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Motor Vehicle Tax Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I find out how much tax I paid on vehicles last year for filing my incomes taxes?
A. By logging in to MyDMV using the last 4 digits of your social security number and your birthdate. The site will have available all motor vehicle property taxes paid for the last few years. (In 2013, the DMV took over collecting property tax on motor vehicles which are now paid at the time of registration or renewal.)

Q: How does the Tax Department determine what my motor vehicle is worth?
A. The Tax Department determines the value of motor vehicles by using a vehicle pricing guide provided by the North Carolina Department of Revenue. The manual lists each model and make of all available motor vehicles and their market values. The vehicle's fair market value is multiplied by the tax rate to determine the amount of tax owed.

Q: Is there a tax break for antique vehicles?
A. Vehicles that are individually owned, have antique license plates, are maintained primarily for use in exhibitions, club activities, parades, and other public interest functions, are assessed their actual value or $500, which ever is less. Antique vehicles that are used for the production of income or are used in conjunction with a business do not qualify for the special assessment. Owners must request submit and have an approved application on file in order to receive the $500.00 assessed value.

Q: How do I appeal a motor vehicle assessment?
A. The assessed value of a vehicle can be appealed if the appeal is submitted within 30 days of the due date of the tax. A completed Motor Vehicle Appeal Form, along with supporting evidence can be mailed, faxed, or taken to the Tax Department.

 Q. I sold my car. Can I get a refund on part of my taxes?
 A. That depends on what was done with the license plate that was on the vehicle.

  • If you transferred the license plate from the vehicle that was sold to another vehicle, you are not due a refund. In this case, you will not be billed for the replacement vehicle until the license expires. 

  • If you sold the vehicle and turned the license plate in to DMV, then you can submit proof that the vehicle was sold and a copy of the receipt from DMV (Form FS20) to the Tax Department and part of your taxes will be adjusted and refunded. The refund will be based on the number of whole months left remaining on the registration before it expires.

Q: If I move out of this state, what should I do with my North Carolina license plate?
A. You should turn the license plate in to DMV and send a copy of the turn-in receipt from DMV (Form FS20) to the Tax Department and part of your taxes will be adjusted or refunded. The adjustment or refund will be based on the number of whole months left remaining on the registration before it expires. If the taxes have not been paid, the amount due will be adjusted accordingly. You must also provide proof of registration in the new state to receive the refund.

Q: How do I apply for an active-duty Military Exemption for my vehicle?
A. If your home of record is not North Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes on your motor vehicles. The vehicle must be registered in the name of the service member (and/or non-resident spouse) in order to qualify for the exemption. The service member can submit their latest Leave & Earnings Statement (LES) or other proof showing their home state of record to the Tax Department. The documents can be submitted by mail, fax, or in person. The exemption is valid until the expiration date on the LES or the service member becomes a legal resident of North Carolina. Click here or information concerning exemptions for non-resident spouses.

Q: Is the tax rate different for motor vehicles?
A. The tax rate on vehicles is the same for all other personal property and real estate.