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.

Vehicles with active license plates that are renewed annually are taxed through the NC DMV Tag and Tax Together system. A combined tag and tax notice of renewal is sent by the Department of Motor Vehicles approximately 45 days before the tag expiration date. The notice contains the vehicle property tax as well as the registration fee. The combined total is paid to the NC DMV and the tax portion is then distributed to local taxing jurisdictions.

For newly purchased vehicles only you may choose not to pay the vehicle property tax at the time you register. If you choose this option, you will receive a Limited Registration sticker, which is good for 60 days. You must pay the property tax to DMV before the 60 days is up in order to receive your full 12 month sticker.

Vehicles with multi-year or permanent tags are not taxed through the registration system. These are to be listed and taxed annually as personal property through the Tax Assessor’s Office. If you have not received a listing form in the mail please contact our office at 336-703-2300 or use the form available on this website. More listing information can be found under the FAQ section titled “Listing”. Failure to list these vehicles will result in a penalty.

Registered vehicles under the International Registration Plan (IRP) are to be listed annually through the Tax Assessor’s Office as business personal property. Failure to list these vehicles will result in a penalty. More information about business personal property listing can be found in the FAQ section under “Business Personal Property”.

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