NC License Plate Lookup


Get a comprehensive history of a used car

  • Specifications and equipment details.
  • Accidented or stolen.
  • Known and hidden repairs.
  • Past and present market values.
  • Sales records, title issues, and liens.

North Carolina license plate lookup is for all those who have used vehicles or are planning to buy one. Buying a used vehicle is an easy task, but the repercussions that follow behind can get you in big trouble.

Here is everything you should know about the NC license plate lookup.

How Does a North Carolina License Plate Work?

In North Carolina, to get a new license plate for a vehicle, you need to get a vehicle titled and registered under the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). It should also pass a safety inspection and emission inspection (if necessary).

A period of 30 days is given to get a new license plate to new residents.

To get a vehicle registered or titled in North Carolina, the applicant should first apply for the registration in the local DMV office. To confirm your identity, you will have to present your state-approved driving license or any other ID to them.

After that, the applicant needs to submit various documents as per the requirements. You also need to have a temporary driving certificate to drive and drop your vehicle at the tilting process area.

Wait for about 10 to 15 days. You can also go for an instant title option if you are in a hurry to get your vehicle registered.

Types of North Carolingian License Plates

There are several types of license plates in North Carolina. Anyone who is getting a license plate for the first time should know about it and visit the NC DMV license plate agency.

Standard Plates

Standard license plates in North Carolina are issued to everyone that gets their vehicles registered under the NC DMV. It is given to private passengers and private hauler vehicles.

Special Plates

Special or specialty plates in NC are issued to anyone that falls within the 100 causes and interest groups mentioned under the NC DMV.

Personalized Plates

In NC, special and standard plates can be personalized by paying an extra fee.

These three types of license plates cover all sorts of licenses like military plates, NASCAR plates, civic clubs, special plates, and such.

When Do You Need to Run a North Carolina License Plate Lookup?

It is essential to run a North Carolina license plate lookup when buying a used car in North Carolina. This is done to prevent yourself from buying a stolen vehicle or a fraud vehicle in any case. Most car dealers in North Carolina selling used cars have a catch, mainly if you come across a cheap deal.

In one instance, a resident of North Carolina was sentenced to 18 years of imprisonment as he falsified over 800 emission inspections.

What Info Can You Obtain through a North Carolina License Plate Search?

There is a lot you can know about a vehicle after you run a North Carolina license plate lookup that could prevent you from a lot of hassle in the future. Here is all potential information you could come across on running a license plate search in North Carolina:


Since all the accidents that occurred in North Carolina are reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a proper record of vehicles kept that are involved in an accident.

Looking up a license plate number also provides information on if the vehicle registered with the same license plate number has been ever involved in an accident or not.

Title Brands

The lookup also provides information on the title brands such as floods, salvage titles, hail damage, and other titles the vehicle has under its name.

Special Purpose Designations

A license plate lookup also specifies if the vehicle has been used for special purposes like a taxi, rental car, police use etc.

Liability Information

Most of the license plate lookup also provides information on its inspection reports, registration, and related selling details.

Mileage And Odometer Readings

It also provides information on what mileage the vehicle gives, how much it has traveled, and other related information.

Other Information

When you enter the VIN of the vehicle, you can check more detailed information on the vehicle like any active theft or past recovered theft associated with the vehicle, model of the vehicle, its color, more details about the manufacturer, engine, and so on.


Do you have to turn in your license plate in NC?

Yes, in North Carolina, the old license plates of the vehicle have to be returned to the NCDMV office on selling the car. You can also mail your license plates to the NC DMV Registration Section. The license plates can also be left at dropbox at NCDMV headquarters.

Can you drive a car with no plates in NC?

You can drive a vehicle with no plates only when you are driving your vehicle home or to the first place of storage. This is also allowed only within 3 days after the sale.

Also, you should carry the proof of insurance and the properly assigned title with you when doing so. Don’t use the seller’s license plate while driving it home.

How much does it cost to transfer a license plate in NC?

There are various requirements to be fulfilled to transfer a license plate in NC. Some of the costs involved are registration renewal costs of around $33, vehicle inspection costs of about $43, and others as per need.

Can you register a car without a title in NC?

No. Before getting your car registered in NC, you need to get a title from the NCDMV, which acts as proof of ownership.


This was all about NC license plate lookup, vehicle registration in NC, and related information. If you are looking for a trusted NC license plate lookup for free, visit VinPit. Along with NC license plate lookup, you will also find services like VIN check, VIN decoder, vehicle history report collection tool, and other related services for free.