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Can New Hanover County block registration of one vehicle when taxes are owed on another?

Kevin Maurer
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If taxes aren't paid on a vehicle, the owner can be blocked from registering or renewing registration on that vehicle.

Additional information from the questioner:

“The North Carolina statute reads that they are to release the vehicle hold when the taxes are paid on that vehicle. Not every car you own (or do not own) at the time!”

And the answer:

Michelle D. Harrell, New Hanover County’s collector of revenue, said the reader is correct.

“If the vehicle the person wants to register is not blocked through the Division of Motor Vehicles, I am not aware of any reason he can’t renew,” Harrell said.

However, she said a taxpayer is obligated to pay the delinquent taxes.

“The statute is very clear that a taxpayer has one year from the time the plates are turned in to DMV to notify the tax collector’s office of the disposition or the vehicle. (sold, transferred or moved out of state) At this time the taxpayer may receive a proration of the tax bill. If the one year expires – no relief is granted,” Harrell said. “It is the policy of the New Hanover County Tax Office to have these individuals meet with a Deputy Collector to work out a payment plan on past due amounts owed. Once that agreement is in place and the taxes on the blocked vehicle are paid in cash or certified funds – we release the block. The collection statute further states that other personal property owned by a delinquent taxpayer is subject to seizure and sale to satisfy the obligation. They are further subject to other collection measures such as wage garnishments and bank attachments. We want to work with our citizens to allow voluntary payment of taxes but sometimes that is not possible.”

User-contributed question by:
J Cliff

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3 Responses to “ Can New Hanover County block registration of one vehicle when taxes are owed on another?”

  1. On November 18, 2011 at 11:18 pm Lee Prather wrote:

    Why is that when I pay my taxes on my vehicle and then I go to renew my registration for my vehicle there is still a tax block on my account. When I was in the LPA there must have been 20 people that were told to call New Hanover Tax office to see why there was a block. Some where told that it just had not been released others were told that the tax from was years ago.

  2. On December 9, 2011 at 7:52 am charles wrote:

    The Tax Office should put a payment kiosk next to both New Hanover County LPA. It is ridiculous to have to drive halfway across the county for an additional $5 that was apparently accrued as a late fee but the tax office doesn”t bother to tell you that you still owed money and you find out after waiting 30 minutes in line at the DMV.

  3. On December 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm Lisa wrote:

    Unfortunately it isn’t just New Hanover County. I used to Live in Leland, Just inside the Brunswick County Line. I had to pay taxes in Brunswick County but the closest DMV was in New Hanover County. It seemed like every year we would go to the DMV to renew a registration and find that we had to drive all the way to Bolivia to find that a car my mother owned and sold years before was flagged in the system. BTW, I was married twice and my mother never lived at or used my address, so her car should have never effected my registration or my husbands. It seems that everytime I paid my taxes and asked at the office they always told me there was nothing on the records, they were all good, they boom DMV hit us every time. Almost time to renew again. Can’t wait to see what this year brings :)

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