North Carolina’s New Vehicle Tag and Tax Together Program

Tag & Tax Logo

North Carolina’s new 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 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 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).

County Tax Offices

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. In turn, the DMV will distribute the taxes to the appropriate counties.

What changes with the passage of this legislation?

Prior to this change, vehicle registration fees and vehicle property taxes have been billed and paid separately. Each county has been responsible for managing vehicle tax collections, while DMV collects registration fees.

In mid-2013, DMV will begin 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 does the new Tag and Tax system take effect?

The new system will be phased in with the vehicle registration renewals that are due in mid-2013. By mid-2014, all North Carolina vehicles will be 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 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.

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

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

Will anyone have to pay vehicle property taxes more than once in a tax year?

No owner will have to pay taxes twice in the same tax year for the same vehicle. It is important to look at the vehicle property tax year rather than the calendar year. By law, the tax year for your vehicle begins on the first day of the first month following the date your previous registration expires or the new registration is applied for. While it is possible to pay twice in a calendar year, no vehicle owner will pay twice in the same tax year or for the same 12-month period.

Example: A vehicle with an August renewal date (sticker) was renewed in August 2012, taxes due and paid December 1, 2012. The taxes are for the period of September 2012 to the end of August 2013. Now, when the owner renews tags in August 2013 and pays taxes at that time, the taxes are for the same period, September 2013 to the end of August 2014.

With this program, the due date for the taxes has been moved to the first month of the “tax and vehicle registration year” from the fourth month of the same period. Tags and taxes have always been and continue to be paid for the same upcoming 12-month period.

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 new renewal notice that you receive in the mail.

How should I pay both fees?

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

  • Online
    Go the Vehicle Registration Renewal page and pay with your credit or check card
  • By mail
    Send a check or money order to the address listed on your renewal notice*
  • In person
    Go to a license plate agency near you,
    Or to one of the State Registration Offices:
Raleigh DMV Headquarters
1100 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27697
Charlotte State Office
6016 Brookshire Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28216

*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?

Yes. Your vehicle’s annual registration renewal fees will remain the same. The increase in your bill is from the addition of the vehicle property tax.

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.

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 WILL NEED TO VISIT YOUR LOCAL LICENSE PLATE AGENCY TO RECEIVE A CORRECTED TAG AND TAX FEE. You can change your address by visiting your local license plate agency or by requesting a duplicate registration card online.

Will I owe vehicle property taxes on a newly purchased vehicle?

Yes. You may pay vehicle property taxes at the time you register your vehicle. However, if you choose not to pay these taxes at the time you register your newly purchased vehicle, you will receive a Limited Registration and Property Tax Notice stating the amount of the vehicle property taxes due. You will receive a limited registration sticker that will expire after 60 days if the vehicle’s property taxes are not paid in full.

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 on late registration renewals. Your vehicle will also be subject to citation if it is driven after the tags expire.

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

Once your vehicle becomes part of the Tag and Tax Together program and you have received the combined notice, you will no longer be able to pay your vehicle tax at your county tax office.

Where can I get more information about the vehicle property tax?

Contact your county tax office for more information.

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, or refer to this list of county tax offices.

Who should I contact if I have questions about my vehicle registration?

If you have DMV-related questions about your vehicle registration under the Tag & Tax Together program, please call (919) 814-1779.

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