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Insurance Requirements

​​​​​​​​​All vehicles with a valid North Carolina registration are required by state law (G.S. 20-309) to have continuous liability insurance provided by a company licensed to do business in North Carolina.

Out-of-state policies are not accepted.

Liability insurance protects drivers and their families against injuries and property damage caused by the negligence of other drivers who might have limited, minimum or no liability insurance.

To avoid fines and fees, an individual should not cancel their insurance until they have surrendered their license plate to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

Minimum Coverage

North Carolina law (G.S. 20-279.21) also requires insurance coverage for uninsured/underinsured motorists, as well as minimum bodily injury and property damage limits. This is required for all policies, even if they exceed the minimum requirements.

​Requirement​Coverage Amount
​Bodily injury (one person)​​$30,000
​Bodily injury (two or more people)​$60,000
​Property damage​$25,000

For more information, call the Consumer Services Division of the N.C. Department of Insurance at (855) 408-1212. Select Option 3.


North Carolina's liability insurance law is strictly enforced, and insurance companies are required to notify the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles if liability insurance on a vehicle is canceled or coverage lapses for any reason.

NCDMV will send a liability insurance termination notification to the vehicle's registered owner, who has 10 days from the date printed on the notice to respond. Failure to respond may result in the revocation of the vehicle's license plate as well as civil penalties, late fees, interest and collections.

*Civil penalties assessed for a lapse in liability insurance are based on the number of prior lapses a registered owner has had on their vehicle within three years of the current lapse.

Online Services

NCDMV uses an online service, called PayIt, that allows you to take advantage of completing multiple services in one secure transaction.

PayIt collects a $3 fee per online transaction​ that it uses to deliver quality services more efficiently with no upfront costs to NCDMV. The State of North Carolina does not collect or benefit from the transaction fee. ​​

Additionally, a $2 fee is applied to online civil penalty payments.

Proving Liability Insurance

Existing Coverage

If a vehicle owner's liability insurance coverage has not actually lapsed, they should have their insurance company (which must be licensed to do business in North Carolina) electronically submit a certificate of insurance (Form FS-1) ​​to NCDMV​.

Upon receipt of the FS-1 showing continuous coverage, NCDMV will update its records and all fines will be cleared.

Call NCDMV at (919) 715-7000 to confirm that the insurance lapse has been cleared.

Failure to pay penalties could result in the vehicle’s license plate being revoked and seized by law enforcement. You may also incur additional penalties.

Lapsed Coverage

An individual wanting to relicense their vehicle after the revocation period is required to pay a $50, $100 or $150 civil penalty depending on how many prior paid lapses there are within a three-year period. The individual must also pay a $50 restoration fee at the time of their vehicle registration renewal.

An individual who has established a permanent residence outside of North Carolina should not terminate their North Carolina insurance policy until after they have surrendered their North Carolina license plate to NCDMV. Failure to do so could result in a civil penalty.

Lost or ​Stolen Plates

If the plate has been lost or stolen, you are required to complete a MVR-18A Form.

Learn More

12/21/2023 10:55 AM

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