The Sylva License Plate Agency (Tag Office) at 454 East Main Street in Sylva closed December 15, 2023. The Jackson County License Plate Agency is expected to open March 2024 at Skyland Services Center, 876 Skyland Drive in Sylva. In the meantime, three nearby license plate agencies offer service Monday through Friday:

Bryson City, 101 Mitchell St., from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Waynesville, 80 Waynesville Plaza, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Franklin, 353 Westgate Plaza, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Many vehicle services can be completed online, including property tax payments and registration renewals. To get started, please visit MyNCDMV.gov.  

Appraisal and Assessment

Individuals or businesses owning or possessing motor vehicles registered with the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV). All vehicles not annually registered with the NCDMV, have multi-year tags, or have International Registration Plan (IRP) plates must be listed as individual personal property annually in the month of January. 

Tag & Tax Together Program

In 2005, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law to create a combined motor vehicle registration renewal and property tax collection system. The law transfers responsibility of motor vehicle tax collection to the NCDMV. This new Tag & Tax Together program was designed as a convenient way to pay annual vehicle tag renewals and property taxes in one transaction.

Beginning with renewal notices mailed in July 2013 and due in September 2013, your registration renewal and property tax will be due the same month each year. The NCDMV will send a combined notice that includes both the vehicle registration fee and property taxes. You will not be permitted to renew your tag without paying all taxes owed on the vehicle.

Paying the Combined Tag & Tax Notice

Payment for the Tag & Tax Together notice CANNOT be made at the county tax office. Payments sent to the county tax office cannot be processed and delay the renewal process. You will pay both the registration fee and property taxes to the NCDMV using one of these three payment options:

The NCDMV can be contacted at (919) 715-7000 or (919) 814-1779.

Motor Vehicle Values

Motor vehicles are valued by year, make, and model in accordance with the North Carolina Vehicle Valuation Manual. Values are based on the retail level of trade for property tax purposes. A motor vehicle offered for sale by a dealer to the end consumer represents the best example of the retail level of trade. For a new issuance, the appraised value is the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). For renewals, the appraised value is the average retail value or the MSRP less depreciation.  

Licensed motor vehicles are not valued at wholesale, blue book, or private party asking price for property tax purposes. Sales transactions between private buyers and sellers and internet valuation lookup websites typically reflect these levels of trade.

Tag Turn In

If you have turned in a license plate at the License Plate Agency you may be eligible to receive a partial refund of taxes paid. Please email, mail, or hand deliver your receipt (FS20) to the Tax Assessor’s Office. You must submit your receipt (FS20) within one (1) year of surrendering the license plate. 

Motor Vehicles Exemptions

The following may qualify for an exemption of the motor vehicle property tax:

  • Vehicles owned by active duty, non-resident military personnel who are in North Carolina on military orders but do not claim North Carolina as their home of record. Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
  • Vehicles that the United States government gives to veterans on account of disabilities they suffered in World War II, the Korean Conflict, or the Vietnam Era. § 105-275(5)
  • Vehicles owned by a disabled veteran that is altered with special equipment to accommodate a service-connected disability. § 105-275(5a)
  • Vehicles offered at retail for short-term lease or rental that are owned or leased by an entity engaged in the business of leasing of rental vehicles to the general public for short-term lease or rental. § 105-275(42)
  • Vehicles located on lands held in trust by the United States for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. § 105-275(48)
  • Vehicles wholly and exclusively owned and used for religious, educational, charitable, scientific, or literary purposes. § 105-278.3 – 105-278.7

Appeal Information

Value adjustments may be necessary if the owner can document:

  • High mileage
  • Significant body or frame damage
  • Excessively worn interior
  • Other damage that may significantly reduce the retail value

Normal wear and tear will not be considered. 

Documentation that will be considered includes a copy of the bill of sale documenting the purchase price from a local dealer, a written appraisal performed by a dealer that clearly states the appraisal reflects the retail value as of the January 1 of the year in which the taxes are due, for vehicles less than eight years old, documentation of high mileage from an annual inspection, oil change or other invoice, repair estimates for vehicles that have been significantly damaged. 

Documentation that will not be considered includes wholesale or blue book values pulled from any internet valuation website, magazine, or catalog, a trade-in or wholesale value appraisal from a dealer, written offers from a dealer to purchase your vehicle, a bill of sale from a private seller.

Value appeals and all supporting documentation must be postmarked within thirty (30) days of the due date printed on the notice. 

For additional information contact Sherman Fowler at (828) 586-7541 or shermanfowler@jacksonnc.org

Property Tax Receipts 

Tag and Tax Together Program

AV-10V Motor Vehicle Exemption Application 

AV-66 Antique Automobile Value Exclusion Application 

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