DMV nixes 'grace period' for expired vehicle registration
Posted August 31
Updated September 1
Raleigh, N.C. — Registration expiring soon? Need an inspection?
Drivers in North Carolina will need to hit the gas on urgency because the grace period for North Carolina's registration law is now a bit less forgiving.
The Division of Motor Vehicles is carrying out a change in state law that took effect July 1 and says drivers will be charged a fee if registration is not renewed by the end of the month in which it expired.
"It's another way to remind people, you know, pay attention," state Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Abbott said. "There are some cases where people let it go three or four months, and unless you got pulled over by a police officer there was no added penalty."
Previously, a driver had a 15-day grace period to renew their registration after it expired.
Now, drivers can be charged a fee for driving one day past the final day of the month in which their registration expires. Drivers will have to pay at least $15 for driving past the expiration date.
North Carolina State University student Linda Meadows says she relied on the grace period, calling the change "ridiculous."
"$15 might not be a lot, but that really is the difference, especially to a lot of people," Meadows said.
The longer drivers wait to renew, they more they'll pay in fees. If a registration has been expired for less than a month, the fee is $15. For two months, it goes up to $20. After that, the fee climbs to $25.
Abbott says the DMV hopes the fees push drivers to plan ahead.
Registration fees and property taxes can be paid online or by mail once a vehicle passes inspection. The fees can also be paid at a local DMV county license plate agency office.