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Car Registration in South Carolina

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Registering your vehicle when you hit the road in South Carolina helps you maintain a clean record, gives you full freedom to drive on state roads. Registering your vehicle will connect the residents to the type of vehicle they own.   

Where do I register my car in South Carolina? 

South Carolina DMV is the place where the residents can register their car either in mail or in person. The whole process is handled by South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV).  

What are the documents required for registering your car with SCDMV? 

If you are to register your vehicle with South Carolina, you’ll require: 

  • Valid License 
  • Proof of vehicle ownership 
  • Proof of state required minimum car insurance 
  • Your previous title and registration 
  • Payment method 
  • Original tax receipt after paying your SC property taxes 

Make sure you update your insurance with the current address and that your insurance provider is functional in the state of South Carolina. You will also have to redo your title by contacting your county auditor with the car’s VIN.  

However, you will also have to pay an infrastructure maintenance fee and title and registration fee. 

What are the prerequisites if you are new to South Carolina? 

South Carolina administration has given 45 days for new residents to apply for a South Carolina vehicle registration certificate. This registration is valid for 2 years.  

  • Payment of vehicle property tax 
  • Receipt after tax payment 
  • Payment of one-time Infrastructure maintenance fee ($250) 

After securing the necessary receipts, an SC resident can register their vehicle with SCDMV either in person or by mail.  

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How do I register my car in person in South Carolina? 

If you are to register in person, then you’ll have to visit the South Carolina DMV office with the following documents.  

  • Completed Form 400, which is the application for certificate of title and registration for motor vehicle or manufactured home/mobile.  
  • Updated address with your car insurance provider. This will accelerate the electronic verification process by SCDMV. 
  •  Paid vehicle property tax receipt 
  • South Carolina vehicle registration fees 

How do I register my car by mail in South Carolina? 

Along with the documents required for registration in person, a cheque or money order must be sent to the address mentioned in Form 400.  

What are the temporary registration permits in South Carolina? 

SCDMV gives temporary permits which is valid for 45 days and cannot be renewed. The DMV offers this as one waits for their permanent license plate.  

Drivers who are unable to get their registration in time or who are buying and bringing a vehicle out of state can opt for temporary registration.  

You will require to file a Form 45-A, which is a 45-day temporary plates application. Along with this a bill of sale or rental contract needs to be submitted.  

How do I renew my registration in South Carolina? 

It is mandatory to renew your registration every 2 years. This is required if you plan to continue to drive in the state. Driving without a renewed registration can lead to a suspended license.  

What are the different fees that need to be paid during car registration in the state? 

The various registration fees that need to be paid in South Carolina are as follows. 

  • Passenger vehicles: $40. 
  • Vehicle owners 64 years old: $38 
  • Vehicle owners 65 years old and older or disabled: $36 
  • Motorcycles: $10 
  • RVs: $40 
  • License plate transfer: $10 
  • Infrastructure Maintenance Fee: 5% of the purchase price ($500). This is a one-time fee, paid when registering your vehicle for the first time 

The late fees ranges between $10 to $75 beginning from the 46th to 135th day.  


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