Commercial Truck or Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)

As defined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

a) has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 10,000 pounds, whichever is greater;

b) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 26,001 pounds or more, whichever is greater;

c) is designed to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver; or

d) is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as that term is defined in 49 C.F.R. Section 390.5

To drive a CMV, you must have a commercial driver's license (CDL). If you're interested in learning more about the requirements for getting a CDL, visit Commercial Licenses.

Commercial Vehicle Titling Process-ALL

Titles for ALL commercial vehicles should be applied for and in the business or individual name prior to applying for vehicle registration. For more information on how-to Transfer My Title.

Commercial Vehicle Registration

Operating within South Carolina only

If you meet none of the requirements outlined in SCDMV Motor Carrier Eligibility Checklist to obtain a apportioned plate registration then you may be eligible for a South Carolina base plate and if applicable apply for a trip permit. If one or more of the following apply:

  • You are not transporting goods or commerce outside of South Carolina
  • You are traveling outside of South Carolina with a GVW of  26,000 lbs or less
  • You are  transporting outside of South Carolina with a GVW of more than 26,000 lbs but not frequently 

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) currently does not issue trip permits. Trip Permits are issued through third-party vendors, customers may contact any of the following agencies for more information on obtaining a trip permit:

  • Interstate Permit: 1-800-343-4889
  • JJ Keller: 1-800-231-5266
  • Jet Permits: 1-800-788-0603

International Registration Plan (IRP)

Registration for commercial vehicles operating in South Carolina and other states must be completed online at the South Carolina Trucking Portal. IRP registrations cannot be processed at any of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) branch offices.

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
International Registration Plan (IRP) Registrants and Intrastate carriers must show a Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) return, Schedule 1 2290 (IRS Form 2290), validated by the IRS for the current tax year or a copy of the form accompanied by a photocopy of the canceled check (front and back) used to pay the tax.

  • The owner of any vehicle with a declared gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 55,000 pounds or more, regardless of the type of vehicle, must provide Schedule 1 tax paid receipt from the Internal Revenue Service.
  • You should file HVUT returns with the IRS from July 1 to August 31 for any vehicle currently licensed.
  • Customers who register 25 or more vehicles for any taxable period are required to electronically file their HVUT tax return with the IRS. If you acquire additional vehicles after the initial filing of the tax return, you do not have to electronically file the return for those vehicles. The SCDMV does not accept tax returns if you’re registering 25 or more vehicles.
  • The HVUT Return (IRS Form 2290) must be filed by the last day of the month, following the month of the first use.
    For example, if an individual uses a taxable vehicle on a public highway by driving it home from the dealership on July 2, 2018, after purchasing it. The individual must file IRS Form 2290 by August 31, 2018, for the period beginning July 1, 2018. For more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i2290.pdf and view page 3.

For further information on vehicles exempt from the HVUT go to www.irs.gov.