South Carolina

Vehicle registration must be completed with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) in order to legally drive on SC roadways. So what do you need to take with you to complete your transaction the first time? It depends on how you own your automobile (leasing, making payments, or owner with title) and how you want to register (single, joint, business or transfer to family member) your automobile.

You have 45 days to apply for a South Carolina vehicle registration certificate after moving to the state, after which, your registration will be valid for 2 years.

Before registering, you must first pay your county’s vehicle property tax with your county auditor. Be sure to secure an original paid vehicle property tax receipt after paying. You’ll need this to register. You will also have to pay the one-time $250 Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (IMF).

Once you have the receipts, you’re ready to register and title your vehicle, which can be accomplished simultaneously.

Vehicle Registration & Title Transfer Process

In order to register your vehicle in South Carolina, visit your local SCDMV office with the following:

To be sure you have everything you need before getting in line at the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) office, visit, answer 3 to 5 questions to generate a checklist of what is needed. Military personnel often get tax breaks in many states, your checklist will indicate if this is the case.