Registered Motor Vehicles

A registered motor vehicle is a motor vehicle which has an active North Carolina license plate or registration. The term "motor vehicle" includes automobiles, trucks, campers, trailers, and motorcycles; conversely, boats, jet skis, mobile homes and go-carts are not considered to be motor vehicles.

A registered motor vehicle does not have to be listed with the Assessor as in the past. Since 1993, new legislation has created a separate class of property under North Carolina property tax statutes for registered motor vehicles. Registering a newly-owned motor vehicle or renewing a current registration with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles constitutes a listing for local property taxes. Approximately three (3) months after a registration takes place, an individual bill will be issued by the Tax Assessor's Office for each vehicle registered.


The date of registration is the listing date for each vehicle and begins a twelve month "tax year" for the vehicle. Because registered vehicle billing is based on the date of registration, you may not receive a bill on every registered vehicle you own at the same time. If after receiving your bill you have questions regarding the value, address, or you feel you were billed in the improper taxing district, call 828-835-3296 during regular office hours to speak to someone in the Individual Personal Property Section. Exceptions to the value or taxing jurisdiction for a registered motor vehicle must be made within 30 days of the billing date. For requirements in filing a value exception or situs problem, please refer to the back of your statement.

Taxes due on Registered Motor Vehicles are no longer included in real property statements. Therefore, your mortgage company will not receive a bill for your motor vehicles. You may want to contact your mortgage company if you are in doubt as to whether they will pay registered vehicle bills.

Active Duty Military

Active duty non-resident military personnel may be exempt from North Carolina motor vehicle property tax. To qualify for an exemption, you must present a copy of your Leave and Earnings Statement to the county tax office. The statement should be for the month and year in which you register the vehicle and must include your Estimated Time of Separation (ETS) date and home of record.

Tax & Tag

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a new law which went into effect September 2013 to create a combined motor vehicle renewal and property tax system. In doing so, the new law transfers the responsibility for motor vehicle tax collection from the 100 counties across North Carolina to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Tag and Tax Together Logo

North Carolina General Statute 105-330.4(2) states that all county vehicle tax and registration is due at the time of registration which will be payable at the Tag Office.


The DMV will send a new combined notice that includes the vehicle registration and the vehicle tax and they will be due at the same time.

Note: Please review your notice for accuracy. It is best to resolve errors at the tax office before renewing your tag or registering a new vehicle as refunds could take up to 2 months to process.

Motor Vehicle Exemption

The owner of a classified motor vehicle who claims an exemption or exclusion from tax under N.C.G.S. 105-330.3 has the burden of establishing the vehicle is entitled to the exemption or exclusion. The owner may establish entitlement to exemption or exclusion of the classified motor vehicle by filing an application for exempt status with the tax assessor within 30 days of the date taxes on the vehicle are due. When an approved application is on file, the tax assessor must omit from the tax records the classified motor vehicles described in the application.