Understanding Property Taxes for Vehicle Owners in North Carolina


The process of registering your buy here pay here vehicle and understanding the associated taxes can be complex. In North Carolina, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has implemented the “Tag & Tax Together” program, which requires all vehicle owners to pay property taxes upon registration and annual license plate renewal. This blog will hopefully provide clarity about this program, including payment deadlines, methods, and consequences of non-compliance.

Property Tax Payment

When a buy here pay here used car is registered to a new owner or when the license plate is renewed, property taxes become due in accordance with the “Tag & Tax Together” program. It is important to note that dealerships do not collect these property taxes. However, during the purchase of your buy here pay here vehicle, the required sales and highway use tax, which is 3% of the sales price mentioned in the purchase agreement, is paid to the dealership. This amount allows the dealership to register the vehicle in North Carolina.

Payment Deadline & Temporary Registration

As the new owner, the NC DMV grants you a 60-day period to pay the property tax that is due. During this time, your permanent license plate will display a temporary “T” sticker instead of the usual month/year sticker. Additionally, you will receive a temporary registration card indicating the amount of property tax owed. It is crucial to pay this property tax amount by the indicated date on the temporary registration card.

Payment Methods

There are multiple ways to make the property tax payment. You can choose to pay in person at a local DMV license plate agency, online, or via mail. It is essential to keep track of the deadline and select the payment method that is most convenient for you. The NC DMV will also send you a property tax bill by mail, similar to the temporary registration card, for your reference.

Permanent Registration & Consequences of Non-Compliance

Once the property taxes are paid by the designated date on the temporary registration card, you will receive your permanent registration card. This card will include a month/year sticker to replace the temporary “T” sticker on your license plate. It is important to complete the payment process promptly to avoid any potential issues.

Failure to pay the property taxes by the designated deadline may result in the accumulation of interest and potential consequences such as a traffic violation. To avoid such situations, it is crucial to adhere to the payment deadlines and pay the required property tax amount on time.

Contact Information

If you have any questions or concerns regarding property taxes or vehicle registration, do not hesitate to reach out to the dealership or contact the NC DMV directly at 919-814-1779. Our team is here to assist you and provide the necessary guidance throughout this process.


Understanding the property tax requirements and registration process for vehicles in North Carolina is vital for all vehicle owners. The “Tag & Tax Together” program implemented by the NC DMV ensures the collection of property taxes during vehicle registration and annual license plate renewal. By adhering to the designated payment deadlines and paying the required amount promptly, buy here pay here vehicle owners can ensure a smooth and compliant registration process.