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​​​​North Carolina generally collects what's known as the highway-use tax – instead of sales tax – on vehicles whenever a title is transferred. (Vehicles are also subject to property taxes, which the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles collects, as defined by law, on behalf of counties.)

Revenue from the highway-use tax goes to the North Carolina Highway Trust Fund and the North Carolina's General Fund and is earmarked for road improvements.

The type of vehicle determines the amount of tax paid, as detailed in the following table. Some vehicles are exempt from the highway-use tax.

​Vehicle Type​Description​Fees
North Carolina collects a highway-use tax on vehicles instead of a state sales tax. The tax is assessed each time a title is transferred.
​3 percent highway-use tax
​Commercial vehicles ​Commercial vehicles greater than 26,000 pounds​$2,000 (maximum tax)
​Mobile homes
Mobile homes sold by a dealer are not subject to the highway-use tax ​​ ​​​​
​Vehicles purchased outside North Carolina
If the vehicle is owned for LESS than 90 days before applying for a North Carolina title, tax credit against the highway-use tax due is allowed for tax paid to another state, upon submission of proof of payment.

If the vehicle was titled in North Carolina after 90 days of purchase from a dealer, no credit is allowed. Full highway-use tax will be due on the purchase price, plus any administrative document fee as well as all accessories attached to the vehicle at the time of delivery, less any trade-in credit.

If the vehicle is owned for MORE than 90 days prior to registering in North Carolina, you will be taxed on the vehicle's value, up to a maximum of $250 tax.
​Maximum $250
​Special mobile equipment ​There is no sales tax maximum if equipment is purchased from a person or firm engaged in the business of selling, leasing or renting special mobile equipment. Credit for a trade-in is not allowed on the purchase price.​Taxed by county

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2/19/2020 11:32 AM

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