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  • Plate Surrender in North Carolina

    Registering a car?

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    There are certain situations that require surrendering your North Carolina license plates. For more on these and other plate-transferring scenarios, read on for the full scoop.

    Moving to North Carolina

    After moving to North Carolina you must register your vehicle at the expiration of the time granted by the reciprocity agreement between your former state and North Carolina or when you begin employment, whichever occurs first. Register at your county’s local DMV office. You do not have to surrender your old license plates unless required by your former state.

    For more on North Carolina and everything it has to offer visit our relocation guide.

    Moving from NC

    After moving, you must surrender your North Carolina license plates. Mail plate to:

    NC Division of Motor Vehicles

    3148 Mail Service Center

    Raleigh, NC 27699

    Be sure to include your current address so the DMV can send a receipt.

    Know what to expect before moving. Visit our Moving Out of North Carolina page.

    Selling a Used Car in North Carolina

    The license plates stay with you, the seller. After removing the license plates you can transfer them to another car under your name provided it's of the same vehicle type and has a current inspection. If the vehicle is of the a different type, surrender the plates to the DMV.

    Check out our Vehicle Title Transfers page for more detailed information.

    Buying a Used Car in NC

    As buyer you do not have to surrender the car's plates. The seller will remove them before handing you the keys. You're responsible for transferring the title within 28 days of the sale date and registering the vehicle and obtaining permanent license plates.

    Learn more about the selling process on our Vehicle Title Transfers page.

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