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Getting Started

Posted: Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

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Government Information

Catawba County
828-465-8200
www.catawbacountync.gov

Charlotte-Mecklenburg
704-336-7600
www.charmeck.org

Cornelius
704-892-6031
www.cornelius.org

Davidson
704-892-7591
www.ci.davidson.nc.us

Huntersville
704-875-6541
www.huntersville.org

Iredell County
704-878-3000
www.co.iredell.nc.us

Lincoln County
704-736-8432
www.lincolncounty.org

Mooresville
704-663-3800
www.ci.mooresville.nc.us

Statesville
704-878-3583
www.ci.statesville.nc.us

Troutman
704-528-7600
www.townoftroutman.org

Driver’s Licenses

All new residents who plan to drive must obtain an N.C. driver’s license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence. Most newcomers, unless they drive commercial vehicles, will want a Class C license, which permits operation of personal cars and small trucks. If you drive a motorcycle, you’ll also need a motorcycle endorsement. Licensed drivers who are 16 or 17 years old must present proof of completion of a state-approved driver education course in their former state; otherwise, they receive a temporary license pending completion of the course here.

N.C. driver’s licenses are good for up to five years. To get a license, apply in person at a driver’s license office and take the vision, sign recognition and written tests. It’ll help to study the “Driver’s Handbook,” available at DMV offices or check the Web site below.

When you apply, present your current out-of-state license or two other accepted forms of ID, as well as proof of liability insurance from an insurer licensed in North Carolina. You’ll also need to supply your Social Security number.

The cost of a license will depend on how many years the license is good for. A Class C license costs $4 per year. You must pass a road skills test on your motorcycle to receive the motorcycle endorsement.

For more information on N.C. driver’s license and motor vehicle registration rules, call DMV at 919-715-7000. You can access recorded information 24 hours a day using a touch-tone telephone. Or check the DMV Web site at www.ncdot.org/dmv.

Driver’s License Offices

6016 Brookshire Blvd.,Charlotte
704-392-3266

8446 N. Tryon St., Charlotte
704-547-5786

905 Carolina Ave. N., Statesville
704-878-4220

533 Patterson Ave., Suite 100, Mooresville
704-664-3344

1450 N. Aspen St., Lincolnton
704-735-6923

1033 Smyre Farm Road, Newton
828-466-5516

1158 Lenoir-Rhyne Blvd. S.E., Hickory
828-326-9126

Motor Vehicle Registration

You must register your vehicle before the reciprocity agreement between North Carolina and your former state expires (usually 30 days). Registration is renewed annually.

To register your vehicle, apply in person at a license plate agency and present your title (unless title is held by a lien holder) and a valid North Carolina Driver’s License or a valid North Carolina identification card. If a lien holder holds your title, you must provide the lien holder’s name and address on a state form for title release. You also must present proof of vehicle liability insurance at or above minimum standards (see driver’s license information for the list of acceptable documents).

Payment due when you receive N.C. registration includes title fee, $40; registration fee, $15; and highway use tax, which is 3 percent of the value of your vehicle.

You also must get a vehicle safety and emissions inspection within 10 days of receiving your N.C. license plate. This costs $30 and can be done at any state-authorized inspection station. Inspection is required annually.

Vehicle and License Plate Renewal Offices

6016 Brookshire Blvd., Charlotte
704-399-8306

121 W. Water St., Statesville
704-873-3185

125-3 N. Main St., Mooresville
704-663-5472

646 Clark Drive, Lincolnton
704-735-0018

803 W. Conover Blvd., Newton
828-464-6878

901 U.S. 321 N., Hickory
828-328-3783

Property Taxes

Rates for fiscal 2010-11 (end June 30, 2011). All rates per $100 assessed valuation.

Catawba County: $0.535
Iredell County: $0.445
Lincoln County: $0.57
Mecklenburg County: $0.8387

Charlotte: $0.4586
Cornelius: $0.275
Davidson: $0.365
Huntersville: $0.29
Mooresville: $0.58
Statesville: $0.38
Troutman: $0.43

Rates are established in May or June of each year in conjunction with annual budget preparation. Depending on where you live, you may owe taxes to a combination of governments – for example, both Mecklenburg County and the city where you live. The list above doesn’t include some extra taxes and fees you may have to pay, such as fire district, special development district and solid-waste fees. So your total tax rate may be higher than the figures listed above.

Local property taxes are assessed annually on real property, including homes, cars and boats. Bills for homes, land and the like are mailed in September and are payable without penalty by the date specified in early January. Cars are handled differently. The state generates a list of motorists who receive motor vehicle licenses and forwards that information to the county, which generates property tax bills on the vehicles a few weeks later. Those fees are due just a few weeks after receipt of the bills.

For further tax information, call the tax office in your county: Mecklenburg, 704-336-4600; Iredell, 704-878-3000; Catawba, 828-465-8414; Lincoln, 704-736-8542.

Voter Registration

To be eligible to vote in North Carolina, you must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen, a legal resident of the state and county where you register, and a resident of your precinct for at least 30 days prior to the election you wish to vote in.

To register to vote, pick up a registration form from one of the locations listed below, fill it out completely and mail it to the address on the form.

Your registration card will be mailed to you. Forms are available at individual county offices. The North Carolina State Board of Elections number is 866-522-4723.

The Web site for the N.C. Board of Elections is www.sboe.state.nc.us.

Mecklenburg County Board of Elections
741 Kenilworth Ave., Suite 202, Charlotte
704-336-2133
www.meckboe.org

Iredell County Elections Office
203 Stockton St. B-1, Statesville
704-878-3140
www.co.iredell.nc.us/Departments/Elections/election.asp

Lincoln County Board of Elections
115 W. Main St., Lincolnton
704-736-8480
www.lincolncounty.org

Catawba County Board of Elections
100A Southwest Blvd., Newton
828-464-2424
www.catawbacountync.gov/depts/elect

Chambers of Commerce

Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce

19900 W. Catawba Ave., Suite 101

Cornelius, NC 28031

704-892-1922

www.lakenormanchamber.org

Mooresville/South Iredell Chamber of Commerce

149 E. Iredell Ave.

Mooresville, NC 28115

704-664-3898

www.mooresvillenc.org

Lincoln Economic Development Association

704-732-1511

www.lincolneda.org

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