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South Carolina Vehicle Registration

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South Carolina Vehicle Registration Summary

Read our South Carolina Vehicle Registration page to learn how to register a vehicle with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Find specific details on applying for car registration as a new resident, SC registration renewals, duplicate registration, address and name changes, South Carolina car insurance requirements, and military member registration.

Registering a Vehicle in South Carolina

You must register your vehicle by mail or in person at your local South Carolina DMV office.

What to bring to the South Carolina DMV:

Continue reading below for more specific details about how to register a vehicle in South Carolina.

Registering Vehicles Purchased from a Dealership

When you purchase either a new or used vehicle from a licensed South Carolina car dealer, the dealer will submit your registration and title paperwork for you. This process usually takes 45 days.

NOTE: You may request a Temporary Registration Permit for your newly purchased vehicle. Submit an Application to Issue or Replace 45-Day Temporary Plates (Form 45A) along with the $5 fee to your local SC DMV office.

Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

To register your vehicle in South Carolina, please visit your local SC DMV office and present:

You may also send your documents and payment (a check or money order payable to SCDMV) via certified mail to:

SCDMV Titles and Registration
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016

SC Vehicle Registration for New Residents

New to South Carolina?

As a new resident, you may register by mail or in person at a local SC DMV office.

Notably, South Carolina law requires you to transfer your out-of-state title and register your vehicle within 45 days of becoming an SC resident.

Before you can register your vehicle, you must first complete the following steps:

  • Secure a South Carolina car insurance policy.
  • Get a property tax bill for your vehicle from the county treasurer’s office.

To register your vehicle, visit your local SC DMV and present:

  • A valid driver’s license or ID.
  • A completed Title Application (Form 400).
  • Proof of ownership (e.g., your vehicle title or registration).
  • Proof of vehicle insurance.
  • An original vehicle property tax receipt.
  • A power of attorney, if applicable.
  • Payment for the one-time $250 Infrastructure Maintenance fee.
  • Payment for SC car registration, fees, and taxes.

To register by mail, you may send everything to the address on your title application.

SC Registration for Military Drivers

Registration for Non-Residents

The South Carolina DMV does NOT require service members who are stationed in South Carolina (but live out of state) to register their vehicles in South Carolina.

However, you’ll need to carry a Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina (Form TI-006) and the following documents available at all times when operating a vehicle:

  • A valid military identification card.
  • Orders indicating duties in South Carolina.
  • Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) showing assignment in the state.

Non-Resident Military Member Registration in South Carolina

Non-resident military members must maintain current registration and car insurance from their home state during deployment.

If you are a service member and become a resident of South Carolina, you’ll need to apply for vehicle registration. See Vehicle Registration for New Residents.

NOTE: The South Carolina Infrastructure Maintenance fee may apply.

South Carolina Military Residents

Active duty military residents in South Carolina must follow the steps outlined in our Vehicles Purchased From a Private Party section.

If you were disabled during military combat, the SCDMV will waive your license plate fees. You must complete an Application for Military License Plate (Form MV 37) and any other additional required supporting documentation.

South Carolina military residents stationed out-of-state can register vehicles by mail following the steps above in Vehicles Purchased From a Private Party section.

Renewing Your Registration in South Carolina

NOTE: You may not renew your registration if you have outstanding vehicle property taxes.

In South Carolina, you can renew your vehicle registration online, by mail, and in person at your local DMV office. You must renew your registration every 2 years.

The SC DMV will send a registration renewal notice several weeks before your registration is set to expire. Your renewal notice will contain the following details:

  • Your renewal fees and vehicle property tax.
  • Insurance verification (you must provide your insurance company name).
  • Vehicle information.

To learn more about renewing your registration, please see South Carolina Renewals.

Replace a Lost or Damaged Registration

If your SC registration card is lost, stolen, or damaged, you may apply for a duplicate online, or in person at your nearest SC DMV office.

South Carolina Registration Replacements Online

To replace your South Carolina registration online, visit the SC DMV vehicle services online portal to purchase a duplicate. Be ready to provide the following:

Registration Replacements In Person

To replace your SC registration card in person, visit your local SC DMV office and present:

Changes to Your South Carolina Car Registration

Name Changes

The South Carolina DMV allows you to make changes to your name on your South Carolina vehicle registration by mail or in person at a nearby SC DMV office. Please process your name change application no more than 30 days after the official name change.

Please note, you must first file your name change with the Social Security office. Next, you may change your name on your South Carolina driver’s license.

Name Changes in Person

To change your name on your vehicle registration in person, visit your local DMV office and bring:

  • Your South Carolina driver license.
  • A completed Title Application (Form 400).
  • Your current certificate of title.
  • Legal documents supporting your name change, such as a:
    • Marriage license, if the name change is due to marriage.
    • Divorce decree.
    • Court-ordered name change document.
  • Payment for the $15 duplicate title fee.

The SC DMV automatically updates your registration details when you apply for an updated title.

Name Changes by Mail

To change your name on your registration by mail, submit all of the above to:

SCDMVPO BOX 1498
10311 Wilson Blvd.
Blythewood, SC 29016

Address Changes on South Carolina Vehicle Registration

You can change your address with the South Carolina DMV online, by mail or in person at your local SC DMV office.

You have 10 days from the time of your move to change your address with the DMV.

Online Address Change in South Carolina

To change your address online, please visit the SC DMV online address change portal.

When you begin the process, be ready to provide your:

  • Current driver’s license number.
  • Social Security Number.
  • Date of birth.

Follow the prompts to complete your address change.

Address Changes in person

To change your address in person, visit any DMV office location and bring:

Address Changes by Mail

To change the address on your car registration by mail, please complete and send a Change of Address, Name, Date of Birth, and/or Social Security Number (Form 4057) to the address on the form.

Vehicle Registration Fees in SC

SC Vehicle Registration Fees

Below are some of the current South Carolina registration and registration-related fees:

  • Passenger vehicles registration: $40
  • Passenger vehicles whose owners are 64 years old: $38
  • Passenger vehicles whose owners are 65 years old or older (or disabled): $36
  • RVs: $40
  • Motorcycles: $10
  • Infrastructure Maintenance fee: $250
  • Original title application fee: $15
  • Replacement South Carolina title fee: $15
  • Replacement registration card fee: $6
  • Late registration penalty fee (between 46 days and 60 days): $10
  • Vehicle sales use/tax: 5%

For a complete list of registration fees in South Carolina, you may visit the SC DMV website.

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Last Verified:
Sep 8, 2022