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South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles


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  For Attorneys
Serving Out of State Summons and Complaint

SCDMV assists SC attorneys who need to serve Summonses and Complaints to non-resident motorists and/or motor carriers.


Each request must include:

  • A check in the amount of $40.00 for each defendant being served. 
  • Two filed copies of the Summons and Complaint for each defendant being served.   (One copy will be served on the defendant, and the Office of General Counsel will retain one.)
  • Out of state address. The Plaintiff must furnish the correct address for the out-of-state motorist or motor carrier.  SCDMV does not provide addresses for the out-of-state motorist being served. 
  • Additional copies, addresses, and fees for multiple service on a single Defendent. If more than one out-of-state address is being provided, submit an additional set of pleadings for each additional address, plus a check in the amount of $40.00 for each address provided.  For example, for one defendant with two addresses, remit a check in the amount of $80.00 plus a third copy of the pleadings.

Do not include any pleadings other than the Summons and Complaint.  SCDMV will only serve the Summons and Complaint on the defendant.  All other pleadings will be returned to you.

 

Documents can be mailed to the address below by regular or certified mail, or they can be hand delivered. The SCDMV must receive the pleadings within the statute of limitations.

 

Documents returned to the SCDMV as refused or undeliverable will be returned to Plaintiff.  (See Code Sections 15-9-370 and -380.)

To request assistance, please contact:

Office of General Counsel
S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
10311 Wilson Boulevard
Post Office Box 1498
Blythewood, South Carolina 29016-0020
Phone: 803.896.9900
Fax: 803.896.9901

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SC Code Section 15-9-350

§ 15-9-350. Service on Director of Department of Motor Vehicles as attorney of nonresident motorists.

The acceptance by a nonresident of the rights and privileges conferred by the laws in force in this State permitting the operation of motor vehicles, as evidenced by the operation of a motor vehicle by such nonresident on the public highways, the streets of any incorporated municipality or the public roads of this State or anywhere within this State, or the operation by such nonresident of a motor vehicle on any such public highways, streets or public roads or anywhere within the State other than as so permitted or regulated shall be deemed equivalent to the appointment by such nonresident of the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles or of his successor in office to be his true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served all summons or other lawful process in any action or proceeding against him growing out of any accident or collision in which such nonresident may be involved by reason of the operation by him, for him or under his control or direction, express or implied, of a motor vehicle on such public highways, streets or public roads or anywhere within this State. Such acceptance or operation shall be a signification of his agreement that any such process against him shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served on him personally.
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SC Code Section 15-9-360

§ 15-9-360. Service on Director of Department of Motor Vehicles as attorney for nonresident motor carriers.


The acceptance by a nonresident motor carrier of the rights and privileges conferred by the laws now or hereafter in force in this State, permitting the operation of motor vehicles as evidenced by the operation of a motor vehicle by such nonresident either personally or through an agent or employee on the public highways in this State, or the operation of such nonresident either personally or through an agent, lessee, or employee, of a motor vehicle on the public highways of this State other than as so permitted or regulated, shall be deemed equivalent to the appointment by such nonresident motor carrier of the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, or his successor in office, to be his true and lawful attorney and the attorney of his executor or administrator, upon whom may be served all summonses or other lawful process or notice in any action, assessment proceeding, or other proceeding against him or his executor or administrator, arising out of or by reason of any provisions in Chapter 31 of Title 12 relating to such vehicle or relating to the liability for tax with respect to operation of such vehicle on the highways of this State. Acceptance or operation shall be a signification by such nonresident motor carrier of his agreement that any such process against or notice to him or his executor or administrator shall be of the same legal force and validity as if served on him personally or on his executor or administrator. All of the provisions of Sections 15-9-370, 15-9-380, and 15-9-350 shall be applicable with respect to the service of process or notice pursuant to this section.
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SC Code Section 15-9-380

§ 15-9-380. Procedure when nonresident motorist or motor carrier defendant does not accept and receipt for notice sent by certified mail.


If the defendant in any such cause shall fail or refuse to accept and receipt for certified mail containing the notice of service and copy of the process and it shall be returned to the plaintiff or the Department of Motor Vehicles, the original envelope as returned shall be retained and the notice and copy of the summons shall be sent by open mail and the envelope and affidavit of mailing with sufficient postage of such open letter shall be filed with the clerk of court in which such action is pending and upon the filing thereof shall have the same force and legal effect as if such process has been personally served upon such defendant.
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Submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request

All requests for information through the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) must be submitted to the SCDMV Strategic Communications and Community Affairs Office. Most requests for SCDMV records, such as driving records, title histories and accident reports, do not need to be processed as a FOIA and can be submitted on the appropriate form. Members of the media, however, should submit a FOIA. (See For Members of the Media for more information.)

All FOIA requests must be made in writing and may be submitted in person, by mail or by fax. SCDMV does not accept FOIA requests by email:
SCDMV Communications Office
Post Office Box 1498
Blythewood, South Carolina 29016-0009
Telephone: (803) 896-8198
Fax: (803) 896-5618
Email: dmvcommunications@scdmv.net
 

Please Note: If you have questions regarding driver or vehicle services, please call the SCDMV Contact Center at (803) 896-5000 or email help@scdmvonline.com.

When submitting a FOIA request, please include the following:

·         A statement indicating that you are making the request under the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. (Note that the federal Freedom of Information Act only applies to federal agencies and does not apply to requests for state documents.)

·         A clear description of the type of data you are requesting.

·         The name and telephone number of a contact person. 

Information protected under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act of 1994 or other confidential information that is exempt under the law will not be released. As allowed by Code Section 30-4-30(b), SCDMV will collect fees for employee search time and reproduction costs.

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Requests for SCDMV Records

Please be aware that most driver and vehicle records can be obtained at local SCDMV offices or by mail. The SCDMV Communications Office cannot process these transactions. If you are requesting a driver record, vehicle information, an accident report or dealer information, please complete the appropriate form and mail it to the office indicated on the form with the required fees.

Form MV-70 , Request for Driver Information, is used to request:
A copy of a Driving Record (MVR)
A copy of a Ticket or Suspension Notice
Other Driver Related Documents

Form 5027-A, Request for Vehicle Information, is used to request:
Liability Insurance Information
Placard Information
Title History Basic Information (including odometer information)
Vehicle list by Customer
Name of Address of Registered Owner
License Plate History
Title History - Complete with Supporting Documents
Vehicle Title Information (current owner and lienholder information)

Form FR-50, Request for Copy of Officer's Report is used to request:
A copy of an Accident Report

Form DLA-11, Request for Dealer License Information is used to request:
Dealer Application
Bond Information and
Other Dealer Licensing Information

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On This Page
Serving Out of State Summons and Complaint
SC Code Section 15-9-350
SC Code Section 15-9-360
SC Code Section 15-9-380
Submitting a Freedom of Information Act Request
Requests for SCDMV Records

Related Sites
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators