Finalizing the South Carolina car title transfer is an important step after buying or selling a vehicle or after receiving it via other means. You can complete title transfers for cars by submitting a paper application to the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Note that when meeting the SC title transfer requirements, you can also obtain a new car registration at the same time. To learn more about completing the vehicle title transfer and to review the fees that said transfer might involve, continue reading the following sections.

What is a car title transfer in South Carolina?

If you are wondering, “How do you transfer a title on a car in South Carolina?” it is important to get more information about the auto title transfer process and the purpose of the certificate of title. The SC title transfer for cars is a routine process completed when the ownership of the vehicle changes hands from one legal entity to another.

The DMV-issued title certificate is the principal document used to transfer a car title, since it records information about the original owner and can be used to enter important details regarding the vehicle sale and the buyer. If the vehicle owners involved in the ownership transfer fail to meet the SC car title transfer requirements, the state DMV will not be able to register the vehicle.

When is a vehicle title transfer required in South Carolina?

Car owners will be required to complete a car title transfer in South Carolina in situations where the vehicle possession is passed to another owner, regardless of the circumstances surrounding the change of ownership.

While the most common instance where a title transfer for vehicles is necessary is after a private sale, you will also be required to complete a transfer if you have received the vehicle as a gift or by means of inheritance. However, the exact requirements to transfer a vehicle title in SC in such unique situations may vary slightly.

Information and Documents Necessary to Transfer a Title in South Carolina

Meeting the South Carolina title transfer requirements, such as submitting certain paperwork and information and paying the applicable fees, is an important step when transferring a vehicle title. However, the auto title transfer requirements may vary to a certain degree depending on the circumstances surrounding the ownership transfer.

If you would like to review the documents necessary to transfer a car title in SC after a private sale, for example, and learn how to fill out transfer of title forms, check the following list:

  • A properly assigned certificate of title containing the seller’s data and signature, the odometer reading, the sale date and the sale price
  • A bill of sale, if necessary
  • A title application filled out for title transfer purposes
  • A statement of vehicle operation or a state-issued driving license
  • Proof of payment of any applicable taxes and fees

Note: If you are in the role of a seller and you lose your title certificate, you will be required to obtain a duplicate car title before proceeding with the transfer of ownership.

If you are transferring a vehicle title in SC under certain unique circumstances, you may also be required to submit additional documentation and information. For example, if you are filling out the title application after receiving the vehicle as a gift, you will be required to check the corresponding box on the form in order to earn eligibility for a sales tax exemption.

If you are completing the transfer of auto title after the death of the original owner, on the other hand, you may need the previous owner’s death certificate. To learn more about the SC vehicle title transfer requirements that apply in similar unique instances, contact the state DMV.

Steps for Performing a Transfer of Title in South Carolina

To properly transfer a car title in South Carolina, vehicle owners will be required to submit the paperwork and fee payments that apply to their situation either in person or by mail, since they cannot complete a car title transfer online in the state. If you choose to complete the vehicle title transfer in person, you can visit any DMV branch office within the state.

If you decide to get your new title by mail, on the other hand, you will be required to send your application packet to the DMV Titles Unit.

The department will process your title transfer for cars request when it verifies that you meet the SC title transfer requirements for your particular situation. Your new title will be sent to your address on file as soon as it is manufactured.

Getting a New Car Title Versus Title Transfers in South Carolina

Vehicle owners are required to obtain a South Carolina new title for car, upon the purchase of a new motor vehicle. However, prior to getting a new car title in SC, motorists are highly advised to discover the difference between applying for a new car title and transferring an existing vehicle title.

Vehicle owners may order a new car title through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SC DMV) immediately after purchasing a new vehicle or after moving from another state.

Apart from the process of applying for a DMV new title in South Carolina, motorists may also decide to perform a title transfer procedure. However, previous and new vehicle owners need to distinguish between the different obligations that they need to complete when transferring a vehicle title.

The title transfer process must be performed when the ownership rights of a certain type of motor vehicle are transferred from one person to another. For instance, a title transfer is usually conducted when purchasing or selling a motor vehicle. However, it may also be performed when inheriting, donating or receiving a vehicle as gift.

Car Title Transfer Fees in South Carolina

An important step when transferring a car title in South Carolina is paying the $15 title fee. Note that in addition to the main cost of the auto title transfer process, you may also be required to arrange payment for the car registration and license plate fees, since the state DMV processes titling and registration requests simultaneously.

However, while the base titling fee imposed when completing title transfers for cars in SC is not very high, the registration costs may vary based on factors like the vehicle type and weight. Also, before paying the costs to register and transfer a vehicle title, you will be required to arrange payment for the corresponding taxes. For more information regarding the costs of the vehicle title transfer procedure, contact the department.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.