is not owned by, endorsed by, or affiliated with any federal, state, county, or city government.

Guide to the South Carolina DMV

south carolina dmv

If you’re a car owner moving to South Carolina, or purchasing a car in South Carolina, you will need to know the basics of vehicle registration.

New Auto Registration in South Carolina

In South Carolina, vehicles are registered in the county that the owner resides. You can register your car by mail or in person. You will have forty-five days from the time you establish residency to register your car. You will have to provide your vehicle title, proof of insurance, vehicle property tax receipt, and payment for your registration fees. You will apply through the Form 400 application for certificate of title and registration. Your registration will be good for two years. Registration fees for passenger vehicles are $24.

South Carolina Vehicle Inspections

South Carolina does not require smog or emissions inspections on any of its vehicles.

South Carolina Auto Registration Renewal

To drive legally in South Carolina, you will need to renew your registration every two years.

The DMV will send you a renewal notice to remind you that your registration is about to expire.

You can renew online, if your county allows you, or in person. To renew, you will need your current vehicle registration, your identification, proof of insurance, and your renewal fee. Your renewal fee will vary based on where you live.

South Carolina Vehicle Title Process

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer in South Carolina, the dealer will complete the title application and submit it to the South Carolina DMV. To complete the auto title transfer yourself, you will need:

  • A completed application for certificate of title
  • Your out of state title and registration
  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of paid vehicle property tax
  • Proof of South Carolina insurance
  • Payment for the auto title transfer fee (usually $15 and up to 5% of the purchase price of the vehicle, if applicable)

Getting Your South Carolina Driver’s License

An South Carolina driver’s license must be obtained within ninety days of establishing residency. The South Carolina DMV doesn’t require driver or knowledge testing for new-to-state drivers, unless your out-of-state license is expired. However, you will need to pass a vision test before receiving your South Carolina license.

South Carolina Auto Insurance Requirements

South Carolina auto insurance requirements state that you should have the minimum required amounts of liability coverage and uninsured motorist coverage. The minimums are as follows:


  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $50,000 total for bodily injury or death per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

  • $25,000 for property damage
  • $50,000 for bodily injury or death per person
  • $25,000 for bodily injury or death per accident