Buying a Car

If you bought a vehicle from a person who holds the title for that vehicle (not a dealer or business), you will need all of the following to properly register it in South Carolina:

The SCDMV will not register the vehicle without a title unless you buy it from a dealer or business. Before you buy a used vehicle, check the title history

Find an SCDMV branch
South Carolina law requires that you register your newly purchased vehicle within 45 days of the purchase date. If you've taken the steps to register your vehicle but have yet to receive your permanent license plate, you must have an SCDMV-issued temporary plate on the vehicle in order to drive it on any roads.

Selling a Car

If you hold the title to your vehicle and sell it to another person, you must sign the title over to the buyer and include all of the following on the back of your title:

  • Odometer reading at the time of sale
  • Purchase date
  • Selling price

When you sell the vehicle, you must notify the SCDMV. You must complete the Notice of Vehicle Sold (SCDMV Form 416) and mail it to the address below:

SCDMV
Mail-in Registration
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0036

Completing this form does not show a legal transfer of ownership. It is intended for the protection of the last registered owner until the actual transfer of ownership is completed by the person you sold the vehicle to.

If the person who bought the vehicle from you is making payments on it, you must complete Section D of the Title Application (SCDMV Form 400) that the buyer completes (above). You will be considered the lienholder for that vehicle. The title will be mailed to you.

Once the buyer pays you in full, you will sign off on the lien and the buyer will have a clean title.

After You Buy

You can begin transferring a South Carolina title and registration online for a vehicle bought from a person or business that's not a dealer. If you purchased your vehicle through a dealer, the dealer will generally take care of the titling and registration the vehicle for you.

Title or Register my vehicle
The button above will guide you through the process. When you’re finished, you will print a form and an information sheet. These will have the list of items you will be required to submit to the SCDMV to complete the title and registration transaction.

You can bring your forms and documents to an SCDMV branch.

Find an SCDMV branch 
You may also mail all of the documents to the address below:

SCDMV
Registration
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0019