Important Information

Local tip: "Call The Beach Butler if you want to forgo buying and lugging your own beach chairs, umbrellas, etc. to the beach!" – Mel O.

Homestead Tax Deferral:
Tax deferral is designed to help taxpayers whose income is low relative to the amount of real estate tax due on their residence. With the deferral plan, taxpayers may defer all or part of their taxes, with interest accruing on the deferred amount until it's paid. The deferral becomes a lien on the property. Several conditions must be met to defer taxes. 

North Carolina defers a portion of the property taxes on the appraised value of a permanent residence owned and occupied by a North Carolina resident who has owned and occupied the property at least five years, is at least 65 years of age, or is totally and permanently disabled, and whose income does not exceed $31,000. If the owner’s income is $31,000 or less, then the portion of property taxes imposed on the residence that exceeds 4 percent of the owner’s income may be deferred. If the owner’s income is more than $31,000 but does not exceed 150 percent of the income eligibility limit, which is $46,500 for the 2020 tax year, the owner’s taxes that exceed 5 percent of the owner’s income may be deferred.

Disabled Veterans
This program excludes up to the first $45,000 of the appraised value of the permanent residence of a disabled veteran. This benefit is also available to a surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of either 1) a disabled veteran as defined above, 2) a veteran who died as a result of a service-connected condition whose character of service at separation was honorable or under honorable conditions, or 3) a service member who died from a service-connected condition in the line of duty and not as a result of a willful misconduct. 

You must apply for the opportunity to defer property taxes each and every year that you wish to defer taxes. The application may be obtained from the county tax department, and it must be filed with the county assessor by June 1.

Hunting/Fishing License:
A number of options are available to resident anglers and hunters. Specific sport licenses, combination licenses, as well as annual, five-year, and lifetime licenses are available. For more information regarding hunting/fishing, visit:

Understanding Your Property Tax Bill: 
The value of all real property is determined as of January 1 of the year of the most recent countywide reappraisal. The county’s last reappraisal was effective January 1, 2015. Any inflation, deflation or other economic changes occurring after this date do not affect the assessed value of the property and cannot be lawfully considered when reviewing the value. The January 1, 2015, values remain in effect until the next countywide revaluation, which is currently scheduled to become effective January 1, 2020.

Property value changes over time, and must be adjusted periodically to maintain balance and equity. To ensure that balance and equity are maintained, North Carolina requires real property be reappraised on a cycle that maintains an acceptable Sales Ratio of 10 percent or less (the percentage of the difference between the average sales price and its assessed value) and that the cycle does not exceed eight years. Real estate values shall reflect the market value of properties at the time of the last reappraisal. Real property values usually increase over time; however, not all properties increase at the same rate, and some property values may decrease. Due to these changes, a reappraisal process is necessary to reflect market value and maintain equity and balance. Because there is such a volatile real estate market, reappraisal for Carteret County is done every four years.

Tax bills for real and personal property are mailed to all Carteret County property owners in July or August of each year.Taxes are due on September 1 each year. Payment without interest may be made through January 5. If you do not receive your bill, or have questions regarding your bill, call the Carteret County Tax Office: 252-728-8485. 

Beach Driving Permits:
During the "off season," many Crystal Coast beaches allow residents to apply for permits to drive on the beach. Each town has its own rules, regulations, and permit applications, so be sure to look them up. The Town of Emerald Isle allows seasonal beach driving from September 15-April 30, dawn until dusk, and the Town of Atlantic Beach allows it October 1-March 15. The permit decal must be permanently affixed and displayed on the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side of the vehicle to which it is issued. Annual passes start at $50. Applications and more information can be found on the town's websites.

Voter Registration:
Carteret County Board of Elections
1702 Live Oak St., Suite 200, Beaufort
(252) 728-8460

Driver's License and Vehicle Registration:
Department of Motor Vehicles
5347 Hwy. 70 W., Morehead City
(252) 726-5586
Monday-Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

After obtaining a NC driver's license, new residents must register their vehicle at a local license plate agency, as soon as possible. For a list of necessary documents needed, visit:

License Plate Agency
319 W. Main St., Havelock
(252) 447-3097

3025 Bridges St., Morehead City
(252) 726-7695

Post Offices:
Swansboro Post Office
664 W. Corbett Ave., Swansboro

Emerald Isle Post Office
142 Eastview Dr., Emerald Isle

Atlantic Beach Post Office
1516 W. Fort Macon Rd., Atlantic Beach

Morehead City Post Office
3500 Bridges St., Morehead City

Beaufort Post Office
1903 Live Oak St., Beaufort 

Newport Post Office
337 Howard Blvd., Newport

Havelock Post Office
133 U.S. Hwy. 70 W., Havelock 

Court House:
Carteret County Courthouse
300 Court House Sq., Beaufort
(252) 504-4400
Monday-Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm