Military Exemption

Military Installation and Active Duty Military Personal Property Tax Exemption

  • North Carolina counties and municipalities levy a tax on motor vehicles, boats, airplanes, jet skis, motorcycles and mobile homes.
  • If you purchase or register a vehicle in North Carolina, property taxes are added to the registration fee.  If you do not claim North Carolina as your home of record, the Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides that the property tax may be released if you furnish to our office a current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES).
  • You may also qualify for release of the property tax if you reside in certain areas of the base that are considered within exclusive federal jurisdiction regardless of your home of record.  A copy of your base housing lease agreement may be required for verification.
  • If your vehicle is titled in your name and another owner, you will be responsible for the tax based upon one-half (1/2) of its retail value.  However, the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act (MSRRA) also exempts qualifying military spouses from property taxes on their ownership interest in taxable personal property.  In order to qualify, the military spouse must provide proof of having had established and maintained a domicile in the same state as the military member.  In order to receive the exemption, military spouses must provide a copy of their Dependent Military ID, the military member’s LES, and a driver’s license or other document showing proof of residency in the military member’s state of residence.  We may not accept a birth certificate, marriage license, an income tax return, or a W-2 form.
  • Regardless of the exemption for personal property tax, military service members are not exempt from the North Carolina Highway Use Tax (HUT) that is collected when the vehicle is registered in this state.
  • The tax office will require that you furnish a current LES at the time of the registration renewal to ensure that you are still eligible for the exemption.
  • Exemptions cannot be claimed on leased vehicles unless they have a tax situs on a military base in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction.
  • If a military service member or qualifying spouse pays the property tax on a vehicle at registration renewal and later determines that the property tax could have been exempted, please contact our office to request a possible refund.
  • Please email exemption requests to tax@cravencountync.gov. Be sure to include your North Carolina license plate number that is assigned to the vehicle.

Military and Base Exempt Flyer(click to enlarge)

If you have any questions regarding this or any other property tax matter, you are encouraged to contact the Craven County Tax Office at 252-636-6604.  Our office is located at 226 Pollock Street in New Bern, NC.  We look forward to assisting you.