(a)  The procedure for transferring a plate when disposition of the vehicle is other than by sale or transfer of interest is as follows:

(1)           When the vehicle is dismantled and junked (title marked junked), the owner may, if insurance is in effect, make application to transfer the plate to another vehicle.  The plate may be used, on a vehicle of the same category, for 20 days while in the process of having the transfer recorded.

(2)           When the vehicle is parked, to be sold or for later use, or to be changed from a private to a for hire operation, the plate may be transferred to another vehicle of like category provided the owner gets a new registration certificate before operating the vehicle.  The 20‑day transfer period is not allowed in this case.

(b)  Corporate, partnership or proprietorship name changes do not constitute a change in ownership for purposes of registration with the Division.  G.S. 20‑64 defines the law in this area.  Conditions that do affect the transfer of license plates are:

(1)           The plate does not remain with the vehicle when ownership passes from a subsidiary corporation to the parent corporation.

(2)           A plate may not be transferred from one existing corporation to another existing corporation.

(3)           A plate issued to a corporation may pass to a stockholder if the corporation is dissolved.

(4)           A plate issued in the trade name of a proprietor may not be transferred to a vehicle registered in the proprietor's personal name.  Registration may be made however in the personal name and trade name, i.e., John Thomas Jones (T/A) Thomas Car Works.

(5)           If an unincorporated proprietor or unincorporated partnership transfers his interest in a vehicle to a corporation on which he is a stockholder, the plate may not be transferred.

(6)           When the registered owner dies, transfer of interest in the vehicle to anyone other than the surviving spouse requires the issuance of a new plate.

(c)  Transfer of plates, annual or semi‑permanent, is not allowed during the grace period following the expiration date of the plate.  If a plate has expired, it may be validated and then assigned to another vehicle.

(d)  Division automobile inspectors and weigh station personnel may accept applications and render receipts for transfer of common carrier license plates in addition to other classifications of plates.

(e)  Intrastate common carriers operating under the authority of the North Carolina Utilities Commission, must present a copy of their equipment list, as filed with the commissioner, to the officer accepting the application for transfer of plates.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 20‑39; 20‑42; 20‑64 through 20‑66;

Eff. March 1, 1982;

Amended Eff. December 1, 1993.