RALEIGH — Starting this month some organizations in North Carolina will have the option to do away with the tedious task of renewing vehicle license plates.
On Monday, Oct. 15, the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will introduce new permanent plates and a new process for their issuance.
A law passed by the General Assembly requires all currently issued permanent plates to be cancelled and re-issued under new eligibility rules by Dec. 31.
Under the program, vehicle owners who are eligible for permanent plates must purchase either replacement permanent plates or standard “First in Flight” plates by the December deadline.
New orange and black plates will replace the current silver and black permanent plates.
Beginning Oct. 15, DMV will no longer issue silver and black plates. A one-time $6 fee is required for permanent plates; standard registration plates cost $28-$33, according to the DMV.
Current permanent plate holders will be notified by letter that they will need to replace their plates.
Officials with the DMV expect about 120,000 vehicles to be affected by the change, mostly vehicles that are owned and operated by municipalities and counties across the state.
New permanent plates will be available from license plate agencies or by mail accompanied by form MVR-619 from Vehicle Services, 3148 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-3148.
The new law limits eligibility for permanent registration plates to governmental entities and certain other groups. Those approved for permanent plates include vehicles owned by a county, city or town; a board of education; the Civil Air Patrol; an incorporated emergency rescue squad; a rural fire department, agency or association; community colleges; or local chapters of the American National Red Cross and used for emergency or disaster work.
All other vehicles must obtain standard registration plates.
But not all vehicles currently authorized to use permanent plates will be allowed to continue.
Examples of vehicles that will no longer be eligible for permanent plates include vehicles operated by orphanages, church buses, mobile X-ray transports, sheltered workshops, non-profit mental health transports, city trolleys and parade vehicles of charitable organizations.
All vehicles still have to pass required annual safety and emissions inspections prior to obtaining new registration plates, whether permanent or standard.