1. Get Started With Car Registration Renewal Assistance Online

In order to renew your North Carolina car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to renew your North Carolina car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.

2. By Mail

Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some North Carolina residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.

3. Via a DMV Office

Certain transactions must be completed in person at a North Carolina DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.


North Carolina vehicle registration renewal procedures must take place on an annual basis to maintain legal drivability. Residents can renew car registration online, by mail or in person at an NC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office if they meet basic state requirements. These include having passed an safety and emissions inspection within the previous 90 days, having paid all property taxes due and not be experiencing any registration stops or blocks. Vehicle registration renewal service blocks include unpaid child support, unpaid DMV debts and being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI or DWI). All NC drivers must also have liability insurance that meets or exceeds state requirements. For more information about NC car registration renewal, continue reading the information included in the sections below.

When to Renew Car Registrations in North Carolina

You can renew car registration in NC up to 90 days before it expires. The expiration date is printed on the vehicle registration renewal card and can also be found on the sticker located on the vehicle’s license plate. North Carolina vehicle registration renewal statements also include information about property taxes due. Late fees are charged after a 15-day grace period following the expiration date. During this time, you cannot be ticketed for driving with an expired car registration, but late fees begin accruing on the first day of the month after the registration expiration.

How to Renew Car Registrations in North Carolina Online

The first step in renewing car registration in North Carolina is to obtain a safety and emissions inspection at a certified inspection station. Your inspection record will be entered into the DMV vehicle registration renewal database, automatically providing proof for online renewals. Vehicles 35 years old or older, and some vehicles within the three most recent model years may be exempt from inspection requirements. To apply for an online auto registration renewal, you must have the following information on hand:

  • Vehicle license plate number
  • Last five characters of the vehicle’s title number
  • Current email address
  • A valid MasterCard, Visa or Discover credit or debit card

To renew car registration online, your vehicle must be currently registered in NC. Drivers may opt to change their address online prior to beginning the online registration renewal.

How to Renew Car Registrations in North Carolina in Person

North Carolina vehicle registration renewal law requires drivers to provide proof of insurance when renewing a registration. You must bring one of the following proofs of insurance:

  • Insurance card that includes your name, policy number and expiration date
  • Form DL-123 from your insurance agent
  • Auto insurance policy showing your name, date of issue and expiration date
  • Insurance binder (a contract issued by the insurer showing temporary proof of insurance)

Along with the insurance verification form, bring the NC auto registration renewal notice and a form of payment. Hours and times for vehicle registration renewal vary by DMV location. NC DMV offices accept cash, money orders, personal checks and Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit card payments.

How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in North Carolina by Mail

Renewing car registration by mail requires the same documents as other methods of renewal. Submit your NC vehicle registration renewal notice and provide proof of insurance, safety and emissions inspections and a check or money order for the exact amount due. Mail vehicle registration renewals to:

Registration Renewals
P.O. Box 29620
Raleigh, NC 27626

How to Renew a North Carolina Car Registration as a Military Member

Military members wondering how to renew car registration in North Carolina should do so by the same methods outlined above. Resident and non-resident military personnel are subject to the same vehicle registration renewal requirements as other state residents. NC offers multiple military license plates, many of which are free or low-cost. Service members who wish to obtain a custom military license plate while renewing car registration in NC may complete Form MVR-33A, Military/Veteran’s Registration Plate Application and submit it to the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs with the supporting documents requested. After they sign off on it, the military member may submit it to the NC DMV to receive a special plate reflecting their form of service.

How to Renew a North Carolina Vehicle Registration on Someone Else’s Behalf

The DMV prefers that residents of North Carolina renew car registration themselves. Motorists who need help with the vehicle registration renewal process should direct concerns and questions to their local DMV office.

North Carolina Car Registration Renewal Fees

NC vehicle registration renewal fees may vary based on location and the type of vehicle. Check figures before renewing car registration by using the NC DOT’s vehicle tax estimator online. Fees collected by the DMV are used to support the state transportation system through bridge repairs, paving and other maintenance and improvement work. Direct questions regarding vehicle values or tax values to your county tax assessor, not the NC DMV. Late fees are added when drivers renew expired car registration after the expiration date printed on the renewal notice.

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