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Buying and Registering a Car

When you purchase a car, you will receive a car title from the owner/dealer. Do not purchase a car if the title has not been presented to you at the time or purchase.  


You will need to register the car in your name with the state of North Carolina. The following steps are required to complete the process: 

Step 1: Obtain an NC driver’s license/state ID card. (You must have either of these cards in order to register a car in NC.) 

Step 2: Gather Documents        

  • Title that has been properly signed and notarized
  • NC driver’s license or state ID card
  • Proof of liability insurance (The liability insurance will likely need to be transitioned to an owner’s policy/full coverage policy for the car.)

Step 3: Pay more fees

  • Certificate of Title: $40
  • License Plate: $28
  • One-time State Road Tax: 3% of purchase price or value of car
  • All fees must be paid either with cash or check/money order

Step 4: In 2-3 months you will receive another bill from Forsyth County for 3% of purchase price for road tax. You must pay this as well. You will receive this bill every year you own a car that is registered in NC. 

IMPORTANT: If you are going home for vacation for a short period of time, do not stop insurance payments on the car. Even if the car is not in use, you must have continuous insurance coverage if the license plates are still on the car. There are severe penalties for lapses in insurance coverage. 

More Information: Visit NC Division of Motor Vehicles   

NC Licensing Agency Location

(Separate from DMV) 

1141 Silas Creek Parkway 
Winston-Salem, NC 27127
Hours: 9 am – 5 pm 
(Monday – Friday)
Telephone: 336-725-2795

Used Car Sales

Big Easy Cars
4272 N. Patterson Avenue 
Winston-Salem, NC
Telephone: 336-331-3298 

Car Maintenance & Repair

Bill’s Auto Clinic
5350 University Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC
Telephone: 336-661-1011

Quick Reference

Pamela Melton
Program Manager


M-F, 10 am - 5 pm
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Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Medical Center Blvd.
Winston-Salem, NC 27407
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Last Updated: 08-10-2016
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.

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