Once an individual establishes a permanent residence outside North Carolina and takes the proper steps to become a licensed driver there, they must surrender their North Carolina license plate and driver license to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Canceling Liability Insurance
North Carolina law requires liability insurance from a North Carolina-licensed provider on a vehicle the entire time it is registered with the state and the vehicle's owner has possession of the North Carolina license plate.
Canceling liability insurance before returning the license plate incurs a civil penalty for failure to maintain continuous insurance coverage.
Liability Insurance Lapse Penalty Waiver for Vehicles Registered Out of State
Any monetary penalty or restoration fee will be waived for any person who meets all the following requirements:
- The owner must furnish a copy of their out-of-state registration reflecting the vehicle has been registered by the owner in their new state within 30 days of the cancellation or expiration of the owner's North Carolina motor vehicle liability policy.
- The owner must submit a copy of their current out-of-state registration card to NCDMV.
- The owner must return the valid North Carolina license plate or submit an affidavit (MVR18A) indicating that the North Carolina registration plate has been lost, stolen, or destroyed.
Surrendering a License Plate
North Carolina license plates can be returned at any
NCDMV license plate agency or by mailing them to:
NCDMV Vehicle Registration Section
Renewal Title & Plate Unit
3148 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3148
Receipts are provided upon request.