Moving to South Carolina

If you are a licensed driver and come into South Carolina from another state to 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.

You can use a valid driver’s license issued by the state from which you moved for 90 days, after which time you must surrender it and obtain a South Carolina driver license. Click here for a list of documents required to obtain a South Carolina driver's license, beginner's permit or identification card.

If you move to SC from another state, you have 45 days to transfer your vehicle title and registration. See Transferring Your Out of State Vehicle License for more information.

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Moving 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 SCDMV. 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 SC license plate.

If you need to surrender your SC 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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