NC Weighted Tag Cost, Requirements, Form (Helpful Guide)

Government language is not always clear. Sometimes it is hard to understand what the government is saying because they revert to legalese or special government language. Many questions arise because people are not sure if the regulation applies to them or not. Then not all trailers are vehicles included in the law.

The cost of these tags seems to vary as one person reported paying only $113 for theirs, and another reported paying a different price. It will depend on the weight of the trailer, etc., what your exact costs will be. Also, it seems the requirement applies to trucks only.

To learn more about this requirement in North Carolina, just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to know about, and make sure to double-check with the North Carolina DMV in case any changes occur between now and when you move to the state.

What is a Weighted Tag in NC?


According to the NC statute, a weighted tag is for any self-propelled vehicle and is used for carrying different loads of property. The term property is very broad and can be defined in different ways.

Also, the empty weight of the vehicle and the heaviest load weight of that property is considered when determining the cost of the tags. This also includes the trailer’s weight when empty and the heaviest weight of the property being carried by the trailer.

The weighted tag requirements are a little different from the farmer tag requirements. You should take care to learn the difference and not confuse the two. Then you have to be careful you are not being paid for your hauling services.

If you are, you will then have to get a different tag and pay a different fee. The last word is that the police force of the State cares only if you are using a weighted tag when you are getting paid for the hauling.

The law can be confusing, and you may need a lawyer to translate the details for you.

NC Weighted Tag vs Regular


The former option is for when you are hauling or towing any property unrelated to recreational use. The latter covers the recreational aspect of driving on North Carolina roads.

Then if you have a ‘First in Flight’ tag on your non-commercial, private pickup truck, you can tow/haul up to 9000 pounds. After that amount, you will need to get a weighted tag to haul or tow more than that weight.

For example, if your truck weights 6,000 pounds and pulls a 1,500-pound trailer that has a 4,000-pound boat on it, you would be required to purchase a weighted tag. The total weight in that package reaches 11,500 pounds.

Now, the trailer needs its own license plate on it, and the weighted tag goes on the truck doing the towing or hauling. On top of that, if the load is over 10,000 pounds, you may need a Class A driver’s license. Anything less than that, you can use your standard Class C license.

NC Weighted Tag Chart

We cannot produce the actual chart here as it is a 2 page PDF file, but the best we can do is link it. The link is to the new rates at the time of this writing. Just click here to see the chart.

One owner of a pick-up truck and RV only paid about $25 for the license on his RV and over $500 for the license on his truck because it weighed somewhere around 23,000 pounds.

These fees are assessed because North Carolina does not collect a state sales tax and issues a highway use fee instead. This fee is assessed every time the title transfers to another owner.

That fee is supposed to be levied at the rate of 3% of the vehicle’s value and stops at $250 for new state residents. A house trailer or camper trailer license runs around $15.

Vehicles designated as farm vehicles or the owner as a farmer will pay a lower fee, depending on the vehicle’s weight and the loads that will be carried.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Weighted Tag in North Carolina?


This will depend on the weight of your vehicle, and the rate increases for every 1000 pounds. For example, a 4000-pound vehicle will only pay the minimum of $38.75, while the 5000-pound car owner will pay $56.75. The reason for such a large difference is that the rate for the 4000 pound car is .77 and the rate for the 5000 car is 1.05.

If you look at the chart, you will see that the rate changes every 4 to 5 thousand pounds. For example, a 14,000 to17,000 pound vehicle will pay the rate of 2.02 while the 18,000 to 21,000-pound vehicle will pay a rate of 2.25.

This will raise the cost of your license quite high. Fortunately, the rate increases stop at 2.25, so anything heavier than 18,000 will pay the same rate. The farm rates are about half the rates of the regular or weighted rates.

A 4000-pound vehicle registered as a farm vehicle will only pay a rate of .38 and a minimum of $32.75. The real savings come when your farm vehicle is a lot heavier as the rate for 18,000 pounds and over is only 1.00 instead of 2.25.

Requirements for Weighted Tags in NC

The main requirement that needs to be observed is that any vehicle towing anything other than a camper trailer or RV trailer must have a weighted plate tag. The definition of RV or camping trailers doesn’t include utility or boat trailers.

If your vehicle tows those types of trailers, you will need a weighted plate tag. Right now, the understanding is that these requirements apply to pick-up trucks or other trucks. They do not seem to apply to cars or SUVs.

But that can always change if the government decides to make such changes. Again, you should be towing over 9,000 pounds to qualify for the weighted tag fees. Also, do not forget that if you are towing over 10,000 no camping pounds, you will need a Class A license.

If you have any questions or want to see if there are any changes to these requirements, you need to contact the NC DMV and ask them directly. They should be able to explain all the fine print and details to you in a way that is easy to understand.

NC Weighted Tag Form


The form seems to be straightforward to understand., You will need to place the legal owner’s name of the vehicle or vehicles you want to register for the weighted tag.

There is a spot for license plate number, category, and use, as well as a spot for the weight to go. It says ‘weight declared’ and underneath that is the standard government warning and a place to sign your name.

You can view the form at this link and download it if you need to print it off. If you need other NC DMV forms, then you should click this link and go through the list of downloadable forms the government of that state requires for different vehicle purposes.

Making sure you have access to the right forms will speed up any red tape you have to do with the state government. Just make sure you know which form you need and click on the right button. After that, be sure to fill out the correct information, so you do not have any problems down the road.

NC Weighted Tag Laws

If you are looking for a specific statute, then this is the one that covers the weighted tag requirement North Carolina regulations follow: 20 88. Property hauling vehicle and we will only quote the law in part:

“(a) Determination of Weight. - For the purpose of licensing, the weight of self-propelled property-carrying vehicles shall be the empty weight and heaviest load to be transported, as declared by the owner or operator; provided, that any determination of weight shall be made only in units of 1,000 pounds or major fraction thereof, weights of over 500 pounds counted as 1,000 and weights of 500 pounds or less disregarded.”

The statute does cover the fees that will be assessed under this statute: “(b) The following fees are imposed on the annual registration of self-propelled property hauling vehicles; the fees are based on the type of vehicle and its weight: SCHEDULE OF WEIGHTS AND RATES Rates Per Hundred Pound Gross Weight Farmer Rate Not over 4,000 pounds $0.29 4,001 to 9,000 pounds inclusive .40 9,001 to 13,000 pounds inclusive .50 13,001 to 17,000 pounds inclusive .68 Over 17,000 pounds .77 Rates Per Hundred Pound Gross Weight General Rate Not over 4,000 pounds $0.59 4,001 to 9,000 pounds inclusive .81 9,001 to 13,000 pounds inclusive 1.00 13,001 to 17,000 pounds inclusive 1.36 Over 17,000 pounds 1.54”

Can You Personalize a Weighted License Plate in NC?


According to the NC DMV, only standard and specialized plates may be personalized. There was no mention of being able to personalize weighted plate tags. You can check the web pages that discuss this issue at this link.

The definition of the standard plate is given on this web page, and you can explore the other categories starting at that web page through the different links provided. In the images of the weighted tags that we were able to find, none were personalized.

In other words, it is most likely that you cannot personalize weighted tags but ask the NC DMV anyways to see if there will be any exceptions made or if any changes are coming soon.

It never hurts to ask, and you can also get a very good reason as to why they do not allow personalized plates for this class of tags. Each state has its own rules regarding personalizing license plates, and one state’s rules do not apply to another state.

Click here to find more laws on licensing a car in NC. It also lists the many different specialty plates the state allows vehicles to carry.

NC Weighted Tag Renewal

The web page stating the renewal process doesn’t make a special mention of weighted plates. It does say that a notice will be sent out 2 months in advance to make sure you have time to save up and schedule a time to go to the local DMV office and renew your tags.

Also, your vehicle will need to go through a safety and or emissions test within 90 days of renewal. Some waivers are available. All the links you need to answer your questions should be found on that web page. Just click here to get to it.

If your car fails the emissions test, you can get a temporary plate that gives you time to get to another emission testing center to see if the problem has been corrected.

Some Final Words

States are great at creating many red tapes to fill out and many hoops to jump through. North Carolina is no exception to the government bureaucracy that seems to slow life down no matter where you live in the country.

Making sure you have the right tags is important if you want to tow different types of trailers. While statutes can be clear as mud, they do hold the key information you need to know in order to get the right tags.

Sometimes you just need a translator to help you grasp what the legalize is saying.

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