Registered Motor Vehicles

Motor vehicles (cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, and similar property) that are registered and tagged are listed with the county automatically after you renew your registration or register a new vehicle. Unregistered (untagged) motor vehicles must still be listed with the tax office by you annually in January and will be billed with other personal property.

New Legislation: Effective July 1, 2013!

The NC General Assembly passed a new law to create a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system. In doing so, the new law transfers the responsibility for motor vehicle tax collection from the 100 counties across NC to the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

How Does The New Legislation Change Things?

Currently, vehicle registration and taxes are processed separately. First you receive notice and pay your vehicle registration. Then three months later, you receive notice and pay your vehicle tax. This occurs separately because the counties are responsible for managing vehicle taxes, and the DMV is responsible for managing vehicle registration.

For the next renewal of this vehicle, the DMV will send a new combined notice that includes the vehicle registration and the vehicle tax, and they will be due at the same time.


For more information about this change, contact the Cabarrus County Assessor at 704-920-2166.

Old Legislation: Applies to Tags that Expire Before September 1, 2013

What Do I Do?

When you receive your vehicle registration renewal card from DMV, make sure your address and county is correct. If the address and county are not correct, DMV must be notified so the proper county and municipality tax you.

How Will I Be Billed?

About three months after your registration renewal, you will receive a bill which is payable on the first day of the following month. For example, if you have a March renewal, you will receive the bill in June; it will be due on July 1, and must be paid by July 31 to avoid the addition of interest. You will receive a separate tax bill on each registered vehicle you own.

Month of Registration​ Month Taxes Due​ Month Interest Begins​
January​ May​ June​
February​ June​ July
March​ July​ August​
April​ August​ September​
May​ September​ October​
June​ October​ November​
July​ November​ December​
August​ December​ January​
September​ January​ February​
October​ February​ March​
November​ March​ April​
December​ April​ May​

What If I Am Billed Incorrectly?

You may get a bill from a county or municipality in which you do not reside at the time of registration renewal. If this were to occur, you may contact the county that billed you in order to correct the error. All incorrect billings should be corrected within 30 days.

What If I Don’t Pay On Time?

If taxes are not paid on time, 5% interest is added the first month and ¾% for each additional month. And, the county tax collector will issue a block to your DMV file. If a vehicle receives a block the registration cannot be renewed again until the taxes plus interest have been paid.

Registration can only be renewed on a blocked vehicle, after a paid tax receipt has been presented to DMV. Note: DMV will not send you any renewal information if a block has been placed on your vehicle registration.

How Is My Regular Vehicle Valued?

The value established for your non-antique vehicle is based on 100% of Fair Market Value of the vehicle as of January 1 of the year in which the bill becomes due. The county uses a pricing service to arrive at these values. Condition and mileage are not considered in the initial valuation because we do not have access to that information. If you feel that the value we have established is incorrect you may wish to file an appeal.

How Is My Antique Vehicle Valued?

The value established for your antique vehicle is based on 100% of Fair Market Value of the vehicle as of January 1 of the year in which the bill becomes due. The county uses NADA average retail as the value of the antique vehicle. If you feel that the value we have established is incorrect you may wish to file an appeal. The owner may qualify for a $500 value for an antique vehicle according to NCGS 105330.9. The Assessor’s office will send out a application for Antique Automobile Classification, and in order to qualify, we must have on file a copy of the owner’s affirmation that all five conditions of the statutes are met, see below.

NCGS 105330.9 Antique automobiles:(a) For the purpose of this section, the term “antique automobile” means a motor vehicle that meets ALL of the following conditions:

  1. It is registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles and has an historic vehicle special license plate under G.S. 2079.4
  2. It is maintained primarily for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, and other public interest functions.
  3. It is used only occasionally for other purposes.
  4. It is owned by an individual.
  5. It is used by the owner for a purpose other than the production of income and is not used in connection with a business.

Antique Automobile Application

How Do I Appeal?

The valuation of your regular and antique motor vehicles may be appealed in the same manner as the valuation of your other property. The burden of proof will remain with you, the taxpayer. By statute, a valuation appeal must be brought within thirty days from the date the notice is prepared. When filing an appeal, you must pay the taxes first. If the value is changed, the taxes will be adjusted as necessary. Note: To appeal a vehicle value you may make an appointment with the Tax Assessor’s office for an onsite inspection of the vehicle.

You may also submit a statement of mileage, provide photos of vehicle, and/or provide evidence of a salvage title from DMV if applicable. We request no Internet values or dealer estimates as proof for appeal.

What If I No Longer Own The Vehicle?

Payment in full is required if the license plate is transferred to another vehicle. If the license plate is surrendered to the DMV and you have proof of an ownership transfer, a release or refund of taxes may be requested for any full calendar months remaining on the license plate at the time of surrender. Note: This request must be made to the Tax Assessor’s Office within one year of the tag surrender.

What If I Leave The State?

Return the NC license plate to:

DMV Vehicle Registration Section
Mail and Distribution Unit
3148 Mail Service Center
1100 New Bern Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27699-3148

Send a copy of the registration for the state in which you currently reside to:

Cabarrus County Tax Assessor
Motor Vehicle Department
PO Box 707
Concord, NC 28026-0707

A proration or refund of tax can be issued for any full calendar months remaining on a NC license plate based upon the date of surrender. The Tax Assessor’s Office must be notified within one year of the surrender of the license plate.

Points To Remember

To insure the assessment and registration functions run smoothly, we suggest you follow these instructions:

  1. Notify DMV of any address changes.
  2. Register your vehicle on time.
  3. Pay your taxes on time.

If you have any questions concerning Motor Vehicle Taxation in Cabarrus County, contact the County Assessor's Office at (704) 920-2166.