee and property taxes. A renewed tag will not be issued without paying all taxes owed on the vehicle.

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below for additional information.

If you received a 
Combined Vehicle Registration Renewal and Property Tax Notice and have questionsplease visit this page.

How to Pay the New Combined Notice
Payment for the new Tag & Tax Together notice cannot be made at the county tax office. You will pay both the registration fee and property taxes to the NCDMV using one of these three payment options:

Tag & Tax Frequently asked questions

Q. How will my registration renewal form change?
The new form combines information about your vehicle registration renewal fee and your vehicle property taxes. The new Tag & Tax System allows you to make one payment for both registration renewal and vehicle property tax.

Q. Will my vehicle registration renewal fee remain the same?
Yes. The cost of your annual vehicle registration renewal will remain the same. The notice will increase to reflect your vehicle property tax amount.

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

Q. Can I renew my vehicle registration if I do not pay my property tax?
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 in full.

Q. Am I paying vehicle property taxes for the coming year or for the preceding year?
Taxes due on the notice are for the coming year and cover the same period as the vehicle registration.

Q. What if I lease my vehicle? Do I need to pay my property taxes to the leasing company?
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 will now be sent to the vehicle lessee rather than the leasing company.

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

Q. How will I know the amount of vehicle property tax that I owe?
Your property tax amount will be included on the new combined notice along with your county and municipality tax rates.

Q. How can I obtain a statement of the property taxes I paid?
Vehicle property taxes paid to the NC DMV at the time of registration are not available on the County's web site. To obtain a statement of the property taxes paid for your vehicle, call the NC DMV at 919-814-1779 or click here to print your vehicle tax receipt. 

Q. Will I receive a tax refund if I transfer my license plate to another vehicle during the year?
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.

Q. When can I apply for a refund of vehicle property taxes paid?
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. Any municipal vehicle tax assessed in accordance with NC General Statute 20-97 is not subject to proration or refund. 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 NCDMV (DMV Form FS20); and (2) Copy of the Bill of Sale or the new state’s registration.

Q. Will I have to pay vehicle property tax if I am active duty military?
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 (LES) 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 a home of record other than North Carolina. Military spouses may also qualify for exemption if their home of record is the same as the service member’s. In addition to providing a copy of the LES as described above, spouses must provide a copy of their military I.D. card and a copy of their out of state driver’s license, voter registration card or most current state tax return. If the vehicle is owned by a leasing company and leased to military personnel, the exemption cannot be applied and the taxes must be paid.