Registration Renewal

Online Vehicle Registration Renewal is as easy as 1–2–3. Just remember, you have to have your car inspected first.

Electronic Vehicle Inspection

NC's vehicle safety and emissions inspection program went electronic in November 2008. NC no longer requires windshield stickers showing the vehicle has received an inspection.

Learn about how your vehicle inspection and registration renewal work together. Watch this video!

Vehicles driving on highway

Time to Renew?

You may renew your vehicle's registration up to 90 days before it expires. The expiration date can be found on your vehicle registration card or the sticker on your vehicle's license plate.

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles will mail to your last address on record a reminder, which includes the registration renewal fee as well as property taxes due.

Registration Renewal Late Fee

As of July 1, 2016, a late fee of up to $25 will be charged to all registration renewals paid after the registration expiration date.

Though you can still operate your vehicle up to 15 days after your registration has expired without being ticketed, you will be fined beginning the first day of the month after the registration expires.

  • If the registration has been expired for less than 1 month, a late fee of $15 will be charged.
  • If the registration has been expired between 1 and two months, a late fee of $20 will be charged.
  • If the registration has been expired for two months or more, a late fee of $25 will be charged.

How to Renew

Step 1: Meet the Requirements

To start registration renewal in North Carolina you'll need to meet these requirements:

Vehicle Taxation & Inspection

Property taxes for the vehicle you are attempting to register must be paid.

Registration Stops or "Blocks"

Under certain circumstances, you may not be able to register your vehicle. These are referred to as registration stops or "blocks." Please review the list of registration stops and take the required steps to clear them before continuing.

Proof of North Carolina Liability Insurance

Minimum liability insurance requirements for private passenger vehicles (NC G.S. 20-279.21)

  • $30,000 – bodily injury, one person
  • $60,000 – bodily injury, two or more people
  • $25,000 – property damage

Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist (NC G.S. 29-279.21)

You are required to purchase uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, uninsured motorist property damage coverage and, in some cases, underinsured motorist bodily injury coverage. This insurance protects you and your family against injuries and property damage caused by the negligence of other drivers who may have limited or only minimum coverage or even no liability insurance.

This coverage can found on your original and renewal declarations pages or in a separate notice accompanying the original and renewal declarations pages.

Complaints against the insurance companies or agents should be forwarded to the North Carolina Department of Insurance Consumer Services Division at 1-855-408-1212, option 3.

Step 2: Inspection

Next, you'll need to get your vehicle inspected. You can find more information about North Carolina inspections and inspection station locations here:

Step 3: Submit & Pay Your Application

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles accepts Cash, money orders, personal checks[?] and American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Discover credit and debit cards at all NCDMV office locations.

Renewal, Safety, On-Board Diagnostic Inspections Fees
Plate Fee, Private Passenger Vehicles $36
Vehicles Registered in WAKE Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax $8 County Vehicle Registration Tax $7 [?] $15
Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation Tax for Vehicles Registered in RANDOLPH County [?] $1
Vehicles Registered in DURHAM Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax $8 County Vehicle Registration Tax $7 [?] $15
Vehicles Registered in ORANGE Regional Transit Authority Registration Tax $8 County Vehicle Registration Tax $7 [?] $15
Safety Inspection [?] $13.60
On-Board Diagnostic Emissions Inspection [?] $30

Safety & On-Board Diagnostic Inspections, Contact Information

Vehicle Fees, Contact & Delivery Information

Email Us:
Mail Us:
N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles
3148 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27697-3148

Single Registration Sticker

DMV Vehicle StickerLicense plates associated with new vehicle registrations and renewals have a single gray sticker indicating the month and year of expiration affixed to them. The change replaces the need for two stickers – one for the year and one for the month.

Customers with existing registrations will receive the single sticker by mail or by visiting a local license plate office when it is time to renew their registration. The new registration card and sticker will be mailed within 7-10 business days.

Apply the gray sticker to the upper-right corner of the license plate.

Lost or Never Received Renewal Registration Card?

If you lost your renewal registration card or never received it, and your vehicle has a current inspection you can:

  • Renew your registration online. You will need your license plate number and the last five digits of your title number.
    (This information can be found on your current registration card.)
  • Send an online message to DMV and request that a registration renewal card be mailed to you.
  • Call DMV at (919) 715-7000 and request a registration renewal card be mailed to you.
  • Visit a registration office. Be sure to bring your plate number and insurance information.

Forgot to Renew Your Registration?

If you forget to renew your registration during the allotted month, there is a 15-day grace period before you will be ticketed. You will, however, be fined a late fee beginning the first day of the month after your registration expires.

If your vehicle failed to pass an emissions inspection, you may obtain a 10-day trip permit that allows you to drive to an inspection station for re-inspection once issues have been repaired.

Contact DMV with questions about the 15-day grace period and 10-day permit.