This page does not have information on the SCDMV's Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program.

Your vehicle has a lien on it if you financed it, or make a payment every month, for example, to another person, bank, or any financial institution. The person or bank you pay is considered the lienholder. This person or bank will hold the vehicle's title until you pay the full amount.

Recording Liens

To record a lien on a South Carolina title, you must fill in Section F of the Title Application (SCDMV Form 400) with all of the following information:

  • Lienholder's name
  • Lienholder's address
  • Date of lien
  • Contact person
  • Contact person's phone number    

If the lienholder is an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) lender, include the lender's customer number in the section provided. This informationmust match the information listed on any supporting documents (Manufacture Certificate of Origin, Title, or Buyer's order, etc.).

Lien Form Preview

Odometer Readings

When a lien is recorded on an existing South Carolina title and the vehicle's owner does not change, the odometer reading is not required on the title application. Lienholders have the discretion to update the odometer reading when recording their lien. If the odometer is not updated, the current odometer reading will be used on the new title.

Lien Expiration

As of February 1, 2017, most liens with a date of February 1, 2005 or earlier, on file with the SCDMV, will expire. If you need to continue the lien due to not having received all financial payments, you must submit a continuation statement for any liens after February 1, 2005. The continuation statement is valid for two years, and then the lien will automatically expire.

The following types of vehicles are exempt from this change:

  • Motor homes (RV)
  • Mobile homes
  • Special mobile equipment
    • 9,000 pounds or more (including farm tractors, road construction and maintenance machinery, ditch-digging apparatus, well-boring apparatus, truck cranes or mobile shovel cranes, and similar vehicles)
  • Commercial trucks
    • Gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more

To file for a lien continuation for any of your outstanding liens, complete the Lien Continuation Request (SCDMV Form TI-003A) for each vehicle lien record with the SCDMV, and submit to the address below:

Lien Continuation Request
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0051

If your financial institution has received a lien from a previous lender, include documentation showing how you obtained that lien.

For example, if you hold a lien with a lien date of August 1, 2005, the lien will expire on August 1, 2017 unless you submit a lien continuation request between February 1, 2017 and August 1, 2017.

If the continuation request is not received, the owner of the vehicle will be able to get a clear title without the lien recorded upon request after the lien expires. If you do not wish to continue any of your liens, no action is required.

Releasing a Lien

If you are a lienholder and need to remove a lien from a title, complete the lien release on the front of the title document, submit a letter on company letterhead or you may release the lien electronically on electronic titles. If you submit a letter, include all of the following information:
  • Owner's name
  • Vehicle Identification Number
  • Title number
  • Lien release date
  • Signature of authorized company representative or individual releasing lien

Printing Titles

Unless otherwise specified, liens released and print title transactions will be processed the following evening after the messages are received from the lienholder. All titles are printed in a nightly batch production process.

If the lien is satisfied, the titles will be mailed to the vehicle owner. If a paper title is requested, it will be mailed to the lienholder. If an address is provided, the title will be mailed unless there is a second lienholder. If there is a second lienholder, the title will be mailed to the second lienholder. If the second lienholder is an ELT lender, the electronic lien notification will be sent instead of the paper title.