How to Perform an Out-of-State Title Transfer in South Carolina
If you have purchased a vehicle with an out-of-state title or are moving to a different state with your vehicle, you need to transfer the certificate of title in person or by mail. General requirements for this procedure include filling out your new state’s title application form, submitting proof of your vehicle ownership (such as a completed bill of sale) and paying the applicable fees, such as titling fees, registration costs and state taxes. In addition, many state DMVs require out-of-state cars to undergo vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections. Our digital how-to guide contains everything you need to know to transfer your title quickly and easily. You will get step-by-step instructions on the process, as well as information about how to complete other titling procedures, such as replacing your title.
2. By Mail
Some DMVs allow eligible residents to transfer an out-of-state title by mail. However, be mindful that this procedure is not typically offered to all vehicle owners in each state. Mail-in applications are typically reserved for drivers who are out-of-state or members of the military. If this method is available to you, you will be required to mail in a completed application form along with documents that prove you own your vehicle and that it has passed a VIN inspection. Moreover, you will need to include an acceptable payment method for the transfer fees, such as a check or money order. Note that mail-in requests can be delayed if an application features incorrect or incomplete information. Also, processing times may increase based on the amount of applications the DMV receives.
3. In Person
Depending on your state, you may only be able to complete an out-of-state title transfer by visiting a DMV office in person. In general, this is required so that your car can undergo a vehicle identification number inspection. During your visit to the DMV, you must complete the proper application form and submit documents proving your vehicle ownership. Additionally, you will be asked to pay for the applicable fees to transfer your out-of-state title. Because you will be dealing with credentials issued by different state DMVs, it is important to be prepared for the transaction in order to prevent long wait times or potential mistakes. If you do not bring in the correct paperwork, you may have to visit the DMV office at a later date to reapply.
Vehicle owners will be required to transfer an out of state car title in South Carolina on each occasion they transport and plan to operate a nonresident vehicle that was titled and registered by another state. If you are wondering how to perform an out of state car title transfer, note that you will be required to submit the necessary documents and fee payments either in person or by mail.
During the out of state car title transfer process, you will also be required to apply for a new car registration. Find out more about the process of transferring an out of state car title in SC by reading the sections below.
What is a cross-state car title transfer in South Carolina?
The SC cross state car title transfer is a unique titling procedure completed with the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to replace an invalid title with a new DMV title certificate. If you fail to re-title a car in another state DMV’s records when required to do so, you will be unable to obtain a car registration and legally operate the vehicle in a new state.
When is an out-of-state car title transfer necessary in South Carolina?
Vehicle owners must learn when an out of state car title transfer is necessary in order to avoid violating the state motor vehicle rules and regulations. It is also important to note that a title transfer will only occur if the vehicle in question was already titled by another state.
You will not be required to transfer an out of state vehicle title if you have purchased the vehicle from a dealership in another state and only have a certificate of origin. Therefore, transferring an out of state auto title in South Carolina is only a requirement for new state residents who bring a nonresident vehicle within the state and for existing residents who purchase a used nonresident vehicle.
Note: Under current law, vehicle owners must transfer the titles of out of state vehicles within 45 days of bringing them into the state.
Information and Documents Needed for an Out-of-State Title Transfer in South Carolina
When completing the process of transferring an out of state car title in South Carolina, motorists will be required to provide several types of official documents, which may vary based on the applicant’s circumstances. For example, the documents needed for an out of state title transfer after moving into the state are outlined in the following list:
- A filled out title application
- The out-of-state car title and/or registration card
- Proof of a valid car insurance policy
- A paid receipt for the vehicle property tax, if applicable
- A bill of sale, if required
- An official form of identification issued by the state DMV, such as a driving license or an ID card
Note: If your title is in the possession of a lienholder, you will be required to provide the information of the financial institution in question in order to allow the DMV access to your car title.
If you are completing an out of state vehicle title transfer for a recently-purchased vehicle, you will need to submit a different set of out of state title transfer paperwork. In such cases, you will need a properly endorsed title bearing the signature of the seller, the odometer reading and details about the sale.
Steps for Completing an Out-of-State Title Transfer in South Carolina as a New Resident
While finalizing an out of state title transfer in person in South Carolina is the standard application method, vehicle owners can also mail their application packet to the main DMV office in Blythewood. Completing an out of state title transfer as a new state resident includes several straightforward steps, such as collecting the documents that apply to your circumstances and submitting them along with the applicable fee payments.
You will successfully complete the SC new state resident car title transfer process when the state DMV determines that you meet the applicable requirements. Note that, while you will receive your registration documents immediately, your new title will be sent to your address on file as soon as it is manufactured.
Note: The option to complete an out of state title transfer online in SC is not currently offered by the department.
Out-of-State Title Transfers in South Carolina After Buying or Selling a Vehicle
If you have to complete an out of state title transfer after buying a car in South Carolina for a vehicle purchased from an out of state seller, you will be required to follow the same steps as those outlined above. Therefore, the process of transferring an out of state title after getting a car can be finalized by submitting the necessary paperwork and fee payments either in person or by mail. The state DMV will issue you a new title certificate if and when it verifies the authenticity of the submitted paperwork and fee payments.
In addition to completing the mail-in or in-person out of state title transfer after buying a vehicle, you will also need to initiate a title transfer in the event that you receive a vehicle by other means. For instance, to transfer the car title of an inherited vehicle, you will need additional paperwork confirming you as the rightful owner.
Cross-State Car Title Transfer Fees in South Carolina
Paying the price of cross state car title transfer in South Carolina is the last step in the process of transferring an out of state vehicle title. However, the cost of transferring an out of state car title will include the applicable license plate fees, since the state DMV titles and registers vehicles at the same time.
Therefore, the cross state car title transfer fees in South Carolina will include a base $15 titling fee of and a $40 registration cost that varies depending on factors such as the vehicle type and weight. Keep in mind that if you initiate a late title transfer, you will be required to pay certain penalty fees, as well.