• Find DMV Offices
  • Find Service Providers
  • U.S. Passports

South Carolina Buying a Vehicle

Home 9 US State 9 South Carolina DMV Services 9 South Carolina Buying a Vehicle

Obtaining a Title and Registration For a Vehicle Bought from a Car Dealership

If you purchase a vehicle from a car dealership in South Carolina, the dealer typically handles all the paperwork on your behalf, so you will not have to obtain a title and registration yourself. If you have bought the vehicle from a private party, however, you’ll have to do the paperwork.

Obtaining a Title and Registration For a Vehicle Bought from a Private Party

As previously stated, purchasing a vehicle from a private party means that you have to complete all the paperwork yourself. You have 45 days from the date of purchase to title and register the vehicle. You need to complete or secure the following:

  • Title Application (SCDMV Form 400)
  • Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina (SCDMV Form TI-006), if you do not have an SC driver’s license or ID
  • Title signed over to you as the buyer, with the price and odometer reading listed on the back of the title
  • Paid property tax receipt from the county you live in
  • Payment of title and registration fee
  • Infrastructure Maintenance Fee payment, if applicable
  • A signed Bill of Sale showing the total sale prices of the vehicle, minus any trade-in value.

You can complete the title/registration transaction in person at a DMV office or by mailing the documents to:

PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0019

Filling Out The Title

The title should include the name of the seller as well as your name. The seller must have signed over the title to you. You or the seller must fill in the odometer mileage at the time of sale and fill in the price on the back of the title.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

After you have bought the vehicle and filled out the title, you must fill out the title application, which obtains a title and registration. To complete the application, you’ll need to certify that you have insurance on the vehicle and provide the name of the carrier. You’ll also have to have paid the taxes on the vehicle.

Submitting Payment

The title fee is $15. The registration fee varies depending upon your age and the type of vehicle. The base registration fee for passenger cars and RVs is $40. Those older than 64 pay only $38 and those who are disabled pay $36. If you have an electric car or hybrid vehicle you will pay a road use fee in addition to the registration fee. The fee for electric cars is $120, and the fee for hybrids is $60. You also pay a license fee based upon weight; for vehicles less than 4,000 pounds, the fee is $30.

If you are late registering the vehicle, you will also pay a late fee. If you register your vehicle on days 46 through 60 after purchase, you will pay an extra $10; days 61 through 75, $25. The fee continues to increase the longer you wait. 

SCDMV Online: Buying or Selling A Car

Last Verified:
Jul 5, 2023