Frequently Asked Questions

About North Carolina's Vehicle Tag and Tax Together Program

North Carolina's vehicle Tag and Tax Together program was designed to make it easier to pay your annual registration renewal and vehicle property taxes.

If the address on your vehicle registration is current, you will receive a statement that lists both vehicle registration fees and taxes due. Vehicle owners will receive this statement about 60 days prior to their vehicle’s registration expiration.

Beginning September 2013, your annual vehicle inspection, registration renewal and vehicle property tax is due the same month each year. Only one payment – made either in person, online or by mail – is required to pay both the annual tag and tax for your vehicle (Inspection fees are still paid to the inspection station).

See below for answers to common questions about the Tag and Tax program. For more information on your vehicle property tax, contact your local County Tax Office.

What's the reason for the change?

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. The DMV will, in turn, distribute the taxes to the appropriate counties.

What changes with the passage of this legislation?

Previously, vehicle registration fees and vehicle property taxes were billed and paid separately. Each county was responsible for managing vehicle tax collections, while DMV handled registration fees.

Beginning in mid-2013, DMV began 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.

When did the Tag and Tax system take effect?

The new system phased in with the vehicle registration renewals that were due in mid-2013. By mid-2014, all North Carolina vehicles were incorporated into the system.

What will be different about my annual renewal notice?

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 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.

I pay my property tax with my mortgage. Does this system include my home or mortgage property tax?

The Tag and Tax Together program is for your vehicle property tax only and does not affect your mortgage or home property tax.

When is my vehicle tax due?

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

How should I pay both fees?

You no longer have to pay the fees separately. You can pay both fees together through the NCDMV:

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

*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.

Will my vehicle registration renewal fee remain the same?

The registration renewal fee is determined by NCDMV. Visit DMV Fees ( for a current list of NCDMV's fees.

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

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. If your vehicle is 35 years old, or older, you do not need to get an inspection.

How will I know how much property tax I owe?

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.

Can I renew my vehicle registration without paying my property tax?

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.

Are the vehicle property taxes for the coming year or the preceding year?

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

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

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 can change your address by visiting your local license plate agency or online by requesting a duplicate registration card for $20.00.

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

Interest will be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and registration renewals. Your vehicle could also be subject to fees from NCDMV and a citation if it is driven after the tags expire.

Can I pay my vehicle property tax at my county tax office?

No, you are no longer be able to pay your vehicle tax at your county tax office.

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

Contact information for your county’s tax office is on your Tag and Tax renewal notice.

How is the property tax determined on my vehicle?

The county vehicle appraiser will value your vehicle based on its fair market value. Your property tax will be based on the tax rates and jurisdiction your vehicle is located in.

What if I don't agree with the value, property tax or vehicle tax location, who do I contact, and what is the deadline for making an appeal?

After a vehicle owner has received their combined notice and the owner disagrees with the value, property tax, or vehicle tax location, they should contact the county tax office in which the vehicle resides. The owner has 30 days to appeal from the due date which is the 15th day of the month following the registration renewal action or similarly on a new registration.