Licenses and Voting Outer Banks

licenses outer banks voting

Photo Courtesy of Skeeter Sawyer.

Drivers License & Automobile Registration

All new residents of North Carolina who plan to operate a motor vehicle in this state must obtain a driver's license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence. To apply, you must appear in person at one of the state's driver license offices and take the required tests. Motor vehicle laws vary from state to state. Therefore, you are encouraged to become familiar with North Caroina's license requirements and traffic laws by reading the DMV Drivers Handbook a study guide that will familiarize you with the driving rules of the state. The DMV Driver's Handbook is available on-line at as well as at all driver license offices or you can write the SMB Driver License office at 1100 New Bern Avenue, Raleigh, NC 27697-001.

Licenses can be obtained: In Nags Head 2808 South Croatan Highway, Nags Head  (252) 475-3712.

Mobile Unit Schedule - Dare County:

Kill Devil Hills - EMS Station 1
1632 N. Croatan Hwy
3rd Monday and Tuesday, Monday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Tuesday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Hatteras - EMS Station 1
Hatteras Civic Center
NC Highway 12
1st Wednesday & Thursday, Wednesday 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

In Currituck County, licenses are issued by N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles on Highway 17 South in Elizabeth City. (252) 331-4776.

Mobile Unit Schedule - Currituck County:

Currituck - Old Currituck Courthouse
2nd Friday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Mobile Unit Schedule - Ocracoke Island:

Ocracoke - Community Center
Highway 12
1st Friday 8:15 am - 11:30 am Year Round.

Requirements For NC Drivers License

Resident for 30 days
Pass a Written Exam
Pass a Vision Test
Cost: Licenses are renewed every five years (after age 20) at $15.00 ($3.00 per year)

Automobile registration and license tags must be obtained within 30 days of becoming a North Carolina resident from the: North Carolina License Plate Agency located: on Highway 64 (inside Island Pharmacy in the Chesley Mall). Hours are 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 & 1:30 - 5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday (252) 473-3926 or at 1164, US Highway 17 South in Elizabeth City. Hours: Weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (252) 338-6965.

When registering and titling your vehicle fee of $36 and a registration fee of $20 for private passenger automobiles is due in order to obtain a license plate and validation decals. When registering and titling a private truck under 4,000 pounds, a registration fee of $21.50 is due in order to obtain a license plate and validation decals. License plate fees for other types of vehicles are based upon plate classification. For Commercial Plate fees, call (919) 715-7000.

The minimum requirements of liability insurance for a private passenger vehicle is $30,000 for bodily injury for one person; $60,000 property damage. North Carolina law requires each company to notify the DMV when coverage has ben cancelled.

Boater Registrations are required on all boats with motors and sailboats 14 feet or greater. Forms are obtained from marine or tackle shops. For more information, contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission at (919)733-3391.

Fishing License. Anglers using a hook-and-line are not required to have a license; however, recreational fishermen using commercial gear will be required to have a Recreational Commercial Gear License. The Recreational Commercial Gear License is an annual license that allows recreational fishermen to use limited amounts of commercial gear to harvest seafood for their personal consumption. Seafood harvested under this license cannot be sold. Fishermen using this license will be held to recreational size and possession limits. Unlicensed individuals can assist in fishing, but at least one person must have this license if any commercial gear is used. If on a vessel, the number of recreational possession limits of fish allowed is equal to the number of licensed holders aboard the vessel. This license cannot be transferred or assigned.

Cost: $35 for NC Residents, $250 Non-residents
Expiration Date: One Year from the Date of Purchase

You are not required to have a license for recreational saltwater fishing in North Carolina but this law will change in 2006. The NC Division of Marine Fisheries will administer the new saltwater license. For more information, call 1-800-682-2632 or contact the local Wanchese Field office, P.O. Box 539, 604 Harbor Road, Wanchese, NC 27981. (252)473-5734.

Hunting and Trapping Regulationscan be obtained from the Clerk to the Currituck County Game Commision, Box 137A, Knotts Island, NC 27950. (252)429-3017.

All licensed hunters hunting migratory game birds (dove, rails, woodcock, stripe or waterfowl) in North Carolina are required to have certification in the Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). Certification can be obtained free of charge from any Wildlife Service Agent when you purchase a hunting license. For more information about fishing and hunting licenses in N.C., visit or call 1-88-2HUNTFISH (1-888-248-6834). Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm (Please have your Visa or MasterCard number ready for telephone orders.)

Dog Licensesare renewable January 1 each year at the Dare County Animal Shelter (475-5620), satellite county offices in Kill Devil Hills or Buxton, or Currituck County Humane Society (453-6807). Proof of rabies vaccination is required and the license fee is reduced for spayed or neutered dogs. Some towns also require a town license including the Town of Kill Devil Hills and Town of Kitty Hawk. Animals are required to wear tags at all times.

Boater Registration

What Boats to Register in NC:
All motorized boats.
Any sailboat longer than14 feet.
Any titled boat (titling is optional).

What Not to Register:
Non-motorized rowboats.
Non-motorized canoes.
Non-motorized rafts.

Boats documented with the U.S. Coast Guard.
Ships' lifeboats, if only used for emergency purposes.
Any type of boat used only on a private pond.
Any boat registered in another state and not kept in North Carolina for more than 90 consecutive days.

For forms, pricing and other registration information, visit: 

Voter Registration

You may register to vote if you are:

1. A U.S. Citizen
2. 18 years of age or older by the date of the next election; and
3. A legally domiciled resident of the county in which you are registering by the date of the next elec- tion. A person convicted of a felony whose citizenship rights have been restored may reg- ister to vote if he or she meets the above requirements.

Where to Register?

Board of Elections Offices
Town Halls
Dare & Currituck County Libraries
Division of Motor Vehicles
Social Services Departments
Mental Health Offices
North Carolina Employment Security Commission Office

To vote in any election, you must be registered at least 25 days before the election. Registered voters will be assigned a voting place within their precinct. Absentee and curbside voting is available for those who qualify. You must correct the registration if you: change your name or address, or wish to change your party affiliation.

For more information, call the Dare County Board of Elections at (252)475-5630, the Currituck County Board of Elections at (252)232-2525, or Hyde County Board of Elections at (252)926-4194.

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