Other Registrations in North Carolina: Motorcycles, Boats, and More

Other North Carolina Vehicle Registration Guide
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Our other North Carolina vehicle registration guide is for those who want to take less-traveled roads (or waterways). This guide is for those wanting to ride motorcycles, cruise on boats, or have some fun off-roading in their ATV.

We’ve already covered the steps to register a car or truck. The process for other vehicles is essentially the same, with a few exceptions. You’re still filing forms and paying fees/taxes at your local DMV.

The following goes into the details. Read along.

Motorcycle Registration

Motorcycle riders will complete a registration whether they bought their ride from a dealership, private sale, or have it on lease. You’re given ten days to register a motorcycle from the time of its purchase or lease. Dealerships typically register for you but not always – follow along to get on the road.

Registering a motorcycle in NC includes:

You’ll need to get an inspection before registering if it hasn’t been or expired. Once you have this done, it’s a relatively quick process:

  1. Get the motorcycle title
    1. Dealer Bought: Manufacturer Certificate
    2. Leasing: Gross Receipt Declaration (MVR-608) and Application for Registration Plate or Plate Transfer (MVR-330)
    3. Private Sale: Signed Title
  2. Have your NC motorcycle license
  3. Complete a:
    1. Title Application (MVR-1)
    2. Odometer Disclosure (MVR-180) if under ten years old
    3. Damage Disclosure Statement (MVR-181)
  4. Get motorcycle insurance
  5. Pay the $52 title fee
  6. Pay the $20 registration fee
  7. Pay the 3% highway use tax
  8. Pay any other taxes/fees

Take these items to your local NCDMV (click to find one). Other fees may apply, like a motorcycle plate ($24), safety inspection ($13.60), and emissions certificate ($16.40).

ATVs, Mopeds, and Golf Carts

ATVs do not require registration, given you follow state laws like using protective wear and not operating on public roads. Your ATV use also depends on your age and the vehicle’s power.

Mopeds require:

  1. NC driver’s license or ID
  2. Completed forms:
    1. Certificate of Plate and/or Address or Affidavit of Facts for the Registration of a Moped
  3. Registration fees
    1. $24 registration
    2. $1-$7 county fee

Registration is required if you want/need to drive on public roads with golf carts and other low-speed vehicles. Follow all road rules and stay off any road above 35MPH. You will need a vehicle inspection before taking it on public roadways, too.

Boats and Watercraft

North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission is who you’ll go through when registering a boat and other water-based vehicles. You may take a boater/hunter education course to get an official license in North Carolina if needed.

Titles are required for any boat with a motor, sailboats longer than 14 feet, and personal watercraft. Registration is needed for vehicles with motors, out-of-state boats, and govt water vehicles.

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Show proof of ownership
    1. Bill of sale or statement of origin
    2. Vessel title or out-of-state registration
    3. Govt-issued documentation
  2. Complete the NC vessel Registration & Title Application (VL-1)
  3. Pay title and registration fees:
    1. Titles: $35 – $130 without title (depending on size)
    2. Registration Renewals: $33 – $93 (1-3 years)

You will receive two registration decals as of 2018 that you’ll display on both sides of the water vehicle. Registrations are good for 1-3 years. Review the Vessel Operator’s Guide to understand the essentials when boating in North Carolina.