How Do I ...
Online Services
Public Records
Tax and Tag FAQs

​Tag and Tax Together - Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is the state’s collection of vehicle property taxes changing?
In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified House Bill 1779 to create a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system. The legislation places the responsibility for motor vehicle property tax collection for the state’s 100 counties with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The new combined registration fee and tax collection has become North Carolina’s new “Tag & Tax System.”

Q. When does the new Tag & Tax System take effect?
The new system is scheduled to be phased into effect with vehicle registration renewals that are due mid- 2013. By mid-2014, all North Carolina vehicles will be enrolled in the system.

Q. Why has my registration renewal form changed?
The new form combines information about your vehicle registration renewal fee and your vehicle property tax due. The new Tag & Tax System allows you to make one payment for both registration renewal and vehicle property tax.

Q. Will my vehicle registration renewal fee remain the same?
Yes. Vehicle registration renewal fees will remain the same annual cost. The only increase in your bill will reflect the vehicle property tax amount

Q. When is my vehicle tax due?
Your vehicle tax will be due at the same time you renew your vehicle registration. North Carolina law requires that your vehicle property tax be paid in order to renew the vehicle registration. The due date will be printed on the new combined notice that you receive in the mail. We have provided a chart that links your tag expiration and renewal month to your inclusion in the new system: Tag and Tax Renewal Calendar.

Q. Can I renew my vehicle registration without paying my property tax?
No. You cannot renew your vehicle’s registration, whether it is leased or owned, unless the total taxes and registration fees on the vehicle are paid at the same time.

Q. What if I lease my vehicle? Do I need to pay my property taxes to the leasing company?
No. Vehicle property taxes on leased motor vehicles must be paid in full at the time of renewal. A copy of the combined tag and tax notice is not sent to the leasing company.

Q. Who do I call if I have questions about the value of my vehicle?
Please let us answer any questions you may have regarding your vehicle's value:

311 - inside Mecklenburg County, or
704-336-7600 - from outside the County.

Q. Can I pay my vehicle property tax at my county tax office?
No. Once your vehicle becomes part of the Tag and Tax Together program and you have received the combined notice, you will no longer be able to pay your vehicle tax at your county tax office. Click to view a map of area DMV Tag Offices.

Q. Am I paying vehicle property taxes for the coming year, or for the preceding year?
Taxes due on this notice are for the coming year, covering the same period as the vehicle registration.

Q. What will happen if I don’t pay the registration and vehicle tax by the due date? Is interest charged on late payments?
State law requires that interest be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration renewals. Your vehicle will also be subject to citation if it is driven after the tags expire.

Q. How will I know what vehicle property tax I owe?
Your property tax will be included on the new combined notice with your county and municipality tax rates and other applicable fees are due.

Q. Who should I contact if I have questions about my vehicle registration?
If you have DMV-related questions about your vehicle registration under the Tag & Tax Together program, please call 919-814-1779.

Q. Will I receive a tax refund if I transfer my license plate to another vehicle during the year?
No. If you have paid your vehicle property tax for the year and then transfer the license plate to another vehicle, you will not be eligible for a refund of the taxes paid. The registered motor vehicle to which the plates are transferred will not be taxed until its current registration is renewed.

Q. When can I apply for a refund/proration of vehicle property taxes paid?
An owner can apply for a refund of taxes paid when a motor vehicle is sold or registered out of state. The refund will be calculated on any full calendar months remaining in the registration period after the license plate is surrendered to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Within one year of surrendering the license plates, the owner must present the following to the county tax office: (1) Proof of plate surrender to N.C. DMV (DMV Form FS20); and (2) Copy of the Bill of Sale or the new state’s registration.

Q. Will I have to pay vehicle property tax if I am active duty military?
Active duty military personnel residing in North Carolina may be exempt from North Carolina motor vehicle property tax, if their home of record is in another state. To qualify for an exemption, you must present a copy of your Leave & Earnings Statement (LES) to the County Assessor’s Office 30-60 days prior to your registration month, and must include your Estimated Time of Separation (ETS) date and home of record. Military spouses: You may also qualify for exemption if your Home of Record is the same as the service member’s Home of Record. In addition to providing a copy of the LES as described above, spouses must also provide a copy of their Military I.D. Card and a copy of their out of state Driver’s License, Voter Registration card or most current state Tax Return.

Q. Will I receive a notice if I have moved since my previous vehicle registration renewal?
Yes. If you reported your new address to NCDMV, you should receive your tag and tax notice at your new address. If you did not notify NCDMV of your new address, you may not receive the renewal notice. If you have moved since your last renewal, your vehicle property tax may need to be recalculated. DO NOT SEND YOUR RENEWAL AND PAYMENT BY MAIL. YOU WILL NEED TO VISIT YOUR LOCAL LICENSE PLATE AGENCY TO RECEIVE A CORRECTED TAG AND TAX FEE. You can change your address by visiting your local license plate agency or by requesting a duplicate registration card online.

Q. Will I owe vehicle property taxes on a newly purchased vehicle?
Yes. You may pay vehicle property taxes at the time you register your vehicle. However, if you choose not to pay these taxes at the time you register your newly purchased vehicle, you will receive a Limited Registration and Property Tax Notice stating the amount of the vehicle property taxes due. You will receive a limited registration sticker that will expire after 60 days if the vehicle’s property taxes are not paid in full.

Q. Do I qualify for elderly exception to receive a $15.00 partial refund of the $30.00 Charlotte Auto Tax based on my age and income?
You may be eligible for the elderly exception if ALL of the following applies to you and/or secondary owner(s) of the vehicle:

  • You are 65 years or older in the month in which your vehicle registration expires.
  • Your prior year disposable income did not exceed $28,100.
  • Your Tag and Tax Notice for property taxes and vehicle registration issued by the NC Department of Motor Vehicles must be paid in full.

To apply for the exception of $15.00, you must complete and submit the form, along with a copy of your prior year State income tax return, within 30 days of the tag and tax notice due date. The Elderly Exception Application is available online. Mail the completed applications to: Mecklenburg County Tax Collector, PO Box 31457, Charlotte, NC 28231-1457.

Questions? For more information about this change, please contact the Mecklenburg County Assessor’s Office via 311, or via email at

Printed from: