To get a new North Carolina license plate, a vehicle must be titled and registered
with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles and also pass a safety inspection, and if necessary, an emissions inspection.
An individual must visit an NCDMV license plate agency
when getting a license plate for the first time.
For all motor vehicles registered in North Carolina, NCDMV issues a standard license plate that is available in two designs for private passenger and private hauler vehicles:
- "First in Flight," which commemorates the Wright Brothers' first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. in 1903
- "First in Freedom," which recognizes two important North Carolina milestones in the American Revolution
- National and state motto, which includes both the United States motto ("In God We Trust") and North Carolina motto ("To Be Rather Than to Seem")
NCDMV also issues specialty license plates representing more than 100 causes and interest groups.
Standard and special license plates can be personalized for an additional fee.
License Plate Fees
License plate fees vary depending on the type of vehicle being plated. Some counties also charge local and regional transportation taxes on certain types of vehicles.
Related Documents & Forms
For information on when or how to use the documents and forms below, contact the
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.