Many of our customers aren’t familiar with the laws and regulations for operating a trailer in North Carolina, so in this article we will inform you of what you need to know about titling and registering your trailer in the state of North Carolina. Please keep in mind, some topics may deserve professional advice or more research. Also, all state laws are not the same so let’s dive in and see what North Carolina requires.

Do I need to title and register my trailer?

The short answer, is yes. Trailers should be titled and registered in a similar manner as a car in the state of North Carolina. Not titling your trailer in North Carolina leaves you exposed to penalties. People moving to NC coming from a state that doesn’t require trailer title and registration should still contact the NCDMV.

Are there any exemptions?

Yes, there are some exemptions in the state of North Carolina. The following are a list of trailers that don’t need to be registered;

    • trailer used by a farmer or his employees to haul livestock, plants or vegetables or equipment
    • small farm trailers used to handle or transport tobacco;
    • trailers used to tow vehicles (tow dollies);
    • trailers pulled by vehicles from another state, like South Carolina where trailer registration and tags aren't required.

Anything else needs a North Carolina license plate. Be aware that not every state titles and registers trailers; however, not titling and registering a trailer in a state that does require it will result in a penalty, which grows more severe the longer the trailer goes untitled.

What documents do you need?

To start the process of titling and registering your trailer, you’ll need the necessary documents listed below:

    • Driver’s License
    • Proof of insurance on the tow vehicle
    • MCO or MSO ( manufacturer's certificate of origin,  manufacturer's statement of origin)
    • Bill of Sale

If we do the title, tag, and taxes for you, we charge a $98 fee. We will handle all the paperwork, go to the DMV for you and mail the title and tag to you. If you choose this option, all we will need is your Driver’s License and proof of insurance on the tow vehicle.

What type of fee’s should I expect to pay?

These vary state to state.  In NC the following applies:

    • HUT (Highway use tax) which is 3% of the bill of sale total
    • Tag fee- $25 for a single year tag and $98 for a permanent tag.  Unlike automobiles, Trailers are allowed to have a permanent tag in NC.
    • Title fee - $52.   
    • $5 Notary Fee

Many dealerships require you to go to the DMV tag office to register your trailer and pay these fees.  Some dealerships will provide titling services at the time you purchase your trailer such as NC Trailer Sales.

Can I be denied a title?

In certain cases you’re title and registration may be put on hold if you’re experiencing issues in these areas, not an extensive list.

    • Bad debt
    • Bad credit warning
    • ​Child support
    • ​Correspondence stop – plate stop/vehicle stop
    • County tax
    • ​DWI customer
    • ​DWI registered owner
    • ​Felony speed to elude
    • ​Inspection
    • ​Insurance
    • & More

As always please consult your DMV for any more questions you may have when titling and registering your trailers. Keep in mind this is not a full list of all the things you may need to know and information is continuously updating through our business and state.

Don’t want to worry with the hassle of registering your trailer at the DMV?  

The Trailer Professionals at NC Trailers can walk you through all the information you need to consider to purchase the perfect trailer for your needs.  They can also take care of registering your trailer so you can avoid the hassle at the DMV and focus on using your new trailer! Call 336-267-0329 to speak to an NC Trailers Professional about your registration needs.  We look forward to hearing from you.