Moving to Southport? Newly arrived? This is for you.

Resident Information

Come for a day and you’ll stay for a lifetime. The quaint historic City of Southport is an ideal choice for any relocating individual, family or business. City of Southport area businesses and residents enjoy an unparalleled quality of life. Southern hospitality, a rich history, natural beauty, warm weather and year-round activities and events, are just a few of the reasons many are happy to call the area home.

Melynda Dovel Wilcox said it best in a 1992 Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine article entitled “Retirement Spots That Feel Like Home.” About the Southport-Oak Island Area she wrote:

“an authentic community with school buses, college students, working families – instead of planned communities of look-alike houses. Quiet streets instead of congested mall parking lots, changing seasons rather than endless summers and a chance to stand out and be different rather than blend in with the other retirees…also a low-to-moderate cost of living.”

Following is information we hope make your move a little easier.

Licenses and Registrations

Automobile Registration

To change an out-of-state title, an owner must show the title, registration, and insurance policy number and declare the mileage on the vehicle and fill out MVIR-1 Title Application. For a new title, proof of insurance coverage and mileage information is required. State annual registration license fee is $28 per private passenger vehicle. Please see website for more specific information on automobile registration.

Driver’s License

New drivers must take written, vision, sign and road tests. Bring a certified copy of birth certificate and one other official document showing your age. Out-of-state drivers must take written, vision and sign tests, and possibly a road test, and surrender their old licenses. Proof of liability insurance DL 123 is required for any first time licenses in North Carolina or anyone renewing his license who has had a traffic conviction within the past four years.

Shallotte DMV Office
5300 Main Street
Shallotte, NC 28470
(910) 754-4591 (Registration)
(910) 754-5114 (Drivers License)

NC Driver’s License Applications – For customers applying for a NC driver’s license or transferring Out-of-State Driver’s License (OSDL), needs to have the following documents:

  • Two forms of governmental ID’s
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of insurance

NC ID Card Applications – For customers applying for NC identification card (ID) needs to have the following documents:

  • Two forms of governmental ID’s
  • Proof of residency

Duplicate Licenses – For customers requesting a duplicate of DL or ID card need NOT have those documents because they are already in the NC DMV database.

Southport DMV Location and Times – 

The Southport DMV Office will be closed during July and August and will reopen in September with their regular schedule.

NC DMV is located at the Fire Substation, 111 E. Nash St. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, the first full week of the month from 9 am to 4:30 pm.

Golf Carts – see links below for registration requirements, required safety features, operation regulations, and penalties upon violation of ordinance. 

Voter Registration

Newcomers must register 25 days prior to elections, be 18 years of age or older, be a resident of North Carolina and the county in which you live for at least 30 days prior to election and a U.S.Citizen. Stop by the Board of Elections, Public Library or Chamber of Commerce Office and pick up the NC Voter Registration Application. Fill out the form and return it to the Board of Elections Office in person at the Brunswick Government Complex, mail it to the address below.

NOTE: You may also register to vote when you get your North Carolina Driver’s License

Pet License

Southport – Annual tags are required and are available online at and at City Hall.  Please, click here for more information.
Brunswick County – Not required
State requires valid Rabies Tag

Senior Resources

Brunswick Senior Center
Address: 1513 N Howe St Suite #1, Southport, NC 28461
Hours: 8AM–4PM, Monday – Friday
Phone: (910) 754-2300

Brunswick Senior Resources, Inc.

Smart Home Technology for Seniors

Social Security Administration

Senior Living Transportation Guide


Electric, Water, Sewer

Within City Limits of Southport and surrounding areas (including Smithville Woods), contact the Finance Department, City of Southport – 1029 N Howe  Street, (910) 457-7900.  


Internet Service

Cable & Satellite Services

Trash Removal

Home Security Providers

Request for Utility Service

(1). Original Application for Service: Any customer requesting service must complete an application for utility service. The customer will sign the application and provide the following: Driver’s license or Photo I.D., Social Security number (or Federal Tax ID number for a business account), deed/settlement statement, lease agreement, or written authorization from landlord.

(2). Joint Application: The City recognizes a joint application for utility service which allows credit to be established for both husband and wife. A separate application is required; if more than one connection is requested.

(3). Time Of Application: The City will strive to meet customers’ needs for connection of service. Normal connection will be made the same day as the request if submitted by 12:00 p.m.

(4). Short-Term Services (Clean Up or Show): There is a charge for this service. See fee schedule attachment.

(5). Application Fee: The customer shall pay a NON-REFUNDABLE application fee to begin utility service. See fee schedule attachment.

(6). Prior Debts: The City of Southport may not provide utility service to an applicant who is indebted to the City for service previously furnished until all indebtedness has been satisfied.

(7). Customer Deposits: The customer shall pay a deposit to begin utility service. Deposits are based on information obtained from credit reports through Experian.

(9). Commercial Customers: Commercial Customer Applicants will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

(10). Good Credit History: Is defined as no late fees, delinquent charges, extensions, bad checks, or involuntary disconnections.

(11). Future Deposits: Any customer whose service is involuntarily terminated for either non-payment, meter tampering, or other reasons may be required to pay an additional cash deposit prior to reconnecting service.

(12). Refund of Deposits: Deposits will be refunded promptly to the customer when service is voluntarily discontinued. The deposit will be applied to the customer’s outstanding balance on the final bill. Any remaining deposit will automatically be refunded to the customer. The deposit will not be refunded if the customer has another account with a past due balance. Any remaining credit on the account will be transferred to the other account(s).

(13). Requesting Deposit Refund: The customer may request their deposit be refunded after 2 years of service with a good credit history. (See Good Credit History above).

Additional Information and Applications


The Brunswick County Public School System

School Registration: (910) 253-2900

Southport Elementary School – Pre K-5
South Brunswick Middle School – 6-8
South Brunswick High School – 9-12
Bolivia Elementary School – K-5
Brunswick Academy – 7-12
Virginia Williamson Elementary – K-5

Brunswick Community College (Main)

50 College Road
Bolivia, NC 28422
(910) 755-7300

University of North Carolina Wilmington

601 College Road
Wilmington, NC
(910) 395-3000



J.A. Dosher Memorial Hospital
924 N. Howe Street
Southport, NC  28461
(910) 457-3800

Brunswick Novant Medical Center
240 Hospital Drive NE
Bolivia, NC  28422
(910) 721-1000


Real Property Tax

Real Property Tax – The 2007-08 state average in rural areas of North Carolina is .6528 cents per $100 valuation with $1.085 combined county, city, district. The tax rate for Brunswick County includes all school funding but an additional 4 cents per $100 of property value is added to homes in Smithville Township as a Hospital Tax. Excluded from property taxes are manufacturers’ inventories, contractors inventories, retail and wholesale merchants inventories.

  • Tax Rates- Per $100 Valuation as of 2011
  • Bald Head Island – .6663
  • Boiling Spring Lakes – .2100
  • Bolivia – .0500
  • Brunswick County – .4850
  • Caswell Beach – .2400
  • Oak Island – .3100
  • St. James – .0500
  • Southport – .2956
  • Smithville Township Hospital Tax – .0400 (for Dosher Hospital)

Personal Property Tax

When moving into Brunswick County you must declare your personal property with the Brunswick County Tax Office. They will give you a form on which you must register any motors, non-registered motor vehicles, single wide mobile homes, watercraft, mopeds, boats and airplanes. Your registered vehicles are subject to this tax but they will be declared when you register the vehicle. Items are depreciated. Some items may qualify for an exemption so ask for details.

For more information on Real Estate and Personal Property Taxes:
Brunswick County Tax Office: (800) 527-9001 or(800) 253-2829

2019 Application for Property Tax Relief

Individual Income Tax

The State of North Carolina uses the base federal net taxable income with adjustments to figure the NC net taxable income. Tax rates are 6% ,7%,7.75 or 8.25%.

Sales Tax

The State of North Carolina levies a general retail sales & use tax of 4.25%. Counties levy an additional local sales and use tax. Brunswick County’s is 2.5%. Sales of food for home consumption is subject to a 2% tax. A 7% tax is imposed on liquor other than mixed beverages. Mixed beverages subject to tax of $3.75 per fifth.

North Carolina Corporate Income Tax

6.90% of net income allocatable to North Carolina.

For a state & local taxes information booklet contact:

N.C. Department of Revenue
Phone 877-252-3052
Mail P.O. Box 25000
Raleigh, NC 27640

*Some tax information provided by Brunswick County Economic Development Commission.

Statistics and Climate


  • Bald Head Island – 175
  • Boiling Spring Lakes – 5,930
  • Bolivia – 152
  • Brunswick County – 103,160
  • Caswell Beach – 429
  • Oak Island – 7,722
  • St. James – 3,165 +
  • Southport – 3,625

US Census Bureau data online at click here

Climate Statistics

Average Air Temp  73.8 max/52.9 min
 Days with salubrious breezes  365
 Cloudy Days  150.2
 Average Water Temp  69.0º F
 Annual Rain Fall  56.82 inches
 Clear Days  111.2
 Partly Cloudy  103.8

For More Information

For more information please contact:

Thomas Lloyd, Planner
Planning Department, City of Southport
1029 N. Howe St
Southport, NC 28461
(P) 910-457-7961
Email Thomas

Information courtesy of the Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce.