Get info on License plates, vehicle registration, drivers licenses and more.
In Gaston County, vehicle license tags may be purchased and registrations changed Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the:
License Plate Agency
You must also certify to the DMV that your vehicle is covered by liability insurance by a N.C. licensed insurance company. The minimum amount of liability insurance required is $25,000 for injuries to any one person in a wreck, $50,000 for all personal injuries and $10,000 for all property damage in a wreck.
You must have the current mileage on your vehicle. Registrations must be renewed yearly.
Regular license fees are $20 for automobiles, $12 for motorcycles and $21.50 for trucks limited to 4,000 pounds.
Fees may be paid by cash or check with drivers license and another form of I.D.
HIGHWAY USE TAX
North Carolina imposes a Highway Use Tax on vehicles in lieu of state sales tax. Residents moving to North Carolina from another state are subject to the tax. If the vehicle was taxed by another jurisdiction within 90 days of applying for an N.C. title, you would receive credit for that fax and pay only the difference between that amount and the N.C. tax. You must show proof that you paid such a tax. Such proof may be recorded on your bill of sale or registration. If your vehicle is titled in another state, you will be taxed 3 percent of the vehicles value with a maximum of $150.
Personalized license plates are available for passenger automobiles, motorcycles, trailers and private trucks. You must pay the regular license fee plus an additional $20 personalized plate fee. Applications for personalized plates must be submitted to the Division of Motor Vehicles about eight weeks in advance. The choice of words and letters selected to appear on the personalized plate cannot exceed eight spaces and is limited to two characters other than alpha and numeric symbols. Offensive words are not allowed.
OBTAINING A LICENSE
North Carolina laws require all new state residents who plan to operate a motor vehicle to obtain a drivers license within 60 days of establishing a permanent address. Residents are allowed 60 days to obtain duplicate licenses when changing addresses within the state. There are two drivers license offices in the county operated by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles: Highway Patrol Station
2560 W. Franklin Ave., across from Dixie Village Shopping Center
Creekside Shopping Center
The offices are open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. DMV holidays include New Years Day, Martin Luther King Jr.s birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Licenses are issued for four, five, six, seven or eight years, depending on your age and the year of issuance. The cost is $2.50 per year.
As of October 1997, anyone obtaining a license must show proof of Social Security number. Acceptable forms are: payroll check stub, income tax statement, bank statement, or a computer generated form.
License fees may be paid in cash or by check.
RULES OF THE ROAD
State law forbids a driver from consuming an alcoholic beverage while driving or having an open container in the vehicle if the driver has been drinking. An open container of an alcoholic beverage is prohibited at any time in a vehicle.
North Carolina requires seat belts for drivers and front-seat passengers. Failure to wear required seat belts can result in a $25 fine. Driver is held responsible if unbuckled passenger is under 16.
Children under age 4 are required to ride in a crash-tested car seat and children ages 4 to 12 are required to wear a seat belt, regardless of where they sit in the car.
North Carolina requires that if weather conditions dictate that windshield wipers be used, then headlights must also be used.
The state requires all motorcyclists to wear a helmet and to burn headlights at all times.
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