Registering a Motorcycle in North Carolina
If you own a motorcycle in North Carolina, it is very important to understand that motorcycle registration is just as essential as car registration. You cannot ride your motorcycle without first putting your legal ownership on record with the DMV and taking steps to re-register it every year. Registration helps protect you against theft of your motorcycle, and encourages responsible driving by making it easy for the DMV to track down bad drivers and link them to violations made with their vehicles. Registration is easy though, and relatively inexpensive.
How to Register Your Motorcycle
It takes seven days from the time you submit your notarized title application form to complete the registration process for a motorcycle. Motorcycle registration can only be done in person at a vehicle and license plate renewal office, and you need to bring several documents with you: these include your driver’s license, proof of liability insurance, release from the motorcycle’s lienholder (if there is one), a completed odometer statement if the car is less than 10 years old, and a damage disclosure statement if you purchased it from a dealer.
If you have everything you need to complete the registration process, you will get your license plate right away, and the title will be sent in the mail to you or the vehicle lienholder. In both the Raleigh and Charlotte offices, you have the option of paying extra for their “fast title” service, which will get you the physical title before you leave the office. There is also an additional $5 regional transportation authority tax in Wake, Durham, and Orange County.
Re-registering Your Motorcycle
You will be responsible for renewing your motorcycle’s registration every year and keeping the license plate registration stickers up to date. If you do not, you could pay heavy fines and even have your license suspended until your registration is made current. Fortunately, re-registration can be done through the mail or online, unlike the initial registration which requires you to go in person to the license office. If you are bringing an out-of-state registered motorcycle into North Carolina, you will have 30 days from the time you move to start the registration process over again at the license office.
Insuring Your Motorcycle
Just like with a car, merely registering your motorcycle with the DMV won’t be enough to make it legal for you to drive it on the road. You’ll also have to purchase a minimum amount of liability insurance to cover financial damages to other people in the event of an accident. You can do this through a large number of state-approved providers, but you must have at least:
- $30,000 of coverage for personal injuries caused to a single person in one accident
- $60,000 of coverage for injuries to two or more people in an accident
- $25,000 of coverage for any property damage you cause in an accident
Failure to maintain current minimum liability coverage and carry proof of insurance will result in fines and suspension of your plates until you can prove yourself covered. Just follow the advice given here and you will be riding the highways in no time with no problem.