Motor Vehicle Property


Motor vehicles within the jurisdiction of the State are subject and taxation. The Orange County Tax Office is responsible for assessing the value of the vehicle according to uniform assessment standards created by the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR). After determining the taxable market value of the vehicle, NCDOR (or a third party contractor acting on its behalf) prepares a combined tax and registration notice for each registered and classified motor vehicle. This notice includes the taxes on the motor vehicle that are due to the County. The taxes are paid directly by the taxpayer to NCDOR, which then remits the appropriate amount of funds to Orange County once a month.

In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly combined motor vehicle registration renewal and tax collection. Referred to as the Tag & Tax Together program, the law transfers responsibility of motor vehicle tax collection from individual counties to the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). Tag and Tax Together formally began in 2013. Under this program, vehicle owners in the state are required to pay property taxes owed on their motor vehicles at the same time vehicles are registered annually with NCDMV.


Motor Vehicle Property taxes are assessed based on the taxable market value of the vehicle as prescribed by N.C.G.S. 105-330.2. The appraiser finds the most probable price that a property would bring between a willing buyer and seller.

Certain motor vehicles are excluded from the provisions of registered classified motor vehicles, including but not limited to: unregistered motor vehicles; semi-trailers or trailers registered on a multi-year basis; manufactured homes; mobile classrooms; mobile offices; self-propelled property carrying vehicles; motor vehicles leased to a public service company, town, or city; motor vehicles owned by a church; for hire and rental passenger vehicles registered under N.C.G.S. 20-87; and motor vehicles issued permanent registration plates. These vehicles are exempt from taxation under the provisions of Classified Motor Vehicle Tax but may be subject to taxation under the provisions of other applicable NC laws.

The owner of a classified motor vehicle who claims an exemption or exclusion from tax under N.C.G.S. 105-330.3 is required to establish the vehicle is entitled to the exemption or exclusion. The owner may request exemption or exclusion of the classified motor vehicle by filing an application for exempt status with the Orange County Tax Office within 30 days of the date taxes on the vehicle are due.