Auto Registration and Insurance

You are required to register your vehicle for North Carolina license plates within 30 days of establishing residence or accepting employment in this state (non-residents do not need to do this). To register your vehicle, you must provide proof of ownership such as the title or current registration card, plus a notarized bill of sale for a used car, or a manufacturer’s certificate of origin for a new car. You must also prove that your car is covered by liability insurance from an insurance company licensed to operate in North Carolina. The minimum amount of liability insurance required is $25,000 for all property damage in an accident, $30,000 for bodily injury to any one person in an accident, and $60,000 for all personal injuries in an accident. All new residents of North Carolina must pay $68 in titling and registration fees, plus a user’s tax of 3% of wholesale value. An annual $5.00 Triangle Transit Fee to improve public transportation will also be charged in Durham, Orange, and Wake counties. Personal checks will be accepted with 2 forms of identification. Within 10 days of registering your vehicle, you are required to have it inspected at an authorized N.C. Inspection Station.

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Local North Carolina License Plate Agencies

Chapel Hill

1704-B E. Franklin St.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 942-4972


Downtown Durham: 1058 West Club Boulevard Suite 626
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 286-4908
Southern Durham: 5410 NC Highway 55 Suite AB
Durham, NC 27713
(919) 544-3662

Driver’s Licenses

North Carolina will honor an out-of-state driver’s license for 30 days after you move here, but after that you will need a North Carolina driver’s license if you intend to establish residency. A new license costs $32 (good for 8 years). You will need to provide proof of insurance and are required to pass a vision test, a road-sign recognition test, and a written test on driving knowledge. A valid driver’s license from another state usually exempts new residents from taking a road test. The North Carolina Driver’s Handbook, a study guide for the written and road sign recognition tests, may be checked out free of charge from any driver’s license office, and should be looked at before taking the test. In the same vein, you may also consider updating your voting registration. There are typically opportunities to do this at the law school during elections.

Local North Carolina Driver License Offices:


Intersection of NC 54 Bypass & NC 54 Business, 104 V Carrboro Plaza (919) 929-4161


Southern Durham: 277 NC Hwy. 54 West (Homestead Market, Exit 276 off I-40) (919) 560-3378
Eastern Durham: 101 South Miami Blvd(919) 560-6896


1201 Hwy. 70 West; (919) 732-2427