Quest for Car Legality
December 18, 2008 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Please guide me through several steps for registering a car and related inspections / et cetera, in North Carolina. Bonus points if you can phrase the instructions in the form of a World of Warcraft quest.

I need to take care of the following matters, and I am totally ignorant on the workings of the DMV system. I imagine that fulfilling some objectives have pre-requisites involving other objectives, perhaps fulfilled at other locations, so I need both logistical and chronological help. I am notoriously bad at these sorts of things, so phrasing it in the fashion of a quest from World of Warcraft would be plus a million points.

The objectives:

Get a NC driver's license. Current license is valid and clean, from South Carolina.

Register my recently purchased vehicle and get new tags. Current tags and registration are 4 months expired.

Insure the vehicle, and find out whether said insurance is legally mandated like it is in SC or not.

Have my vehicle inspected.

Do I need to switch my license over before registering a vehicle? Is proof of insurance required for registering? When does the inspection need to be done, or is it a totally separate thing?

Thanks very much to any help, in WoW form or not.
posted by lazaruslong to Travel & Transportation around North Carolina (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
posted by birdherder at 11:56 AM on December 18, 2008

Best answer: [2. Trade] [Gnomeloaf]: OMG DOOD READ THE DAMN QUEST LOL!
[2. Trade] [Gnomeloaf]: [Overcharged Capacitor] 40g
[2. Trade] [Arandomdude]: lol overcharged is right =P
posted by gnomeloaf at 12:06 PM on December 18, 2008 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Yes, you need insurance legally. I think you have to get the license first, though. I don't remember. If so, then you'll have to take a side quest between parts 1 and 2 of this answer; otherwise, all your objectives will be met by traveling along the Avenue of Patton in the Asheville of the West. Beware the surly gnomes who work at the counters! Be patient and you will triumph. Oh, and also, this is gonna cost some gold.

1. Go to the DMV on Patton Avenue by the Goodwill and get your license transferred from SC. All you have to do is take the written test; spend your hour in line rereading the book and you'll do fine.
2. Go to the license & tag place on Patton Avenue in the shopping center with Asiana Grand Buffet with your title and proof of insurance and get registration, tags, etc.
3. Go get it inspected pretty much anywhere. In keeping with the Patton Avenue theme, I use the gas station on the corner of Patton & Haywood. Now you are street legal and can resume your usual activities.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:23 PM on December 18, 2008

I recently moved to NC from Michigan and went through HELL to get the car thing sorted out.

In order to get your driver's license, you must have your social security card (not something else with the number on it, but the actual card!), ID, insurance, and proof of your new residence (like a utility bill or lease).

To get new plates for your car you must have an inspection FIRST. The laws on this very recently changed; before you would get your car registered first, then get the inspection. Now you have to have the inspection first (my husband found this out the hard way).

Good luck. NC's whole DMV is the biggest cluster fuck I've ever encountered.
posted by at 1:32 PM on December 18, 2008

I've had a license/registration in 3 states now and NCDMV was the easiest to deal with.

Read what you need on their website and they won't be assholes to you. They have to deal with people coming in who are mad about the line and get to the front and do not have proper documents all the time. From my experience 2 out of 3 people have not taken the time to research what is needed and come in with an entitled sort of attitude and think rules don't apply to them.

mygothlaundry covered it pretty well but instead of looking at the book read over these while you're in line:

they are spot on (wife and I didn't miss a question, ~ 3 months ago)

The place I went to accepted cash only for some reason. FYI!

You need to have your insurance transferred to NC before getting registered, not sure if that was mentioned. It's just a phone call (or do it online, Geico was easy for me to do). The inspection can be done at most oil changing places. The plates were super easy to get for me. NC has plate only offices that have short lines. I was in and out in 6 minutes with registration and plate in hand. If you have all of your stuff together it's really easy to work with them -- their website is pretty easy to follow with bullet points of the things you need.

Good luck.
posted by wolfkult at 2:04 PM on December 18, 2008

I don't have any locale-specific advice, but make sure to read the documentation requirements before you go in. Make sure you bring the right stuff. Bring more than you think you need. That line is long, and it's better to hump around a briefcase full of papers than to have to go home and then start the quest over from the beginning.

Pay special attention to the documents they'll accept to prove place of residence. You'll probably need two pieces. In both PA and WA, I've walked in with a stack of bills, my lease, and banking information. PA took my lease and rejected all but one bill (which was enough). In WA, they said my lease was unacceptable, but accepted a bill that had only my PO box on it--no mention of my physical address--and banking information. In both cases, the documentation requirements just said something like "utility bills, banking information, official documents, etc.".
posted by Netzapper at 2:44 PM on December 18, 2008

Oh, and bring cash and checks. For whatever reason, some states will only take cash, and some states just absolutely refuse to accept legal tender--"for all debts, public and private (except the DMV)". None of them seem to take a credit card.
posted by Netzapper at 2:48 PM on December 18, 2008

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