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Old 04-05-2016, 12:54 PM   #1
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The most idiotic registration Catch-22 you will ever hear...

So I am on a long trip from NC to Alaska and back. I have two vehicles stored in my garage in NC whose registration expires in May. I was not allowed to renew the registration before I left because registration cannot be renewed more than 90 days prior to expiration, and I cannot renew online because the vehicles require an inspection (which I obviously cannot do since the vehicles are in storage and I am not present.) The DMV says there is no exception available, my only choice is to let the registrations expire and pay penalties. Furthermore, in NC property taxes are paid at time of registration. I called my local tax department and was told that the only way I can pay the taxes is through the vehicle registration process so the taxes too will become delinquent and accrue penalties. I said 'So I want to pay my taxes but you're telling me I cannot, and furthermore must pay any associated penalties' and the answer was 'yes'.

So, there is essentially no way that one can leave North Carolina for more than several months without paying penalties if your registration renewal for any vehicles left in the state becomes due. I asked all parties about what a citizen could possibly do to avoid this Catch-22 and was told "turn in all your plates back to the state before you leave" or "take all your vehicles with you."

Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:11 PM   #2
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Surely there are NC residents who are snowbirders and who leave for the winter.


Hopefully from NC will be able to give you guidance on this.
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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Surely there are NC residents who are snowbirders and who leave for the winter.

Hopefully from NC will be able to give you guidance on this.
If you leave for the winter less than 90 days before registrations become due so you can renew early then you are OK, but otherwise you are simply stuck. It makes no sense and I thought that yes, surely there was some answer, but after talking to two DMV reps and a pretty knowledgeable person in the tax department there apparently is not. It all stems from the fact that if the vehicles are in NC then there is simply no way to get an inspection exemption, regardless of the fact that they are in storage and inaccessible.

The oversight seems so blatant that it's almost unbelievable and if anyone knows otherwise then I'm all ears, but both the DMV and tax people were unequivocal... no inspection, no registration renewal and no ability to pay vehicle property taxes. Period. And all penalties are your problem regardless of the fact that there is no legal way to avoid the situation (short of turning all your plates in.)
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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No provision for marking the vehicles inoperative and thus forgoing the inspection requirement? Even CA, the home of crazy laws, does this.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:03 PM   #5
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No provision for marking the vehicles inoperative and thus forgoing the inspection requirement? Even CA, the home of crazy laws, does this.
That's weird for sure. There is no penalty for not renewing in Texas unless you get a ticket for driving on expired plates.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:10 PM   #6
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No provision for marking the vehicles inoperative and thus forgoing the inspection requirement? Even CA, the home of crazy laws, does this.
Per the NC DMV there is no way to make a registered vehicle 'inoperable', you have to actually modify the title to do that.

Yes, any other state I've heard of has at least some reasonable process for exceptions. Texas recently instituted an electronic inspection requirement prior to registration renewal but all you need to do there if you are unable to obtain an inspection (because either you or the vehicle is not in the state) is check a box during your online renewal promising to get the vehicle inspected within 72 hours after operating the vehicle again inside Texas.

There is no late registration penalty in NC per se but you do have to pay interest on overdue amounts of both registration fees and property taxes. In my case that won't amount to a huge amount of money but it does mean that I cannot drive the vehicles upon returning home until I first go to the DMV and get a 10-day permit, then get the vehicles inspected, then go back to the DMV to complete renewals. Moronic, especial considering that there is no way anyone can pre-plan to avoid this if your travels force you to miss the windows.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:20 PM   #7
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Can you assign a POA (Power of Attorney) to complete vehicle registration and pay taxes on your behalf ?

Can you create a trust, and then assign trustees to administer to legal obligations ? i.e vehicle registration and property taxes?

I am an Ohio resident and these options are options available to me.

Best regards on dealing with your states statuary catch-22.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:27 PM   #8
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Totally outrageous. Re-register in Florida. No inspections and no excise taxes.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:29 PM   #9
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Can you assign a POA (Power of Attorney) to complete vehicle registration and pay taxes on your behalf ?

Can you create a trust, and then assign trustees to administer to legal obligations ? i.e vehicle registration and property taxes?
POA or other remedies aren't really the issue because you can easily renew online, the problem is that the vehicle must be physically inspected before the registration can be renewal can be competed, period, no exceptions for any reason.

You could have someone else drive the vehicles and have them inspected (assuming you have anyone available that you also want to give access to your property and permission to drive the vehicles, which is hardly a reasonable requirement.) Plus two of the vehicles are motorcycles and I don't know anyone locally who can ride them, plus liability, etc. Clearly there was just no thought process employed at all here.
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:33 PM   #10
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How would they know that you did not take the vehicles with you in order to get the inspection exemption unless you tell them?
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Old 04-05-2016, 02:42 PM   #11
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Do not want to turn political and get into North Carolina bashing but problem renewing in Washington State. Just D.O.L. will not forward out of state. There is no inspection requirement as it is viewed as a money making farce and not related to safety or environment.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:01 PM   #12
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How would they know that you did not take the vehicles with you in order to get the inspection exemption unless you tell them?
Because in order to order to get the exemption you have to have the vehicle inspected in the state you are presently in, or if the state has no inspection program you have to get some kind of safety inspection somewhere (auto repair place, whatever, just so that you have a recipient showing the VIN number.) So you must have the vehicle with you on your travels in order to get an exemption (kind of an interesting requirement, especially if you are headed to Europe )

Silly me, clearly what I should have done is tow all three vehicles across North America and back with my View just so I can get them inspected.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:10 PM   #13
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Just think, some people want more government.
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Old 04-05-2016, 03:17 PM   #14
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Please, this isn't intended o be a political thread, I was just hoping I was missing something or that someone with similar experience with NC had any suggestions. As mentioned other states have provisions to handle similar situations with little bother, but alas from all I can tell in NC it is simply an ineptly administered requirement and there's little I can do about it.
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