Motor Vehicles Information

North Carolina's Vehicle Tag and Tax Together Program

North Carolina's vehicle Tag and Tax Together program was designed to collect vehicle property taxes along with registration renewals and to conveniently pay them together.

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

Beginning in 2013, your annual vehicle inspection, registration renewal and vehicle property tax will be 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).

Combined Tag & Tax Renewal Notice

The new annual renewal notice combines the information about your vehicle registration renewal fee and the vehicle property tax due. The renewal notice includes separate contact information for registration questions and for tax questions. The new 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.

Motor Vehicle Tax Receipts

Tax receipts will no longer be available for reprint from the County offices. Your tax receipt can now be found on your registration card. Please see this Sample Registration Card (PDF). If you have your invitation to renew from NCDMV, you can also find your property tax amount there as well.

Motor Vehicle Values

Licensed motor vehicles include any motor vehicle that maintains an active North Carolina tag or registration. The term "Motor Vehicle" includes automobiles, trucks, buses, campers, trailers and motorcycles.

Motor Vehicles are valued by year, make and model in accordance with the North Carolina Vehicle Valuation Manual. Values are based on the retail level of trade for property tax purposes. A motor vehicle offered for sale by a dealer to the end consumer represents the best example of the retail level of trade. Any vehicle 25 years or older is priced from the Collector Car Guide.

The retail value of the motor vehicle is determined based on the registration renewal month. January through August renewal months use the January 1 value from that period. September through December renewal months use the January 1 value immediately after that period.

Licensed motor vehicles are not valued at wholesale, blue book or private party asking price for property tax purposes. Sales transactions between private buyers and sellers and Internet valuation lookup websites typically reflect these levels of trade.

Value adjustments may be necessary if the owner can document high mileage, significant body or frame damage, excessively worn interior or other damage that may significantly reduce the retail value. Normal wear and tear will not be considered.

Unregistered Motor Vehicles

Unlicensed vehicles such as cars, trucks, motor homes, trailers, motor cycles, and similar property are to be listed as Personal Property.

Change Mailing Address

Email the tax department for real property and personal property address changes only.

All motor vehicle address changes must be made at your local license plate agency!

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 $15.

Appealing Value

General Statue 105-330.2 (b1) Valuation Appeal: The owner of a classified motor vehicle may appeal the appraised value of the vehicle by filing a request for appeal with the assessor within 30 days of the date taxes are due on the vehicle under G.S. 105-330.4. An owner who appeals the appraised value of a classified motor vehicle must pay the tax on the vehicle when due, subject to a full or partial refund if the appeal is decided in the owner's favor.

The combined tax and registration notice or tax receipt for a classified motor vehicle must explain the right to appeal the appraised value of the vehicle. A lessee of a vehicle that is required by the terms of the lease to pay the tax on the vehicle is considered the owner of the vehicle for purposes of filing an appeal under this subsection. Appeals filed under this section shall proceed in the manner provided in G.S. 105-312(d).

If a vehicle is in substandard condition or has high mileage a taxpayer may come to the New Hanover County Tax Department located at 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 190, Wilmington, NC with their vehicle for an on-site. An on-site allows the listing department appraisers to visually see the vehicle for condition and high mileage. A taxpayer must be within their appeal time.

If a vehicle is not running a taxpayer may contact the New Hanover County Tax Department to schedule a time for a Listing Department appraiser to view the motor vehicle at their property.

Taxpayers may email pictures (with the VIN Number included) of the vehicle as well as a current inspection, oil change, or repair receipt that includes mileage.

Documentation that will be considered for a vehicle value appeal:

  • A copy of the bill of sale documenting the purchase price from a dealer
  • A written appraisal performed by a dealer that clearly states the appraisal reflects the retail value as of the January 1 of the year in which the taxes are due
  • Pictures of the vehicle documenting its condition
  • Documentation of high mileage from an annual inspection, oil change or other invoice
  • Repair estimates for vehicles that have been significantly damaged.

Documentation that will not be considered for a vehicle value appeal:

  • Wholesale values pulled from any Internet valuation website, magazine or catalog
  • A trade-in or wholesale value appraisal from a dealer
  • Written offers from a dealer to purchase your vehicle
  • A bill of sale from a private seller.

Rental Vehicle Tax

This refers to any rental vehicle that is offered at retail for short-term lease or rental and is owned or leased by an entity engaged in the business of leasing or renting vehicles to the general public. Please call 910-798-7113 for more information.