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South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles


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  Moving?
Welcome to South Carolina

If you come into South Carolina from another state and establish a permanent residence, you must apply for a South Carolina driver license. If you own any vehicles they must also be registered in our state.

If you have a valid driver’s license issued by the state from which you moved, you can use it for 90 days, after which time you must surrender it and obtain a South Carolina driver license. You have 45 days to transfer your out of state vehicle registration to South Carolina.

Depending on the class license you hold, you must complete a Form 447-NC or Form 447-CDL, Application for South Carolina Credential.  See Accepted Forms of Identification for documents needed to obtain the license.

 

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For New Residents Licensed in Another State

Military Personnel (and their dependents) and students temporarily in South Carolina are not required to obtain a South Carolina Driver's license. However, you must have a driver's license from your home state to operate in South Carolina.

If you are a new resident, you may use a valid driver's license from your former state for up to 90 days. However, you must convert to a South Carolina driver's license before the end of the 90-day period. If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present. For more information about documents you will need to get a S.C. license, see Accepted Forms of Identification. If your driver's license from your home state has expired more than nine months, you must also pass the knowledge and road tests. To schedule a road test, you should call the DMV office where you would like to take the skills test.

Each qualified driver can have only one driver's license. You may not have a valid license from South Carolina and another state. To qualify for a SC driver's license, you must pass the eye exam given at all DMV offices or submit a statement of visual acuity from an eye care professional. A South Carolina license is valid for ten years and must be renewed by your birthday in the tenth year.

 

Note that Section 23-3-460 of the SC Code of Laws states that a person who has been convicted anywhere of an offense listed in 23-3-430 must register with the county sheriff within 10 days of establishing residency in South Carolina.  A copy of the Sex Offender Registry Law is available upon request.
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Transferring Your CDL License From Another State

After establishing residency in South Carolina, you must apply to transfer your CDL license within 30 days.

When you apply for a commercial driver's license, SCDMV will run automatic checks against the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) and the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) databases to check your prior driving history in other states. The checks are performed when a customer applies for an original credential, renews a credential, is reexamined or moves from a beginner permit to a license. They are designed to insure drivers have only one valid license at a time.

You will be required to surrender your out-of-state license before a South Carolina commercial driver's license can be issued.

To transfer a CDL from another state to South Carolina, the following are required:

  1. You must be 21 years of age for interstate driving.
  2. Certify that you have read and understand, and meet the qualification requirements under 49 CFR, Part 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
  3. Complete Form DL-405A to self-certify the type of commerce for which you intend to operate. You must also provide a valid medical certification for any type of commerce that requires it. (See Frequently Asked Questions regarding form DL-405A.) SCDMV will collect the driver’s certification information and add it to the national Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) record. All commercial driver’s license and beginner permit holders must self-certify by January 30, 2014 or risk losing his or her driving privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Commercial driver’s license and beginner permit holders must comply each time they apply for a new credential, renew or upgrade their credential
  4. If required, show your valid DOT long form or valid DOT medical pocket card to meet the requirement of providing proof that you are medically qualified pursuant to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 49 CFR, part 391. South Carolina requires that you maintain a valid medical Examiner's Certificate to obtain and/or retain a commercial driver instruction permit or commercial driver's license. DMV will not accept a medical certificate if it expires within 30 days from the date it is presented.
  5. Provide proof of identity using Accepted Forms of Identification.
  6. Complete Form 447-CDL, Application for a Commercial Driver's License or Beginner's Permit (there is a $15.00 application fee).
  7. Complete Form DL-402 Affidavit of Previous Driver's License and provide information regarding any previous out-of-state drivers' licenses and disqualifying offenses.
  8. Pass a vision test.
  9. Surrender the actual commercial driver's license you have in your possession at the time you apply.
  10. Applicants with hazardous materials (Hazmat) endorsement must also pass the hazardous materials knowledge test to maintain the endorsement (each knowledge test is $2.00) and complete TSA fingerprinting and background check ($75.50 fee)..
  11. Pay the $12.50 license fee.
  12. Provide Automobile liability insurance information (SC Code Section 56-1-80(C).  Insurance company must be licensed to do business in the state of South Carolina.

Note that Section 23-3-460 of the SC Code of Laws states that a person who has been convicted anywhere of an offense listed in 23-3-430 must register with the county sheriff within 10 days of establishing residency in South Carolina.  A copy of the Sex Offender Registry Law is available upon request.

To view Threat Assessment Requirements (LiveScan), click here. 

 

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Transferring Your Out of State Vehicle License

If you move to South Carolina from another state, you have 45 days to transfer your vehicle title and registration. You may apply for the title and registration by mail. The Form 400, Application for Certificate of Title/Registration, which must be completed, contains the proper mailing address for the department.

SCDMV verifies all out-of-state titles with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. Your out-of-state title must be cleared through NMVTIS before you can be issued a SC title. Although you may be able to obtain a new SC vehicle registration, your S.C. title will not be issued until the title verification process is complete.

The first time you register your vehicle in South Carolina, you must provide the name of your insurance company. SCDMV will verify your coverage electronically. If the insurance policy cannot be verified, your driver's license and vehicle registration may be suspended. If you are a new resident in South Carolina and have an automobile policy with a national insurance company, be sure to change your address with your insurance company before you register your vehicle in South Carolina.

You must have the following to transfer your out-of-state vehicle title and registration:

    • Your out-of-state vehicle title and registration 
      If there is a lien on your vehicle, you must bring the name and address of the company that holds the lien.
    • Liability Insurance information
      You must provide the name of your automobile liability insurance company, not the name of the agent.
    • Completed Form 400, Application for Certificate of Title/Registration
      To complete the form, you must have your vehicle odometer mileage reading and any current lien information. Make sure the odometer mileage reading is exact. This cannot be changed in the future.
    • Paid Vehicle Property Tax Receipt
      Before you can register your vehicle in South Carolina, you must first pay the vehicle property taxes that are required in the county in which you reside.
    • Title and Registration Fees

      Title - $15.00 fee

      Passenger cars - $24.00 fee

      Persons 64 years of age $22.00 fee

      65 or older or disabled $20.00 fee

      (If disabled, a statement from a medical doctor as to the permanency of the disability must be submitted)

      Motorcycles - $10.00 fee

      Utility or Camper Trailers - $10.00 fee

      Trailers with empty weight in excess of 2500 lbs. - $20.00 fee

      Trucks, Truck-Trailers and Road Tractors (All Property Carrying Vehicles)*

      GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT            FEE

      0001-4000                         $30.00

      4001-5000                                                  $40.00

      5001-6000                                                  $60.00

      6001-7000                                                  $70.00

      7001-8000                                                  $80.00

      8001-9000                                                  $90.00

      (Over 9000 GVW upon request)

      * Trucks over 26,000 GVW and buses 16 passengers or more for hire must show SSN or FEIN, but tax receipt is not required.
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Moving to Another State from South Carolina

If you move out of state, you must surrender your South Carolina driver’s license or ID card when you obtain a driver’s license in another state. Your new state of residence will notify the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles of the change and your South Carolina license will be cancelled. You are permitted to hold a driver’s license in only one state at a time.

 

If you are registering a vehicle in another state, you must transfer your vehicle liability insurance to that state as well. Before you cancel your South Carolina insurance, you will need to surrender your South Carolina license plate to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. If you do not return your South Carolina plate, and if your insurance company cancels your South Carolina insurance, you may be subject to fines up to $400.

 

Most states do not require customers registering a vehicle to turn in their out of state plates, so it is your responsibility to do so.

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Returning a SC License Plate

If you move out of state and/or cancel your South Carolina liability insurance on any of your vehicles, you will need to surrender your South Carolina license plate. 

If you need to surrender your South Carolina license plate, you may return it at any SCDMV field office or send it by mail. If you choose to mail the plate, please indicate whether or not you wish to receive a receipt. Returned license plates should be mailed to the following address:

 

SC Department of Motor Vehicles

P.O. Box 1498

Blythewood, SC 29016-0019

 

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On This Page
Welcome to South Carolina
For New Residents Licensed in Another State
Transferring Your CDL License From Another State
Transferring Your Out of State Vehicle License
Moving to Another State from South Carolina
Returning a SC License Plate

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