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License & Theft Bureau 100th Anniversary



License & Theft Bureau By the ​Number​s

  • Vehicles and property recovered: 1,224
  • Recovery value: $13,313,776.43
  • Total arrests: 9,582
  • Felony arrests: 1,469
  • Assisted 773 motorists on the streets and highways of NC
  • Made 2,628 traffic stops
  • Investigated over 1,400 driver license fraud cases
  • Spent over 2,200 hours assisting other law enforcement agencies across the state and nationally
  • Served over 400 civil processes.
*These numbers were recorded for​ 2019

​The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ License and Theft Bureau, the oldest​​ state law enforcement agency, celebrated its centennial anniversary throughout 2021. 

Since its establishment by the General Assembly in December 1921, the agency has grown from initially having only six officers to having 250 employees today. 

There were only 150,000 vehicles on North Carolina's roads at the time of the agency’s formation, but there are now more than 9 million registered vehicles and 7 million licensed drivers (as of Jan. 2021). Created to prevent and investigate automobile theft, the agency's duties have grown to include:

  • The investigation of driver license, identity and title fraud
  • Overseeing automobile dealers and salvage motor vehicle businesses​
  • Evolving the program that licenses and enforces regulations governing state inspection stations 

Over the years, the agency has assisted federal, state and municipal law enforcement agencies in solving crimes, adapted to changing crime trends by adopting technological solutions, and developed programs, laws and regulations to improve transportation safety. 

In commemoration of this centennial celebration, a 100th-anniversary logo was designed. To pay tribute to the founding members, the design incorporates the original badge from 1921, and six stars represent the six members lost in the line of duty serving North Carolina's citizens.  The License and Theft Bureau  also created a 100th anniversary badge to memorialize the agency's founding. 

The sworn agency members were issued the commemorative badge and a challenge coin, and retirees could purchase these items to celebrate the milestone.  

The agency kicked off its anniversary with a virtual event​.​ The agency celebrated throughout 2021 and updated this webpage with photographs, interviews, letters, videos and articles chronicling the agency's history and honoring its centennial achievement. The celebration culminated into a final event held at the DMV Headquarters on Dec. 17, 2021.

Watch the 100th Anniversar​​y Celebration

For 100 years, thousands of dedicated, professional law enforcement officers and civilian staff have worked diligently to provide safety and security to millions of drivers across our state. Join us in celebrating the last 100 years of law enforcement as we look forward to the License and Theft Bureau's future.​

Offers of Congratulations to the License & Theft Bureau 

License & Theft 100th Anniversary Videos

License &​ Theft Throughout the Years



2/4/2022 10:47 AM

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