Drivers in the Military in North Carolina
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When it comes to driver licenses in North Carolina, military service personnel have special privileges. For example, if you are a North Carolina resident who is out of state on military duty, you can renew your license by mail. So can your spouse and dependent children. However, you must meet certain criteria, as the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reviews each military renewal by mail on a case-by-case basis. The DMV reserves the right to apply conditions accordingly. Check with the DMV for more details.How Can I Renew by Mail?
- Must have a verifiable residence address in NC
- License must not be expired more than a year
- DMV must have your SSN or taxpayer ID number on file, or a current visa issued by the United States government
- DMV must have your digital image on file
Keep in mind that this is just a temporary renewal. You will need to officially renew your license within 60 days of your return to North Carolina.
You can only renew by mail two times in a row. However, you can renew your license up to one year in advance. (If you come home on leave within one year of expiration, that would be a good time to renew your license in person.)
Under the following conditions, the DMV cannot renew your license by mail:
- Commercial driver licenses (CDLs)
- Cannot downgrade CDL to class "C" if this classification is expired for more than one year
- Cannot upgrade Level 3 (Full Provisional) to Regular license
Also, you cannot change your name on your driver license through the mail.
If you are in the military and coming from overseas with a foreign title, foreign registration, or military registration card, you must call (919) 861-3500 to have your vehicle registered. For a general overview on how to register a vehicle, visit Registration and Titling.
If you bought your vehicle overseas, you are not exempt from paying the Highway Use Tax. You will be taxed at 3% of the purchase price if you bought it from a dealer, or 3% of the vehicle's value if you bought it from an individual―whether that person is a resident or non-resident. The value is determined by a schedule database kept by the DMV.
- Overseas vehicles with military registration: Taxed at 3%, up to $150.
- Overseas vehicles without registration: No maximum tax; 3% of price on bill of sale.
Vehicles from overseas do not require notarization; however, you must have a bill of sale or completed assignment in order to register them.
Call the DMV at (919) 861-3330. Or, if you prefer, e-mail your question.
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- Drivers License & ID
- Registration & Titling
- Vehicle History Reports
- Teens (Under 18)
- Drivers (18 and Older)
- Commercial Drivers (CDL)
- Motorcycle Riders
- Drivers in the Military
- Tickets & Violations
- Address & Name Change
- DMV Office Finder
- Forms & Publications
- Relocation & Movers Guide
- Safety & Driving
- Reports & Records
- DMV Guide
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.