To transfer a license plate from one vehicle to another, the individual transferring the plate must meet the following requirements:
- Maintain on both vehicles liability insurance from a provider licensed to do business in North Carolina.
- The vehicle to which the license plate is being transferred must have a current inspection.
- The license plate being transferred must be valid.
- The name on the applicant's license and the vehicle title must match.
- Prove the vehicle is covered under liability insurance from a North Carolina-licensed provider.
A fee is required for license plate transfers except in the following cases when a vehicle is already titled in North Carolina when:
- Transferring ownership of a single vehicle from single ownership to joint ownership (if one of the names is the same)
- Transferring ownership of a single vehicle from joint ownership to single ownership (if one of the names is the same)
- The registered owner dies and the title is transferred to a surviving spouse.
In cases where a vehicle's owner dies, some specialty plates (e.g., military, disabled veteran, disability, etc.) cannot be transferred to surviving spouses since the plates carry eligibility requirements.
Some plates, such as the Prisoner of War plate, are transferrable if the surviving spouse does not remarry and continues to renew the plate each year.