Types of Complaints Investigated by the SCDMV


Only some types of dealer-related complaints fall within the SCDMV's purview. Those include:

  • Undelivered title within 45 days of the sale
  • Undelivered paperwork needed to register a customer's vehicle
  • Dealer did not pay off lienholder
  • Dealer went out of business before providing a customer with paperwork

For other complaints, contact the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-922-1594 or 803-734-4200. That agency investigates the complaints listed below:

  • Tampering with an odometer or giving a false odometer statement
  • Warranty/service/repair issues
  • Financing issues
  • Dealer selling faulty vehicles
  • Dealer failed to meet all terms and conditions contained in the written contract
  • Dealer publishing or circulating advertising that is misleading or inaccurate

If you have a complaint about a non-South Carolina dealer, you should contact the state where you purchased the vehicle.

 

File a dealer complaint

You can also learn more about a dealer's sanction history and license information.

 

Methods to File a Complaint


You may file a complaint on an SC dealership using one of the methods below:

  • Use the green, "File a Dealer Complaint" button
  • Send an email
  • Fax documentation to 803-896-8172
  • Mail (either standard or overnight mail accepted)
    • When mailing documents using the standard mail, send all paperwork to

      SCDMV
      Attention:  Dealer License and Audit Unit
      P.O. Box 1498
      Blythewood, SC 29016-0023
    • When mailing documents using overnight mail, sending all paperwork to

      SCDMV
      Attention:  Dealer License and Audit Unit
      10311 Wilson Boulevard, Building C
      Blythewood, SC 29016-0023

Due to credentialing requirements, any anonymous or out-of-state resident filing a complaint against an SC dealer must file a complaint via email, fax, or mail.

Documents to File a Complaint 

 

To file a complaint by email, mail, or fax, you must complete and send all of the following documents:

Complaint Process

See a flowchart of the process if filing a complaint online.

See a flowchart of the process if filing a complaint via email, fax, or mail

Complaints Not Resolved by the SCDMV

If your complaint can't be resolved by the SCDMV's Dealer License and Audit Unit, you may decide to seek legal counsel if a civil matter.

You may file a complaint against a dealer's bond by mail only. To file a complaint against a dealer's bond, do all of the following:

  • Complete Request for Dealer Information (SCDMV Form DLA-11)
  • Mail the completed form plus a $6 check or money order, made out to the SCDMV, to the address on the form

You may also choose to contact the SC Department of Consumer Affairs at 800-922-1597 or 803-737-4200. You can also contact local law enforcement or magistrate court.

You can find a complete list of frequently asked questions here.

Helpful Tips when Buying a Car

Being a well-informed consumer is key to making well-informed decisions. Save yourself or someone you know a headache when buying a car. The resources below may be beneficial.

Consumer Reports, New and Used Car Buying Guide
Edmunds, "How to Buy a Car"
Money Crashers, "How to Buy a Car"

When you're buying a car, make sure you avoid being scammed. Use these resources below to assist you in your next car purchase.

Business Insider, "21 Scams Used by Devious Car Dealers"
Honest Car Buying Advice, "Ultimate List of Car Buying Scams"

Dealer License & Audit Unit

Additional questions or concerns can be directed to the Dealer License and Audit Unit with the Office of Inspector General.

Call 803-896-2611 or fax your request to 803-896-8172. You can also send an email or reach the office by mail. 

Standard Mail

Overnight Mail

SCDMV
Attn: Dealer License and Audit Unit
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0023

SCDMV
Attn: Dealer License and Audit Unit
10311 Wilson Boulevard, Building C
Blythewood, SC 29016-0023