Registered Motor Vehicles
To pay your Tag and Tax bill online: https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/Pages/default.aspx
To obtain a receipt of payment for your vehicle tax for income tax purposes or other use, please visit the following link: https://edmv.ncdot.gov/MyDMV/
North Carolina’s Tag & Tax System
The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law effective July 1, 2013, to create a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system (Tag & Tax System.) In doing so, the law transfers the responsibility for motor vehicle tax collection from the 100 counties across North Carolina to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If your address is current with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles, you will receive a Tag & Tax Notice about 60 days prior to the vehicle’s registration expiration. The exception to this is all vehicles with a permanent tag are considered personal property and must be listed each January.Late Fees:
- $15.00 month one
- $20.00 month two
- $25.00 month three and thereafter
The DMV will charge a late fee in addition to interest when a plate has expired. There is currently a grace period of 15 days for interest but, there is no grace period for the late fee.Examples:
- A tag that expires on July 31st and is renewed August 10th will incur a $15.00 late fee and no interest.
- A tag that expires on July 31st and is renewed August 16th will incur a $15.00 late fee and 5% interest for August.
- A tag that expires on July 31st and is renewed September 1st will incur a $20.00 late fee and 5% interest for August and 0.75% interest for September.
Information on Taxes and Tag Renewal
The taxing district is determined by the residence location of the vehicle’s owner on the date that the registration was applied for or renewed.
Vehicle Value and Appeal
The tax value is based on average retail. The value is determined as of January 1 of the year that the tax becomes due. This value may be appealed to the Tax Assessor within thirty (30) days of the billing date shown on the bill.
Vehicle Sold or Moved Out of State
If you receive a bill for a vehicle you no longer own (and the plate has been turned in to DMV) you may present a bill of sale or other transfer document and the “Receipt of Tag Surrender” (Form #FS-20) from the NCDMV to the Tax Collector for a possible tax pro-ration. Form #FS-20 and bill of sale must be presented to the Tax Collector within one (1) year of the date the plate was surrendered.
If you have moved out of state, registered the vehicle there, and surrendered the NC plate to DMV, you may request a tax pro-ration. A copy of the out-of-state registration and Form #FS-20 must be presented to the Tax Collector within one (1) year of the date the plate was surrendered.
If you transfer the tag from the billed vehicle to another vehicle after the tag was purchased or renewed, the original bill remains in effect for the full twelve (12) month billing cycle and must be paid in full. The newly acquired vehicle will not be billed for property tax until three (3) months after the next tag renewal.
If you no longer own the vehicle listed on the bill, but you have transferred the license plate to another vehicle, the tax bill should be paid in full as is. You will not be billed on the vehicle that you transferred the plates to until you renew the tag next year.
Pro-Ration of Bill
Pro-ration for any reason requires the Receipt of Tag Surrender (form FS-20 from NCDMV) and proof that the vehicle is no longer in your possession or that you have registered the vehicle out of state. Pro-rations are figured according to the month in which the license plate is surrendered to the NCDMV. There must be at least one full month remaining in the vehicle tax year upon date of surrender. We must receive request for pro-ration and necessary documentation within 12 months of the date license plate is surrendered to NCDMV.
The Tax Administration Office is required by law to list the owner’s name exactly as it is listed with NCDMV. Any name changes must be done with NCDMV.
When is my vehicle tax due?
Your vehicle tax will be due at the same time you renew your vehicle. 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.
Can I renew my vehicle registration if I do not pay my property tax first?
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.
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.
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.
Is interest charged on late payments?
Yes. State law requires that interest be charged on late vehicle property tax payments and on late registration renewals.
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 taxes due.
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.
When can I apply for a refund 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.
Should I pay vehicle property tax if I am 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 & 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.
What if the tax was paid in the wrong county at the LPA?
This must be corrected at the same LPA location if it is still within the 30-day window for a backout and the customer must provide plate, sticker, etc., received during the initial registration. If it is after the 30-day window or the title has printed, then the Reversal Process cannot be completed. The county will need to contact NCDOR for assistance. We are currently working on an enhancement to the VTS & the State Titling and Registration System (STARS) so this can be corrected.
What if the tax was paid in the wrong county during an online registration or if the LPA cannot back out the transaction?
The customer should contact the county in which the tax was paid and the county must contact the N.C. Department of Revenue to initiate the correction.
Why is the tax value different than the value used for highway use tax?
Counties are required to use the retail value of the vehicle, whereas highway use tax is calculated on its wholesale value.
What if the customer states that the vehicle should be exempt?
All exemption requests must be filed with the county (this process has not changed). If the county approves the exemption, the county must then make the adjustment in the VTS to remove the tax.
What if the customer has a vehicle and wants to purchase a tag – issue plate service (IPS) – and the customer complains that the value is too high or the vehicle needs to be exempted by the county?
During the IPS transaction, the customer must pay the tax. The customer will then be able to appeal the value to the county within 30 days or apply for an exemption with the county and be issued a refund if applicable.
What is Gap Billing of property taxes for unregistered vehicles?
Gap billing of property taxes occurs when there are one or more months (a gap) in billed property taxes between the expiration of a vehicle's registration and the renewal of that registration or the issuance of a new registration. The vehicle is an unregistered vehicle during the gap in registration.
Why did I receive a Gap Property Tax Notice?
There was a gap in the registration of your vehicle resulting in a gap in the taxes billed. The vehicle registration was recently renewed or a new registration was issued. During the gap in registration, the vehicle was unregistered. The County is required to collect property taxes for unregistered vehicles vehicles per North Carolina General Statute 105-330.3.
Does the Property Tax I paid when I renewed my registration apply to the Gap Billing Period?
No. Property taxes paid to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) at the time of registration renewal or issuance are for the same 12-month period as your registration. The taxes billed on a gap property tax notice are only for the months your vehicle was not registered with the NCDMV.
How many months can a gap property tax notice cover?
A gap property tax notice will cover at least one month and will cover all months between registrations without limitation.
When is my vehicle value determined?
Vehicle value is determined as of January 1 of the calendar year in which the gap property tax notice was computed.
Can I appeal?
Appeals of value, situs (location of vehicle), and taxability must be filed with the tax office within thirty (30) days of the September 1 that follows the gap property tax notice date. The letter of appeal should detail your reason for appeal and include any documentation that will assist us in reviewing the account.
What if I do not pay?
Taxes are delinquent if not paid before January 6 that follows the September 1 due date. Delinquent taxes are subject to collection actions which may include bank attachment, wage garnishment, levy on personal property, debt setoff, and attachment of escheats.
Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact the Rutherford County Revenue Department at 828-287-6000 for more information.