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BE PREPARED BEFORE HEADING TO THE DMV WITH THE REQUIRED INSURANCE DOCUMENTS

Before heading to the NC DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE (NCDMV), be prepared with the AUTO INSURANCE documents that are REQUIRED.

REGISTERING A NEW VEHICLE?
NCDMV will require Proof of Liability Coverage –

  • Request a Certificate of Insurance(Form FS-1) from our Insurance Agency.
  • Give us at least a day notice to provide it to avoid a last-minute rush when possible.
  • Our Agency will email you the FS-1 form and submit it to DMV online or fax to 919-733-6949.
  • Take a copy of the form with you as backup.

The FS-1 will show details on the insurance policy required and the vehicle year, make, model and vehicle identification number.

NCDMV Customer Contact Center at (919) 715-7000 from 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Official NCDMV: Vehicle Insurance Requirements (ncdot.gov)

REGISTERING AN OUT OF STATE VEHICLE IN NC?
To register your out of state vehicle in NC, go to the Official NCDMV: Moving to North Carolina (ncdot.gov)

  • Obtain your NC DL and follow same steps above to register new vehicle.
  • Insured will need to return/mail the out of state tags to that states DMV.

REMOVING A VEHICLE OR CANCELLING AN AUTO INSURANCE POLICY?
Because state law requires continuous liability insurance on all registered vehicles, a vehicle owner should cancel their insurance only after they have turned in their North Carolina license plate to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

  • Return the license plate at one of the NCDMV locations or by mail.
    Official NCDMV: Vehicle Insurance & License Plates (ncdot.gov)
  • Get a receipt when mailing your license plates. Receipt when returning at a location is optional.
  • Contact our Agency and provide the vehicle to be removed and the date the plates were returned.
  • Provide our Agency a copy of the receipt to keep on file when returning your plates by mail.

Canceling insurance before returning the license plate will result in a fine for failure to maintain continuous insurance coverage.

  • Cancel an auto insurance policy on the same effective date that you purchased a new policy out of state or elsewhere in NC.

To avoid a lapse in coverage, ensure that new liability coverage has been purchased before canceling an old policy.

PURCHASING OR LEASING A VEHICLE?
Before heading to the Car Dealership remember to bring valid Proof of Auto Insurance.

  • Bring your Auto ID card AND/OR
  • Bring a copy of your policy Declaration Page (shows your policy coverages).
  • Access your policy Declaration Page either from your online account with your insurance carrier OR
  • Request the Dec Page from our Insurance Agency to be emailed to you.
  • Follow up with our agency to add your vehicle to your Auto Policy – insurance companies vary but usually provide a grace period where the new car is covered until you add it to the policy. Do this as quickly as possible once the purchase is complete. You want to make sure your adequately covered by including comprehensive and collision on newer vehicles.
  • Provide our Agency the Lender/Lienholder Name and Address to be added as an additional interest on your policy.

If you did not set up insurance ahead of time, you can contact our insurance Agency from the dealership and give us the year, make, model, and vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car you are interested in purchasing to get a quote to either email or fax over your proof of insurance to the dealership.

Best option is to talk to one of our insurance agents beforehand about what it will cost to insure a specific make and model that you are considering buying. A lot can change between cars, and it is best to understand what your new premium will look like without the pressure to make a decision at the dealership.

Another key consideration to make when buying a brand-new car is to include Repair and Replace coverage. Our agency can shop carriers that include this coverage on your policy. The dealership will ask if you want to include Gap Insurance with your purchase but if you get Repair and Replace coverage on your insurance policy then the Gap Insurance would be redundant. It helps you avoid a hefty monetary hit if you find yourself owing more on the car than it is worth — after a total covered loss.

MOVED TO NC, ESTABLISHED PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND NEED AN NC DL?
Within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence in North Carolina, new residents who plan to operate a motor vehicle must get a North Carolina driver license and title and register their vehicles with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.
Learn moreOfficial NCDMV: Moving to North Carolina (ncdot.gov)

  • Contact our Agency to get an Auto Insurance Quote.
  • Obtain a NC Auto Insurance policyAn Out of State Driver License is acceptable to obtain insurance.
  • Request a DL123, NC DL Liability Insurance Certificate, (shows insured has NC Insurance Liability coverage and is required before getting a Driver License).
  • DL123 only effective for 30 daysrequest within the time frame you are scheduled to take your NC DL test.
  • Vehicle will still be registered Out of State UNTIL you get your NCDL than can register it in NC.

NEW DRIVER LICENSE, TAKING A ROAD TEST, AND ADDING ON YOUR INSURANCE POLICY?

  • Provide our Agency the young drivers PERMIT No. to add on your insurance policy. The permit number will become their Driver’s License number.
  • Permit drivers DO NOT need to be added to an insurance policy, only licensed drivers.
    Official NCDMV: Getting a License or Learner Permit (ncdot.gov)
  • Schedule the Road Test with DMV and before you go see next step.
    Official NCDMV: Driver License Tests (ncdot.gov)
  • Contact our Agency to request a DL123, NC DL Liability Insurance Certificate. (Shows insured has NC Insurance Liability coverage and is required before getting a DL).
  • DL123 only effective for 30 days – request within the time frame of the road test date. If needing to retake and DL123 expired, contact our agency to reissue.
    Official NCDMV: New Drivers (ncdot.gov)
  • After obtaining license, contact our Agency to finalize adding the new driver on the policy and review premium rates.

INSIGHTS
Be aware that auto insurance companies base your premium on how much of a risk you will be to insure. Rates are higher for inexperienced drivers.

For some car insurance companies, drivers are considered “new” until they have three years of experience on the road, for others it can up to five or even nine years. Once you turn 25, you are no longer part of the risky age group, so if you are a safe driver with no violations or accidents on your record, your rates will typically decrease.

Young drivers do not want to miss the defensive driving program, B.R.A.K.E.S
Home | B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Driver’s Training For Safe Driving and Accident Prevention (putonthebrakes.org)

The B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School is a free, defensive driving program. The school is designed for teenagers, ages 15-19 (16-20 in NC) who already have a learner’s permit or driver’s license and have at least 30 hours of driving experience.