How to Get a Temporary License Plate in North Carolina

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In North Carolina, you can visit the DMV to get a temporary license plate that lasts for up to 10 days. The temporary plate application will cost $10.
Whether you just bought a top-notch car or purchased one pre-owned, we’re sure that you’re dying to get behind the wheel and take it for a spin. In North Carolina, you can drive your new car without permanent plates—as long as you have a temporary plate from the DMV!
Though North Carolina’s temporary plate laws can get a little tricky, we're here to simplify them for you. We’ll give you the inside scoop on the whole process: how to get temporary plates in North Carolina, whether they’re any good, and where you can find affordable
car insurance
for your sweet ride.
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Does North Carolina issue temporary plates?

Yes. Though North Carolina’s temporary plates don’t last as long as the plates in other states, you can still get a 10-day temporary plate from one of the
NC DMV’s license plate agencies
If you’re waiting on the transfer of your car’s title, a temporary plate will give you the chance to drive your car on any North Carolina roads in the meantime. Remember to check out North Carolina’s
assortment of license plates
so that you find the perfect design when you get your permanent plate!
MORE: Title transfer in North Carolina

Do temporary North Carolina license plates work well?

North Carolina’s temporary plates are a great way to operate your vehicle while you wait for your long-term plates to arrive.
Some states, like
, have had issues with the fraudulent use of temporary plates, but North Carolina has done a fantastic job of cracking down on fraud. Still, if you notice somebody using a fake plate (or if you have another DMV-related issue!), be sure to
file a complaint
with the NC DMV.  

How to get a temporary license plate in North Carolina

When you get a license plate for the first time, you’ll need to pay a visit to a North Carolina
license plate agency
. If you come across a website that is offering temporary plates, be wary—it’s probably a scam!

Temporary registration permits in North Carolina

Though the NC DMV doesn't list the exact requirements for temporary plate applications, we’ll break down a list of things you should bring to make the process as stress-free as possible. Have these items handy when you visit the licensing office:
  • Your North Carolina driver’s license
  • Proof of insurance
  • Your vehicle’s make, model, and VIN
  • Proof of ownership (a bill of sale, registration card, etc.)
  • $10 for your application (and, in some cases, a $5 cash fee)
If you have any questions about the process, reach out to the NC DMV at (919) 715-7000 and they’ll be happy to help you out.
In special cases, you might be able to get a 30-day temporary tag or extend the length of your 10-day tag. If you still haven’t gotten your permanent plates after 10 days, visit your local licensing office or call the NC DMV and they’ll walk you through your options.

Can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it in North Carolina? 

As long as you have a temporary plate, you can drive your car right after you buy it—no permanent plates required!
Remember, once your temporary plate has expired, it’s illegal to drive your car without plates. It’s best to get the ball rolling as soon as you can on your permanent plates! That way, you don’t have to worry about added fines or driver’s license points on your record. 

How to find affordable car insurance in North Carolina

From that new car smell to your first test drive, the car-buying process has plenty of exciting moments. For most people, shopping for insurance isn’t one of them—unless they have
Jerry is a revolutionary insurance shopping app that gets you the lowest prices in the blink of an eye. Over two million people have found their car insurance using Jerry—and it’s super easy.
Just download the app, sign up in 45 seconds, and let Jerry deliver the best quotes on the market directly to your phone. Best of all, we’ll even help you switch policies and get started on the road to serious insurance savings: the average Jerry driver saves over $800 on car insurance each year. 
“With little to no work on my part,
saved me $70 a month in North Carolina. The process was simple and flawless. I will be working with Jerry in the future!” —Emmanuel K.
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