South Carolina’s Vehicle Registration Requirements
A costly but avoidable ticket in South Carolina involves registering a vehicle. Driving with expired license plate tags is a primary offense that can result in law enforcement pulling over a car. Most people only think about this once a year when the fees are due. Yet making sure a vehicle is in compliance with state laws is something that should be top of mind for anyone who lives or drives in South Carolina.
Purchasing a Vehicle
Every vehicle that drives on South Carolina roads must have either a regular license plate or a temporary plate, which is only valid for 45 days. For those who have a temporary plate, it is necessary to carry the bill of sale, rental contract or title in the vehicle at all times. The state requires that any resident who owns a vehicle must register it with the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles. In many situations, a dealership can handle this process on behalf of the buyer. Otherwise, the buyer must provide identification in order to apply for registration.
Moving to South Carolina
Any resident who has an out-of-state license must apply for a South Carolina license within 90 days of moving. Additionally, the new resident has 45 days to transfer the vehicle’s title and registration to the state. Before getting issued a South Carolina title, the DMV will verify the out-of-state title with the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. In order to transfer the title, the DMV requires vehicle owners to present the following information:
- The out-of-state title and registration
- Personal identification
- Proof of automobile insurance
Additionally, before obtaining registration, the DMV requires proof of South Carolina taxes paid on the vehicle.
In addition to the property taxes owed, people registering their vehicles in the state can expect to pay fees. A basic title fee, according to the DMV, is $15. Passenger cars and recreational vehicles carry a $24 fee, and trucks, truck-trailers and road tractors have fees based on their gross vehicle weight. Additionally, people who are 65 and older will have to pay a $20 fee.
After registering the vehicle with the state, the DMV will send out a notice for renewal every year. In order to keep the registration up to date, drivers will have to pay a renewal fee, property tax and possible verify car insurance information, when applicable. Once these steps are completed, the DMV will send a new sticker to place on the license plate. Having the wrong colored sticker on a license plate gives law enforcement all the information they need to pull over a driver, which can lead to subsequent offenses and tickets. At Nosal & Jeter, LLP our goal is to prevent motorists from incurring unnecessary traffic tickets and charges. Make sure your vehicle is in good standing with the state by taking these steps.