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Vehicle registrations need to be renewed regularly. Many states require vehicle owners to renew their registrations every year, although some states offer the option to purchase registrations that last for two years or longer. Most states allow you to quickly renew your car registration online, but you should be aware of the information you will need to provide, the necessary fees and the acceptable methods of payment to ensure a smooth transaction. Our online guide can help you prepare all the required documents and fees so that you can renew your vehicle registration as smoothly and quickly as possible. In it, you will also discover all the steps needed to replace a lost registration and to update your name or address with the DMV.

2. By Mail

Some vehicle owners may prefer to renew their auto registrations through the mail. Certain states will allow their residents to apply by mail, but vehicle owners may need to meet certain eligibility requirements to submit their request. Additionally, the ways in which you may pay your renewal fee are limited to check or money order, and you may experience processing delays due to the time it takes the postal service to deliver your application. Furthermore, you may risk losing your application or registration tags in the mail, adding to the wait time.

3. Via a DMV Office

Renewing your vehicle registration in person at a DMV office is an option if you cannot or prefer not to apply by mail or online. Typically, the DMV will issue your new registration credentials after receiving payment. However, certain states may require you to wait to receive your renewed registration documents in the mail. While visiting a DMV office in person may provide you with more personalized attention, it often involves long waits. Additionally, the office hours of many DMV locations can interfere with your work schedule.


North Carolina car registration renewal is required for all residents because it allows the state to ensure that all of your inspections and ownership information are up to date. You can get a North Carolina DMV registration renewal online, in-person or via the mail, and all three methods come with their own advantages. Before deciding which method to use, you will want to determine how you want to pay for the renewal.

In this article, you will learn all that you need to know about getting a DMV car registration renewal in North Carolina: how much it costs, what information you need, how you can use your renewal notice, what to do if you have lost your renewal notice and more.

Requirements for Car Registration Renewal in North Carolina

In order to get a motor vehicle registration renewal in North Carolina, your vehicle needs to be inspected by a licensed mechanic. In most counties, this inspection will only cover safety features, such as brakes and seat belts. However, there are 22 counties where the inspection needs to check the vehicle’s emissions, as well.

This number is current as of December 2018, when over 20 counties dropped the emissions requirements. You will want to check with your nearest DMV office to determine whether you still need to get an emissions inspection. In the counties where this is required in order to get a car registration renewal, you are allowed to repair your car and get it re-inspected if the vehicle does not pass the first time. If your registration expires before you have gotten your vehicle re-inspection, you will be able to get a 10-day extension on your registration.

You cannot pay the DMV registration renewal fees more than 90 days before it is set to expire, because that is the earliest point in time you are allowed to get your inspection and have it apply to your renewal. Along with the inspections, you will need to have the mandatory amounts of liability insurance.

What do you need to renew your car registration in North Carolina?

Your inspections and insurance must be up to date before you can renew your vehicle registration. As well, you will need to be able to provide the car’s registration number, which is the same as its plate number. Other requirements vary from one registration method to the next, as is explained below.

The requirements for a leased car registration renewal in North Carolina are the same as those for a regular renewal, unless your name is not on the registration of the vehicle. In that case, the owner of the vehicle will need to sign over power of attorney to you.

North Carolina Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

You do not need a vehicle registration renewal notice in order to renew your car’s registration. It is merely a notification that makes sure you are aware of your vehicle registration renewal date.

However, this notice contains information that you may want to have at hand, including your registration’s expiration date. As well, it allows you to renew your registration via the mail.

North Carolina Car Registration Renewal Notice Lost or Not Received

If you lost the North Carolina car registration renewal form, you do not have to get a new one. Renewing your registration online or in-person does not require you to have your notice.

However, if you do not want to use your myDMV account to keep track of the information contained on your renewal notice, you can get a new notice. A lost car registration renewal notice can be replaced by calling (919) 715-7000 and requesting a new one.

North Carolina Car Registration Renewal Options

Each of the three car registration renewal methods comes with its own advantages. Renewing online is one of the most convenient methods, while renewing via the mail is better for individuals who are not comfortable using a computer. Renewing in person is best for individuals who have questions about the registration renewal process.

Below you will learn how to renew a car registration in North Carolina, whether you choose to renew in-person, online or via the mail.

How to Renew Your Car Registration Online

In order to renew a car registration online in North Carolina, you will need to go to the DMV’s online portal.  This portal has a chatbot which will check to make sure that you have fulfilled the renewal requirements listed above. Then, it will ask you to provide both the vehicle’s title and registration number. This information will be listed on your renewal notice, but if you do not have access to that, you can also find it on your myDMV account.

To get a vehicle registration renewal online, you can pay by using either a credit card or a debit card.

How to Renew Your Car Registration by Mail

You can send the North Carolina vehicle registration renewal notice to the DMV once you are within the 90-day expiration period and you have completed the safety and emissions inspection. You will need to send this renewal notice, along with a check or money order, to:

Registration Renewals

P.O. Box 29620

Raleigh, NC 27626

You will need to pay the DMV renewal fees at the same time you pay property taxes on your vehicle.

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Person

Your North Carolina DMV registration renewal can also be completed by going to one of the DMV offices. In order to renew using this method, you will need to have proof of your vehicle insurance, which often takes the form of an insurance card. As well, you will need to know your vehicle’s registration number.

Deciding where to renew a car registration in North Carolina will determine when you are allowed to do so. While most DMV offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., there are some offices that have extended hours. Though these extended hours normally run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sundays, hours vary. You will need to check with your local NC DMV office ahead of time.

You can pay to renew a car registration in person using a variety of methods, including:

  • Debit Cards
  • Credit Cards
  • Money Order
  • Cash
  • Checks

Military & Out-of-State Vehicle Registration Renewal in North Carolina

Service members need to renew a car registration in North Carolina using the same process as civilians. Renewing an expired vehicle registration will lead to the same fees it would for civilians, and residents who are currently serving out of state are expected to keep their registrations up to date. If you bought a car overseas, you are encouraged to call (919) 861-3500. This number is designed to walk you through the process of registering foreign vehicles in North Carolina.

North Carolina Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees

The car registration renewal cost in North Carolina is the same for most cars, though your price may vary if you register late or own an electric car.

The fees are as follows:

  • If you register a normal vehicle on-time, you will need to pay $36.
  • In addition to the regular fee, electric car owners will need to pay $130.
  • If you register your vehicle less than a month after its expiration date, you will need to pay $15.
  • To renew an expired registration that is less than two months late, you will need to pay $20.
  • To renew a registration that expired at least two months ago, you will need to pay $25.
Last updated on Wednesday, December 12 2018.

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