It’s never good to run around without a title for your vehicle. Vehicle titles contain all of the information from your current or former lienholders, the owner of the vehicle, legal name, and address.
Utilizing the DMV is difficult without it and if you want to sell it, scrap it, or give it away, the process becomes far more complicated without a title.
So, how long does it take to get a duplicate title in NC? Once you submit your application and pay the associated fees—assuming there are no other extenuating circumstances, you can expect to receive your duplicate title in NC within 10 to 15 days. That’s the standard processing time for duplicate titles which doesn’t include an aging period of 15 days.
North Carolina’s Instant Title service applies to standard titlings, such as new titles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to duplicate titles, duplicate titles with transfers, applications via affidavits, and a list of excluded services.
- Emergency Lien Releases (kind of defeats the purpose of the term “emergency”)
- Court orders
- Antique vehicles
- Salvage titles
- Indemnity bonds
- Government 97 titles
- Green slips (L;T Titles)
In other words, the Instant Title process is very narrowly defined and excludes most types of title applications.
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How To Apply For A Duplicate Title In North Carolina
The N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles defines a duplicate title as a title needed when:
- There is a name change via marriage, divorce, legal document, naturalization, or court order.
- Correction of an error on the original title is necessary
- Enough of a modification to the title to necessitate a duplicate title
The process is pretty straightforward and requires a notarized, Corrected, or Substitute Title Application Form MVR – 5. There are also several required documents—some of which are optional or may not apply—that have to be submitted along with the MVR – 5 form:
- Original, Notarized vehicle title (if it is not lost or destroyed)
- Driver’s license or State issued Identification
- Lien Release (if there is an existing error)
- Court order (if there is a name change instead of a court order)
- Naturalization paperwork (if there’s a name change due to court order)
- Odometer reading for vehicles up to ten years old
- Affidavit of Facts MVR – 28 if there were vehicle modifications
The fee for submitting a Corrected or Substitute Title Application Form MVR – 5 is $21.50.
Once the paperwork is filled out, submitted, and the fees are paid, the North Carolina DMV states that duplicate title applications must “age” for fifteen days before processing.
So, you can expect to wait for 15 days before the application is processed before the 10-15 day processing time begins.
While the N.C. DMV doesn’t list an official reason behind the “aging” period, it’s easy to surmise that it has to do with last-minute changes that could crop up, negating the entire process.
How To Apply For A Duplicate Title In NC When The Original Is Lost
Most websites will tell you to fill out an MVR – 4 form, however, that’s no longer the case. Duplicate titles, regardless of the reasoning are applied for using the MVR – 5 form from here on out.
Without a title, you will still have to fill out the MVR – 5 form to apply for a duplicate. It has to be done in person at a local North Carolina DMV office or by mail.
You’ll also need to bring a valid driver’s license, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) from your vehicle, and the processing fee of $21.50.
To apply by mail, send the MVR – 5 form, along with copies of identification to:
3148 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699
Remember, before sending out the MVR – 5 form, it has to be notarized by a certified notary. Don’t send cash in the mail but use a money order or a check to take care of the application fee.
As with all titling done in the State of North Carolina, you’ll have to wait 15 days for the title to age before it is processed in 10 – 15 days.
Transferring A Title In North Carolina
Buying, selling, gifting, or donating a vehicle requires a title transfer. As with duplicate titles, you can transfer titles by mail or in-person at a local NC DMV.
Several requirements must be met before applying for a title transfer:
- North Carolina Temporary Driving Certificate (if you just moved into the state), along with a valid driver’s license
- Signature(s) on existing title must be notarized and have a black ; white copy of each driver’s license associated with the title
- Property taxes on the vehicle have to be paid up and current
- Form MVR – 614 (For new residents)
- Proof of liability (minimum) insurance
Submit these documents either in-person or via mail to the address listed above. If this isn’t a duplicate title, then the transfer title falls under acceptable titles for Instant Title service.
To use the Instant Title service, you have to show up at a local, NC DMV and you can receive a transfer title, over-the-counter, the same day.
The Instant Service title fee is $98 on top of the regular application fee of $20.50, and a 3% Highway Use tax.
If the vehicle is gifted or donated, the Highway Use tax is exempted so long as you fill out the Highway Use Tax Exemption Certificate.
Without the Instant Title service, you can expect the waiting time to be approximately one month—15 day aging period plus a 10 – 15 day processing time.
Duplicate Title Transfer For Inherited Vehicle
The process is pretty standard fare with the exception that you have to bring in proof of the deceased to apply for a duplicate title under your name.
- Death certificate (certified)
- Copy of the Probated Will
- Letters of Administration and Testamentary, or Executor
- Release of Heirs Form MVR – 317 signed and notarized by a certified notary
All of these forms together are sufficient proof of the deceased, the terms of the will, and the vehicle inheritance.
Once the forms are filled out and submitted, expect the typical 30-day waiting period before receiving a certificate of title.
How To Get A NC Duplicate Title With An Owner Removed
It used to be that only one person could be on a vehicle title in the State of North Carolina.
That has since changed, however, and because of that, there had to be a method of removal in cases of divorce, death, or other circumstances.
You can’t just remove somebody from a title without applying for a duplicate title with the name removed.
Also, if the “right of survivorship” wasn’t applied during the titling process and one owner dies, the surviving party only owns half, with the other half subject to the probate court, where the family of the deceased can claim ownership on the other half.
If that sounds like a major headache, that’s because it is. It’s important to make it clear that there is a right of survivorship when titling the vehicle under two names.
If both owners are just fine and one wants to take complete ownership of the vehicle, the other owner has to sign off on the back of the title in the presence of a notary who will then notarize the title.
This notarized title must be submitted when applying for a duplicate with one owner.
Everything else remains the same, as far as the process for applying for a duplicate title, with the lone addition being the signed and notarized original title, or the above-listed documentation for a deceased owner.
Can You Get A Bonded Title In North Carolina?
North Carolina calls them Indemnity Bonds and they are issued by insurance companies in cooperation with the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
You can get a bonded title in N.C. if there is no proof of ownership for the vehicle.
Like bonded title in any state, North Carolina does this to protect itself from any liability should another claimant step forward claiming ownership of a vehicle.
To get a bonded title,
- Obtain an odometer reading
- Inspector’s report
- Requirements for Obtaining Title by Filing an Indemnity Bond Form MVR – 92A
- Indemnity Bond MVR – 92D
- Title Application MVR – 1
- Affidavit of Facts MVR – 92H
Like many other states, when you acquire a bonded title, it will remain in place for a period of three years.
Once three years have elapsed, you can apply for a new title that exclusively lists you as the sole owner of the vehicle.
Acquiring duplicate titles, transfer titles, bonded titles, etc., is a pretty simple process in North Carolina.
Unfortunately, more titling categories don’t fall under North Carolina’s Instant Title Service and, because of that, there is generally a month-long wait for most title applications.
However, there’s a lot of information to be found on the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles website.
Pretty much every form and document that you need to know about is on the site, along with comprehensive instructions on how to file and apply for any sort of title.
So long as you have the appropriate paperwork and keep up with your title, applying for a duplicate title—or any title—through N.C. DMV is simple and efficient. You’ll just have to wait a bit for it to arrive.
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