How to register a vehicle in

North Carolina

as a non-US resident

North Carolina

at a glance

Major cities
Charlotte
Major ports of arrival
Charlotte/Douglas International Airport (CLT)
Registration challenges
In-state address required
In-state driver's license required
Average sales tax rate
6.98%

State Overview and Advice

In order to register a vehicle in North Carolina, you need a North Carolina driver's license and a North Carolina address.

Getting a North Carolina driver's license is not an easy process. We recommend starting your visit in another state, or using visitor.us' services to register a vehicle that you buy in North Carolina.

The Registration Process

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) handles vehicle registrations in North Carolina.

Whether you buy your vehicle from a dealer or from a private party, if you plan to register it in North Carolina, you must bring the required items (below) to a DMV service center.

The DMV may issue a 10-day temporary license plate. Applicants must present their North Carolina driver's license.

For vehicles being registered in North Carolina, North Carolina sales taxes are payable to the dealer upon sale, or the DMV upon registration (if purchased from a private party).

Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

State sales tax

4.75%

Average local sales tax

2.23%

Average combined sales tax

6.98%

Registration fees

Light Vehicle

Fees: $94.75

RV

Fees: $94.75 - $123.26

Motorcycle

Fees: $81.50

$15,000 car

$1,142

$50,000 RV

$3,600

$5,000 motorcycle

$431

Total taxes and fees

Registration Requirements

Prior owner's title

The vehicle's title must be signed by the owner(s) printed on the title, its odometer reading recorded (if less than 10 years in age), and be free of all liens in order for the prior owner's interest to be released. North Carolina titles must also be notarized to release the owner's interest in the vehicle.

Identification

A North Carolina driver's license is required to register a vehicle in North Carolina.

Bill of sale

Vehicles purchased from a dealer must be accompanied by a bill of sale to be registered in North Carolina.

Application

MVR-1 - Title Application

Inspection

Emissions (smog)

Emissions inspection required in 48 of North Carolina's 100 counties. The state doesn't issue a sticker or decal - inspection outcomes are stored in electronic database. Vehicles less 3 years old or less with 70,000 miles or less are exempt from inspections.

Safety

Safety inspections are required for cars 35 years or less in age.

VIN

VIN inspections are not required in North Carolina

Insurance

North Carolina's minimum liability insurance limits are 30/60/25.

Residency

North Carolina does not require proof of residency to register a vehicle.

Local Address

Vehicles registered in North Carolina must be registered to a North Carolina address.

The Alternative

When you sign up with visitor.us, this is what you get:

Company Formation

visitor.us forms a Limited Liability Company for you in Montana, the best state for international visitors to register vehicles.

Vehicle Purchase

Complete paperwork and funds transfer with the seller.
The seller will list your LLC and its address as the buyer on the vehicle's title, and visitor.us will arrange for it to be couriered to us for processing.

Insurance

Insurance from a top-rated insurance company that covers you, your vehicle, and your LLC.

Vehicle Registration

You buy a vehicle, we register it in MT. Why?
- MT sales tax: 0%
- Inspections not required in MT

Annual Actions

visitor.us will keep your registration current, and courier your annual decal and registration document to you ('hold at courier location for pick-up' available, if you're on the move).
Ready to get started?
Click Get Started now to connect with the visitor.us team.

More US states

All US states

Want to learn more?

Click Get Started now to connect with the visitor.us team.