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Frequently Asked Questions
Does North Carolina have mandatory insurance requirements for licensing a vehicle?
Yes. North Carolina law requires the registered owner of a motor vehicle to maintain continuous liability insurance coverage as long as there is a valid license plate for that vehicle.

Are all insurance companies accepted in North Carolina?
Liability coverage must be continuously maintained with a company licensed and authorized to do business in North Carolina.

What are the minimum liability requirements for licensing?
The minimum requirements for liability for private passenger vehicles are $30,000 for bodily injury for one person; $60,000 bodily injury for two or more people and $25,000 property damage.

North Carolina law requires each insurance company to notify DMV upon the issuance of a new policy and when coverage has been cancelled.

Is there a penalty for a lapse of liability insurance coverage?

  • If you change insurance carriers or you have a lapse of coverage, your insurance company is required by law to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles. When the Division receives this
    information, it is required to send you Form FS 5-7 Notice and you are required to respond within 10 days.
  • If there has not been a break in coverage, you must enter your correct insurance information on the Form FS 5-7 and return it to the Division within 10 days from the date on the FS 5-7 Notice.
  • If there has been a break in coverage, you must re-certify with the correct insurance information and submit payment of the assessed civil penalties within 10 days from the date of
    the letter in order to retain your license plate.
  • Effective July 1, 2008, civil penalties assessed for a lapse in liability insurance are based on the number of prior lapses you have had on your vehicle within three years of the current lapse. If this is your first lapse, your civil penalty will be $50.00. If this is your second lapse, your civil penalty will be $100.00. If you have more than two lapses, your civil penalty will be $150.00.
  • Failure to respond within the required time can result in the loss of your license plate for 30 days.
  • In order to re-license the vehicle after 30 days, you must provide proof of insurance coverage Form FS-1 (which you can obtain from your insurance agent), pay a restoration fee for the assessed civil penalty, pay a $50.00 service fee (if a plate pick up order is issued), and the appropriate license plate fee.
Should a license plate be surrendered when insurance has been discontinued?
Yes. License plates should be turned in to DMV prior to insurance being terminated. Return the plate to DMV Vehicle Registration Section, Renewal Title and Plate Unit, 3148 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-3148.

If I feel the termination of insurance is unjustified, do I have any recourse?
An insurance hearing may be requested when you feel the lapse in coverage is not reasonably attributed to fault or neglect on your part. To request a hearing, call (919) 715-7000 or check the box on the FS 5-7 Notice.

Can my license plate be transferred from one vehicle to another?
The license plate may be transferred to a different vehicle if the insurance was secured on the new vehicle at the same time the insurance was deleted on the old vehicle; however,
there may not be a break between the two coverages.

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