Titling and Registering Vehicle in SC

If you move to South Carolina from another state, you'll want to get an SC driver's license and transfer your vehicle's title and registration. Before you transfer your title and registration, you must pay any property taxes with your county treasurer.

You cannot receive your new title in the mail until your out-of-state title is cleared through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. Once cleared, your new SC title will be mailed to your SC address. You will receive your new registration before this check is complete.

If you're titling/registering your vehicle in SC for the first time, you must follow the steps below:

  1. Update your vehicle insurance company with your new SC address. The company must be licensed to do business in SC. 
  2. Contact your county of residence auditor's office and share the VIN of the vehicle you're registering in SC. You will visit the auditor's office, and he or she will generate a property tax bill for the vehicle. You must pay the property tax bill to the county treasurer before you can register your vehicle in this state. You must bring the original paid property tax receipt to the SCDMV.
  3. Visit the SCDMV with all of the following:
  • Completed Title Application (SCDMV Form 400)
  • Out-of-state vehicle title and/or registration
    If there is a lien on your vehicle, you must bring the name and address of the company that holds the lien. You will need your most recent registration.
  • Acceptable identification
    Includes your valid SC or out-of-state beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card, a valid passport with visa, Employment Authorization Document, or a permanent residency card.
  • Liability insurance company information
  • Power of Attorney
    A Power of Attorney is needed if you're leasing your vehicle and if the Title Application (SCDMV Form 400) is signed by the lessee (registrant) on behalf of the lessor (title holder).
  • Original paid vehicle property tax receipt from your county treasurer's office
  • $250 Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (IMF)
  • Title and registration payment

Find an SCDMV branch
In most cases, if you have a regular passenger vehicle that will be titled and registered in SC, you will pay $305 per vehicle (vehicles with a higher gross vehicle weight may have a higher fee) to the SCDMV upon entering the state. This includes the $250 IMF, $15 title fee, and $40 registration/license plate fee but does not include the property tax you will pay to your county of residence. You will pay the IMF once per vehicle, but you will not have to pay it again. You will pay the registration/plate fee every two years. Your registration/plate fee may be more if you decide to purchase a specialty plate.

Titling and Registering Vehicle Without an SC License 

If you do not have a valid South Carolina beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card, you must complete the Statement of Vehicle Operation (SCDMV Form TI-006) that says at least one of the following applies:

  • You're an active duty military member in SC.
  • You're enrolled in an SC school.
  • Your vehicle is kept in this state at least six months a year.

You must complete the steps below for every vehicle you register in this state.

Can I drive my vehicle while I'm in school in SC? 

If you do not have a valid South Carolina beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card, but you're enrolled in school in this state and own your vehicle (the vehicle is titled in your name), you must complete the Statement of Vehicle Operation (SCDMV Form TI-006).

When driving, you must keep your registration and proof of insurance in your vehicle.

Vehicles Kept in SC During the Year 
You should follow these steps if you own a vacation home in South Carolina, for example, and you have a car that stays at that home for at least six months of the year.

If you own a vehicle that is primarily kept in South Carolina for at least six months of the year, complete the Statement of Vehicle Operation (SCDMV Form TI-006) and present at least one of the following at an SCDMV branch:

These requirements do not apply to mobile homes if the home address is an SC address.

FIND an SCDMV Branch

Not Able to Get an SC License

If you own a vehicle and cannot get a South Carolina beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card because of a medical or physical condition, but your vehicle is stored in this state and will be driven by someone who does not own it, the driver must complete the Statement of Vehicle Operation (SCDMV Form TI-006) and provide the SC address where the vehicle will be kept.

The vehicle must have a license plate for a person with a disability or the vehicle's owner must have a permanent parking placard for a person with a disability registered in his or her name.

Moving to SC Quick Help

Vehicles With a Lien
You have a lien on your vehicle if you're making payments on it.

If you have a loan on your automobile, you need all of the following:

If your registration is expired, you will need to send information to the lienholder and have the lienholder mail it to the SCDMV with a title.

Vehicles Without a Lien 
You do not have a lien on your vehicle if you are not making payments on it.

If you do not have a loan on your vehicle, you need all of the following:

Registering Vehicle Without a Title 

The SCDMV will register your out-of-state vehicle without a title depending on the vehicle's year and the year the other state started titling vehicles. In this case, you will need the Bill of Sale.

You may pick up your Bill of Sale at an SCDMV branch or it may be mailed to you. It must be an original.

Find an SCDMV Branch