Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina drivers can soon expect a big change in how they register their vehicles and pay taxes on them.
Beginning in May for bills due in July, the state Division of Motor Vehicles will begin sending combined notices that include both vehicle registration fees and property taxes, which must be paid at the same time.
Currently, the DMV sends out a bill for drivers to pay their registration fee. A few months later, drivers receive a tax bill from the county.
"It's a collection-related issue, fundamentally," Wake County Revenue Director Marcus Kinrade said Tuesday. "Registered motor vehicle collections always lag real property collections."
Kinrade says 35 percent of drivers in Wake County, for example, aren't paying their vehicle property tax before interest, but those vehicles are still properly registered.
Under the new tag and tax system, vehicle owners will pay only the DMV, which will then distribute the appropriate amount to counties.
The change is the result of legislation approved in the General Assembly in 2005. It took years, however, to get the system implemented in every North Carolina county.
"This will be a challenging transition, but I think it will be a good system, a better process," Kinrade said.