Frequently Asked Questions

Are there times I won’t be allowed to renew registration?
You will not be authorized to renew car registration in the following circumstances:

  • Your drivers license is suspended
  • Your drivers license is revoked
  • You do not have car insurance

As part of your registration process, you will need to present certain paperwork, along with proper payment for renewal fees. To complete your registration without issue, make sure that your current South Carolina drivers license is valid and in good standing.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Can somebody else renew my registration for me?
When completing SC car registration renewal, complete the process in person, online or by mail. A few weeks prior to your car registration s expiration date, you can expect to receive a renewal notice in the mail. To renew car registration online, you will need to meet some criteria that is listed on the SC DMV Public Services page. To renew by mail, your vehicle property taxes must be fully paid for and up to date.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Do boats need to be registered?
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is the department that handles boat registrations in the state. When registering your boat, you will mainly need to fill out the Watercraft/Outboard Motor Titling and Registration Application. Your registration fees may vary. To find out more, contact the SC Department of Natural Resources at 803-734-3857. You can also visit their website here, or write to their mailing address below:

SC DNR PO Box 167 Columbia, SC 29202-0167

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

Do I need to file a police report if my registration was lost or stolen?
Drivers who have a lost car registration or a stolen car registration should visit a nearby police station to complete a report about the incident. Bring this police report with you to a local DMV office when you are in the process of requesting duplicate registration. You may or may not have your replacement fee waived, but your report will be noted on your DMV file. You must also have your South Carolina drivers license on hand when completing your duplicate request.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Do I need to turn in my damaged registration?
Yes, if you currently are in the possession of a damaged car registration or a mutilated car registration, hand it to a DMV representative at a local branch. During your visit, you can also request an SC car registration copy if you haven t done so already. You will need to present certain documentation that may include the following:

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Does a motorized scooter need to be registered?
The state of South Carolina may require you to register your motorized scooter. To find out more, contact the SC DMV at 803- 896-5000. You can reach them at regular business hours that range from 8:30 a.m. or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. You can also send them an email by writing to: help@scdmv.online.com. Make sure to avoid writing your Social Security Number or drivers license number in the email for security reasons.

If you are registering a motorcycle, you will need to pay a $10 fee (may vary).

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

Does my vehicle qualify for a smog inspection?
The state of South Carolina does not require vehicles to undergo a smog or emissions inspection. However, you will need to present other types of documentation when getting car registration. This includes some of the following items:

Other acceptable proofs of identity are a United States passport, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), a permanent resident card, or an out-of-state credential if you are a new resident to South Carolina, etc.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

How can I renew my vehicle registration?
The state of South Carolina allows drivers to renew vehicle registration in one of the following manners: online, in person or by mail. Only certain counties provide an online option, therefore you will need to check if yours qualifies for renewal through the SCDMV website.

If renewing your registration by mail, you will need to send in the form you receive as part of your Renewal Notice. The instructions you should follow will be listed on your Renewal Notice for your convenience.

To renew in person, simply visit your local DMV branch with the proper paperwork and your current South Carolina drivers license.

Although car registration renewals only need to be completed every two years, SC requires vehicle property taxes to be paid on a yearly basis.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

How can I transfer my registration to another state?
If you are leaving South Carolina and setting up residence in another state, get in touch with the Department of Motor Vehicles in your new location. Each state has its own set of rules and regulations as it pertains to their titling and registration process. When transferring SC DMV car registration, make sure to bring proof of identity with you to the DMV, as well as any vehicle documentation you may have on your person.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

How do I apply for a disabled person parking placard or plates?
To apply for a disabled license plate or placard, fill out the Disabled Placard and License Plate Application. The handicap placard application will ask you personal information about your yourself, as well as your vehicle s description. A licensed physician will also need to fill out a portion of the form, indicating what type of disability or physical ailment you have.

Mail the completed application, along with proper payment, to the address below:

SC DMV PO Box 1498 Blythewood, SC 29016-0019

Only a check or money order, payable to “SCDMV,” will be accepted.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

How do I file a police report if my car registration was stolen?
If you have a lost car registration or a stolen car registration, it is imperative that you visit your local police station to file a report. By having a documented report about the incident, this will help reduce the chances of fraudulent activity on your drivers license or DMV records. After filing the report, make sure to bring a copy of it with you to a nearby South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles branch. It is to the discretion of the DMV whether or not your replacement fee will be waived.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

How do I obtain a duplicate car registration?
In order to get a South Carolina car registration replacement, you will need to make your request in one of three ways:

  • Online
  • In person
  • By mail

When replacing your car registration in person, visit a local DMV branch and speak to a representative, who will be readily available to assist you with the process. You will need to bring a proof of identity, such as your South Carolina drivers license, to locate you in their records.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

How do I obtain car registration?
If you recently purchased a vehicle through a private party, you will need to register it with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle. You can do this either by mail or in person.

In Person The SC DMV now offers an option where you can submit certain car registration paperwork online, then print out any required forms to take with you to your local branch. This will allow you to save time when registering your vehicle. To begin this part-online process, you must have your SC vehicle title on hand.

By Mail If you would like to register your vehicle by mail, you can do so by submitting any necessary paperwork to the following address:

SC DMV PO Box 1498 Blythewood, SC 29016-0024

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

If I do not renew on time, will there be an additional fee?
Yes, the state of South Carolina charges late fees for car registration that is renewed after the expiration date. The penalties for late fees are listed below:

  • The first 14 days after expiration date: $10
  • 15 to 30 days: $25
  • 31 to 90 days: $50
  • More than 90 days after: $75

Acceptable forms of payment depend on the manner in which you are renewing your car registration. If you are renewing in person, cash, check, credit card or debit card are accepted. Only checks are accepted by mail, and a credit card or debit card number must be used for an online transaction.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Is there a different process I must follow if I lost personalized plates?
If you have lost personalized plates, you will need to request duplicates. To complete this process, visit your local DMV office to inquire about how you can replace personalized license plates. You can also contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles ahead of time by calling their Customer Call Center at 803-896-5000. Their hours of operation are regular business hours from Monday to Friday. You can also reach them by mail when you write to: help@scdmvonline.com

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Should I carry the registration on me or in the car?
You should keep your South Carolina car registration inside your vehicle at all times, preferably in your glove compartment. If you are pulled over by a police officer, this information must be readily available and easily accessible. If you have a lost car registration, visit your nearest South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to request a duplicate.

In addition to having car registration paperwork in your possession, carry your car insurance information. If you have two copies of your car insurance card, keep one in your vehicle and the other inside your wallet.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

What are the most common reasons why I would need to replace my registration?
There are many reasons that may require a South Carolina driver to replace car registration. Some of the most common ones include the following:

  • You have a lost car registration
  • You have a stolen car registration
  • You have a mutilated or damaged car registration

In the event that any of the aforementioned applies to you, you will need to request a duplicate registration online, by mail or in person. You must have payment ready in order to complete the transaction. If making your request online, you will need to have your license plate number available to locate you in the records.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

What are the required fees for my vehicle registration?
There are certain taxes and fees in place you will be required to pay when getting car registration. Some of these are as follows:

  • Title fee: $15
  • Passenger vehicles: $24
  • Drivers 64 years old: $22
  • Drivers 65 or older:$20
  • Motorcycles: $10

You must also pay vehicle property taxes in the county you live in, along with a Casual Sales Tax totaling five percent of the vehicle price. These fees are subject to change without notice.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

What are the required fees to get replacement registration?
The state of South Carolina charges a low fee of $1 for duplicate car registration. If you are submitting payment by mail, accepted forms of payment are a check or money order made payable to “South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.” To obtain a duplicate registration certificate online, through the SC DMV Public Services page, only a credit card or debit card is permitted.

When requesting your duplicate registration, you are required to fill out an Application for Duplicate Registration.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

What are the required fees to renew my registration?
Your SC car registration fees will vary, depending on many factors related to your vehicle, including its weight. In order to find out the exact amount you will be required to pay, contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles for additional information. You can call them at 803-896-5000. You can also inquire about fees when renewing your car registration at a local DMV branch. Make sure to bring your current SC drivers license with you, as well as your registration paperwork.

You will also be required to pay vehicle property taxes on a yearly basis.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

What documents do I need to present to get a replacement car registration?
If you are in the process of requesting SC duplicate car registration, there are certain types of documents you will need to present. Some of these may include the following:

Drivers who would like to request a duplicate online must submit payment in the form of a credit card or debit card number. You will be asked to include information about your vehicle s description, as well as your personal information, on the Application for Duplicate Registration.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

What documents do I need to present to get new registration?
To register car, you must show the following documentation:

The state of South Carolina requires drivers to register their new vehicle within 45 days of purchase. Your vehicle must be physically located in SC in order to have it registered. You will be required to renew your car registration every two years.

For more information: How to Register a Vehicle in South Carolina

What documents do I need to present to renew my car registration?
When renewing car registration, you may be asked to submit the following documentation:

If you are renewing your car registration online, only a credit card will be accepted for payment. You will need to use a MasterCard, Discover card or VISA to complete your transaction. Your renewed car registration will be sent to the address that is on file with the DMV.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

What should I do if I have not received my registration tags or stickers?
In the event that you have not received your car registration within 10 business days, contact the SC DMV for further information. You can reach the department by calling their Customer Call Center at 803-896-5000. Their hours of operation are Monday to Friday, from either 8:30 a.m or 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. When making your phone call, have your SC drivers license number available or tag number information on hand. You can also send an email to the DMV by writing to: help@scdmvonline.com.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

When does my car registration expire?
A DMV car registration in the state of South Carolina is good for a period of two years. In order to avoid paying late fees, you are required to renew your car registration before its expiration date. When renewing your registration, you will also need to pay vehicle property taxes in the county you reside in. Renew your car registration online, by mail or in person. To renew by mail, you must have first already paid your vehicle property taxes.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Where can I find a local tax county collector office?
The state of South Carolina requires drivers to replace car registration when it is lost or stolen. You can complete this process by visiting your nearby DMV branch with the proper paperwork, proof of identity and appropriate payment. During your visit, you will be required to submit an Application for Duplicate Registration. This application will ask for information pertaining to the registered owner of the vehicle, as well as your car details.

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Will I need to fill out an application to replace my car registration?
Yes, the state of South Carolina requires drivers who have a lost car registration or a stolen car registration to complete an Application for Duplicate Registration. This application will require you to enter information about the items listed below:

  • Vehicle details
  • Registered owner s information
  • Registered owner authorization
  • The option to make a donation to Donate Life

In order for the application to be deemed valid, you will need to include your signature at the bottom. If mailing in the application, only a check or money order will be accepted. It must be made payable to the “South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.”

For more information: How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Will I receive a renewal registration notice in the mail?
Yes, you can expect to receive a car registration notice in the mail from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles a few weeks before your registration expires. You must then renew your car registration online, in person or by mail. The online option is only available to certain counties, and your vehicle property taxes must have already been paid in order to utilize this service. To renew your car registration in person, bring your South Carolina drivers license with you, along with payment for any proper fees.

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina

Will my registration expire on my birthday or birth month?
In South Carolina, a car registration will remain valid for two years. If you own a passenger vehicle, your expiration date will occur every other year in the month that your vehicle was first registered. To avoid paying any late fees, renew your vehicle registration before it expires. If you ignore the expiration date, you will incur the following fees for late registration renewal:

  • The first 14 days after expiration date: $10
  • 15 to 30 days: $25
  • 31 to 90 days: $50
  • More than 90 days after: $75

For more information: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration in South Carolina