The state of North Carolina began registering vehicles for the first time on July 1, 1909. Since that time, the North Carolina highway system has become the largest state-maintained road system in the nation. During the same period, the number of uninsured vehicles grew so rapidly that in 1957 North Carolina became one of the first states to adopt a compulsory insurance law.

A license plate must be surrendered whenever insurance has been deleted for any reason.


The Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act of 1957 requires that all motor vehicles registered in the state must be covered by an automobile liability insurance policy and that the insurance must remain in effect with continuous coverage until the registration is terminated.

When titling/registering your vehicle you will need to provide proof of insurance.

Acceptable proofs of insurance include:

  • Owner provides insurance company name and policy number (Self Certification)
  • Or a Certificate of Insurance (FS-1), obtained from an Insurance Company that is licensed to do business in North Carolina. 

Minimum Liability Insurance Requirements for Licensing:

The minimum requirements of liability insurance for a private passenger vehicle is $30,000 for bodily injury for one person; $60,000 bodily injury for two or more people and $25,000 property damage. North Carolina law requires each company to notify the DMV when coverage has been cancelled.


Liability coverage must be continuously maintained with a company licensed and authorized to do business in this state.


If you change insurance carriers or you have a lapse of coverage, your insurance company is required by law to notify the Division of Motor Vehicles. When the Division receives this information, they are required to send Form FS 5-7 Notice, and you are required to respond within 10 days.

If there has not been a break in coverage:

You must enter your correct insurance information on the Form FS 5-7 and return it to the Division within 10 days from the date on the FS 5-7 Notice.

If there has been a break in coverage:

You must re-certify with the correct insurance information and submit the listed penalty amount within 10 days from the date of the letter in order to retain your license plate.

Failure to respond within the required time can result in the loss of your license plate for 30 days.

Re-licensing after loss of license plate:

In order to relicense after 30 days, you must:

  1. Provide proof of insurance coverage Form FS-1 (which you can obtain from your insurance agent);
  2. Pay a civil penalty fee of $50.00, $100.00 or $150.00 (depending on how many prior paid lapses you have General Statute 20-311).
  3. Pay a $50.00 service fee;
  4. And pay the appropriate license plate fee.


If you feel the termination of your insurance is unjustified you do have a recourse:

An insurance hearing may be requested when you feel the action is unjustified or when circumstances were beyond your control. You may call 919-715-7000 to set up a hearing. (An FS-1 is required for this option)