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:

  • Completed Title Application (SCDMV Form 400)
  • Completed Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina (SCDMV Form TI-006), if applicable
    Only if you do not have an SC driver's license or ID.
  • Title signed over to you as the buyer
    The price and odometer reading at the time of sale must be included on the back of the title. If it is not there, you will need the Bill of Sale.
  • Paid property tax receipt from the county you live in
  • Title and registration fee
  • Infrastructure Maintenance Fee payment, if applicable
  • A signed Bill of Sale/Buyer’s Order is required for all title transactions showing the total sale prices of the vehicle, minus any trade-in value. The buyer’s signature is required on the Bill of Sale.   

Before you buy a used vehicle, check the title history 

After You Buy

South Carolina law requires that you register your newly purchased vehicle within 45 days of the purchase date. You can begin transferring a South Carolina title and registration 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.

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:

PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0019

Temporary License Plates

To obtain a traceable temporary license plate, you must bring in the title, bill of sale, or lease contract from the seller of the vehicle, plus a completed and signed Application to Issue or Replace 45-Day Temporary Plates (Form 45-A) to an SCDMV branch.

Find an SCDMV branch 

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:

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 F 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.