It will move to a location on Church Street in Rocky Mount, which had the lowest bid, a spokesman for NCDOT said.
The move will affect the nearly 600 employees who work out of the DMV HQ site.
N.C. Department of Transportation spokesman Jamie Kritzer said a move was mandated by the state legislature by the fall of 2020.
"Years ago, there were identified life-safety issues within the building where the DMV headquarters is located," Kritzer said. "There were some asbestos issues, and there were some fire code safety violations."
The earliest move-in date is July 1, 2020, and the latest is Oct. 1, 2020.
The Rocky Mount location submitted the lowest bid, Kritzer said.
"Certainly there have been concerns raised by employees about the commute times and that's an area we're going to be looking at closely as we move forward through this process," he said, and he added that they'll look into how they can help employees transition to the new location.
He said they do not believe this will affect services to the public.
"One of our chief goals is to make sure this will be a very smooth transition for the public as well," Kritzer said. "We are well aware that there are concerns about wait times, particularly in the summer months when those tend to increase, so that's an area that we'll be looking closely at as this process moves forward."
The Council of State must vote on the move; that vote is scheduled for Feb. 5.
If the Council of State approves the move, Kritzer said it would be a 15-year lease with two five-year renewal options.
Information provided by NCDOT said there is the possibility a license plate agency office could remain on the New Bern Avenue site or be moved to another location in Wake County. But there were questions about whether it would go against the legislation.