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License Plates in South Carolina

LOST OR STOLEN LICENSE PLATES

As soon as license plates are lost, stolen or illegible they must be replaced. You must also report stolen or lost plates to the local police department.

In order to replace your plates you must:

  • Visit your local DMV office.
  • Present proper forms of ID.
  • Hand in any remaining license plates.
  • Fill in an application for replacement plates. Please see the list below for links to the appropriate forms for each type of plate.
  • Pay the license plate replacement fees.

CUSTOM AND PERSONALIZED PLATES

Regular Sunrise Plates

Sunrise plates are being issued from July 2008 to replace the older Palmetto plate series. These plates will be automatically sent to those with existing Palmetto plates when the registration is renewed. New registrations will automatically be issued sunrise plates unless they opt for specialty plates.

Special Plates

The Carolina DMV offers a variety of special plates. Some of the categories include College/University plates, Sports plates, Organizations plates, Disabled plates, Military plates, and Specialty plates. Click on the appropriate link to find out more about the various kinds of specialty plates. The plates are for cars or light trucks with an empty weight of 9,000 pounds or less, and a gross vehicle weight of 11,000 pounds or less. Download and complete the Application for Special License Plates. Do not forget to include your vehicle, registration, and insurance details. Mail the completed form along with the relevant fees to the following address:
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0008    

Personalized Plates

You can also opt for a personalized license plate. These plates are available for cars or light trucks with an empty weight of 9,000 pounds or less and a gross vehicle weight of 11,000 pounds or less. You can opt for a combination of 6 letters and/or characters for motor vehicles and 5 letters and/or characters for motorcycles. Download and complete the Application for Personalized License Plate. South Carolina DMV offers a variety of special plates. Some of the categories include College/University plates, Sports plates, Organizations plates, Disabled plates, Military plates, and Specialty plates. Click on the appropriate link to find out more about the various kinds of specialty plates. Download and complete the Application for Special License Plates. You will have to enter three personalized messages of your choice. Do not forget to include your vehicle, registration, and insurance details. Mail the completed form along with the relevant fees to the following address:
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0008    

FEES

The fees for replacing a license plate or getting new plates vary depending on the type of plate you need. There are no fees for regular Sunrise plates other than the normal registration fees. The fees for special license plates vary depending on type of plate. For more information please visit the section on Specialty plates at the South Carolina DMV website. The fees for personalized license plates are $30 in addition to the registration fees.

WHAT TO DO WITH PLATES WHEN BUYING/SELLING A VEHICLE

Under South Carolina Law it is NOT mandatory to retain standard license plates from a vehicle when selling. The plates will remain with the buyer once the ownership of the vehicle has been transferred; however, if the plates are special interest or personalized then there are two options for the seller. One, keep the plates for another vehicle and two, release the plate to the buyer.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Reviews of License Plates in South Carolina

Is there an option to get a Indianapolis Colts License Plate? If so, how much would that cost?

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