Around Town

Don’t freak out if your 2016 vehicle registration sticker looks weird

Not so. We’ll all be seeing a lot of both the black and the gray stickers while we wallow in our work commutes this year.

On May 26, 2015, people with license plates associated with new vehicle registrations and renewals started receiving this gray sticker that displays the month and year of expiration. This change eliminates the need for two stickers produced by the DMV: one sticker showing the year and one showing the month. And it doesn’t apply to the limited registration plate sticker.

Know this

– This isn’t NCDOT’s doing. The state legislature ordered the change in 2014 due to a request from the DMV. The change is meant to cut costs for the DMV, possibly by $70,025 per year.

– The 2016 registration renewal fee for passenger vehicles is $36. It was previously $28, according to my receipt.

– The standard fine for driving with expired registration and tags is $215, including court costs, according to the DA’s office.

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 – Drivers are not required to remove the month sticker that is no longer in use on the upper left corner of the plate.


– In 2014, there were nearly 230,000 charges for willfully displaying an expired registration plate on a vehicle.

– “Keep in mind, if you let your registration lapse, that means you are also late with your vehicle property tax, so the county may impose a late fee as well,” said Steve Abbott, NCDOT communications supervisor.

Maybe then you panic and freak out.