Top 10: License plate office still closed going into 2020

Published 4:15 pm Friday, December 27, 2019

The closing of the Beaufort County license plate agency, and the ongoing search for a contractor to provide the service, is the No. 4 top story of 2019.

Going into 2020, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is finalizing a new contractor to run the new LPA for Beaufort County. The search for a new contractor to operate the service has been a yearlong process, but there has been progress in the past month.

“DMV has decided on a new contractor to operate the license plate agency on Beaufort County,” wrote DMV Communications Officer John Brockwell Friday. “However, because the contract with the new operator has still not been signed, we cannot provide the name of the individual or group at this time. We will be able to do so once the contract becomes legal.”

Last December, the DMV issued a call for applicants to operate the agency in Beaufort County when longtime managers Jesse and Peggy Rawls decided to retire. The two closed the doors of the Market Street tag office May 31 after providing license plate services for 37 years.

At the time, the DMV estimated the tag office would be reopened by July, giving a new contractor enough time to complete the training required to run the new tag office. But, as July came and went, the new contractor hit a snag ­­— not being able to find real estate for an office.

That search was still ongoing in August, at which point the DMV estimated the tag office could be opened before the end of 2019. But then, in October, the process of soliciting applicants to run the tag office began anew because the prospective operator couldn’t find a place to operate. With a deadline of November, the DMV received a number of applications to provide the service, including one from the City of Washington.

In October, the latest estimate was 4 to 6 months before a new location could be operational, placing the new tag office opening sometime in the spring of 2020.

In the meantime, services can still be accessed online at For in-person services, the NCDMV suggests visiting following locations in the vicinity of Beaufort County:

Greenville, 2462 Statonsburg Road, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., 252-756-5099

Williamston, 305 East Main St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 252-789-4560

Plymouth, 101 Forest Road, Suite C, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 5 p.m., 252-793-2063

Farmville, 3672 N. Main St., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, 252-753-6726

New Bern, 2505 Neuse Blvd., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 252-637-4524

Tarboro, 201 Saint Andrew St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 252-641-6684

Alliance, 13580 N.C. Highway 55 E., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 252-745-0695

All locations are open Mondays through Fridays, with the exceptions noted above.