NC Tag Insurance Requirements


Whether purchasing your first new car, or your 10th, it isn’t ready for the road until you bolt on your license plates. But obtaining and keeping your tags means meeting NC Tag Insurance guidelines. Protective Agency has provided this page as a useful outline about that subject. However, when you have specific questions on tag insurance requirements, your local DMV or the State DMV in Raleigh will be the better place for specific answers.  DMV contact information is provided throughout the page.


NC Tag Insurance


North Carolina law requires registered owners of a motor vehicle to purchase automobile liability insurance coverage. There are minimum limits of insurance for bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured motorist coverage.


When visiting your local DMV office, you will be asked to provide proof of NC Tag Insurance. The vehicle registration process cannot begin until you show the following:


  • $30,000 of bodily injury coverage for any one person.
  • $60,000 of bodily injury coverage for two or more people.
  • $25,000 of property damage coverage.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage equal to or greater than the bodily injury limit.


Your NC Tag Insurance coverage must be continuous without a lapse in coverage. If you have an insurance lapse, a civil penalty could be levied.


NC Tag Insurance Potential Penalties


If you do not maintain continuous liability insurance coverage, your insurance company is required to notify the division of motor vehicles (NCDMV). Once notified, the NCDMW will send form FS 5-7 which is a liability insurance termination notice.


You will have ten days from the date of the notice to respond to the NCDMV. To prove you have coverage in force, have your insurance company fax a copy of your current NC Tag Insurance to 919-733-6969. Make sure you contact the NCDMV at 919 715-7000 to confirm the form was received.


If you have a genuine lapse in coverage or have had prior lapses, the State can assess the following penalties:

  • $50 for your first lapse.
  • $100 for your second lapse.
  • $150 for each subsequent lapse.


Should you have a lapse in coverage and fail to pay any penalties, you risk having your license plates revoked and seized by law enforcement.


Purchasing A New Vehicle & NC Tag Insurance


If you are considering a new or used vehicle purchase, contact your insurance agent first. There are numerous factors that not only determine your insurance premium, but also whether or not coverage is available.


Not so perfect driving records may make your NC Tag Insurance premium prohibitively expensive. Or, if you are purchasing a classic, antique, or muscle car, finding an insurance company may be difficult. It is good to know where to locate these coverages before purchasing your next automobile. So we are glad you stopped by.


Changing Insurance Companies


Most auto owners will shop around for insurance every so often, to make sure they are getting good coverage at an affordable premium. If you are thinking of switching insurance companies, make sure you have proof of NC Tag Insurance with your new company before canceling your current policy.


Unexpected events can and do occur. A bounced check or declined credit card could result in a lapse of coverage. Avoid the state sending a liability termination notice by being prepared.


Transferring Your NC Tag Insurance


If you purchase a new vehicle, instead of obtaining new license plates you have the option to transfer plates from another, currently owned vehicle.


It is very important when tags are transferred that a there is not a lapse in coverage. Just as with any vehicle, you must maintain continuous coverage. This means the insurance on the new vehicle must be in place at the same time you cancel the NC Tag Insurance on the old vehicle.


Surrendering Your NC Tag Insurance


The state of North Carolina does require you to surrender your license plate if you do not have liability insurance.


There are two ways to return your tag to the State. You may visit any DMV office, even those outside of where you live. Or, you may mail your plate to the NCDMV Vehicle Registration Section at:


  • Renewal Title Plate Unit
  • 3148 Mail Service Center
  • Raleigh, NC 27699-3148


In the unfortunate event your license plate has been lost or stolen, you are required to submit a License Plate Turn in Verification form. The form is available at your local DMV office or online on the NCDOT website.

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