The South Carolina registration for custom cars procedure and the process of registering a vintage car can be completed through the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, you can successfully obtain an SC custom car registration or antique license plates only if your vehicle meets the corresponding definition under the current law. Note that these special procedures vary in certain regards from the standard vehicle registration process. Find out how to register an antique car in SC and how to register custom car projects by reading the sections outlined below.

Definition of a Custom or Antique Vehicle in South Carolina

Applicants for South Carolina vintage vehicle registration documents and plates or custom auto registrations must first ensure that their vehicles abide by the relevant regulations prior to submitting their requests. To qualify for antique car tags in SC, for instance, the vehicle must be older than 24 years and used only during educational events such as tours, exhibitions and parades. These types of motor vehicles cannot be used as a regular form of transportation. Registering custom car projects, on the other hand, is a procedure that can only be completed for specially constructed vehicles, which can be classified as either reconstructed vehicles or kit cars under current state law. Reconstructed vehicles are vehicle types that were modified from their initial construction by using new or recycled parts. Kit cars, on the other hand, are purchased and assembled as a set of individual components.

Steps in the South Carolina Registration Process

While car owners applying for South Carolina custom vehicle registrations must follow different steps than those requesting vintage license plates, both groups will still be required to submit a specific set of documents and fee payments. For instance, to complete the process of registering a custom car in SC, applicants will be required to deliver the following items:

  • The Affidavit of Specially Constructed Vehicle (Form 4038)
  • The previous registration card and/or title certificate properly assigned (if available)
  • The DMV Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (Form 400)
  • Bills of sale and/or purchase receipts for the vehicle major components and the documents for the custom kit set (if applicable)
  • Receipts for payment of the applicable taxes and payments for the vehicle title and the registration fee.

If you are applying for an SC custom car registration without a previous title, you first be required to submit your vehicle to an inspection conducted at a nearby DMV location. You will then be required to fill out the DMV Affidavit of Ownership (Form TI-021A) and the Vehicle Identification Verification for Title (Form TI-021B) and take photographs of your custom vehicle.

When registering a historic vehicle with vintage car tags, on the other hand, applicants will have to complete a simpler procedure than the one outlined above. Auto owners can successfully obtain a historic vehicle registration by mailing the License Plate Application for Antique Motor Vehicles (Form MV-95B) to the DMV Personalized Plates Unit in Blythewood. In addition to the MV-95B form, applicants will also be required to include the fee payment, the DMV Form 400 and the original car title.

Fees to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in South Carolina

The procedures to register custom vehicles in South Carolina and obtain historic license plates can only be completed after paying several DMV fees and costs. Note that the total cost for an SC antique car registration differs from the one that applies for a custom auto registration, since applicants will be required to complete different steps. For example, to successfully apply for antique vehicle tags, car owners will have to pay a fee of $10 for the registration and license plate fee and a $15 certificate of title fee. Applicants who have not yet titled their antique vehicle will be required to pay additional fees. Registering custom cars, on the other hand, is a procedure that can be completed by paying the standard title fee as well as a registration fee of $24, if the vehicle is a passenger car. Note that, to finalize both procedures, car owners may be required to pay taxes as well.

Note: Learn about the applicable vehicle registration renewal fees in South Carolina by contacting a local DMV office.

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