We picked up our Escape in July 2017 and were able to secure a NC plate before we left. Overall, it was a fairly painless process.
In NC, trailers are registered just like a car
. Follow the process for purchasing from a Dealer and you will be fine. You'll need to get Escape to notarize the Certificate of Origin (title) and have them complete the Damage and Odometer Disclosure Statements. These docs can be downloaded from the DMV. We calculated what we actually paid in USD and asked Escape to include that amount on the Bill of Sale. That helps the DMV determine the sales tax (3% of USD paid). Please note, the notarization does come with a fee from Escape.
A few weeks before your completion date, Escape will send you all the paperwork which includes import docs, bill of sale, and so on. We took all papers to the DMV, but only gave them the ones required on the website. The lady we spoke with did need to call someone about establishing sales tax, but she was directed to determine the tax based off the cost in USD noted on the Bill of Sale.
We did need to pay $5 in cash for something (can't remember what), so bring a little cash. You also have the option to purchase a permanent plate instead of a standard plate. A permanent plate cost more, but it eliminates the annual plate fee for as long as you own your Escape. The breakeven point is 3 years.
It was nice being able to put the plate on in Washington and not have to worry about being pulled. Though, I don't recall ever hearing about someone being pulled on the forum. Enjoy your new Escape!