Beginning April 18, 2022, applications for military license plates will only be processed by mail at SCDMV Headquarters in Blythewood.

Customers who visit branch offices on and after April 18, 2022 to obtain a military plate will receive an Application for Military License Plate (MV-37) and further instructions to complete the application by mail.

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What is a Registration?

When your vehicle is "registered," it will have a valid license plate no the back, decal in the lower righthand corner of the plate, and registration card you keep inside the vehicle (many people put this in their glove box). A registration cannot be issued without a title first being issued. 

Registering Your Vehicle

South Carolina law requires that you register your newly purchased vehicle within 45 days of the purchase date. If you purchased your vehicle through a dealer, the dealer will generally take care of the titling and the registration of the vehicle for you. 

If you purchased a vehicle from an individual who holds the title for that vehicle, the following will be required to properly title and register that vehicle in South Carolina:

  • Completed Title Application (SCDMV Form 400).
  • Completed Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina (SCDMV Form TI-006), if applicable - Required only if you do not have an SC Driver’s License or ID.
  • First assignment completed on title: buyer’s name and address, lienholder information (if applicable), odometer reading, sales price, date of sale, seller’s signature, buyer’s signature. If assignment on title does not have section for sales price, a bill of sale must accompany paperwork.
  • If requesting new plate, paid property tax receipt in new owner’s name.
  • If transferring plate, current license plate number (plates cannot transfer from one owner to another).
  • Title and registration fee.
  • Infrastructure Maintenance Fee or Sales Tax, if applicable.
  • Additional fees for Hybrid and Alternative Fuel vehicle.

You may visit an SCDMV branch office with the above documents to register your vehicle.

Find an SCDMV branch
You may also mail (certified only) your documents and the appropriate payment, made out to the SCDMV, to the address below:

Titles and Registration
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0024

License Plates

You may hear a license plate referred to as a tag.

Regular passenger vehicles receive a license plate with registration. Valid registrations are identified by a color-coded decal in the lower right-hand corner of the plate. You can spot a vehicle with a valid registration depending on the color of the sticker and the month printed on the sticker. Vehicles that have a registration expiring and due for renewal in 2020 will have a white decal in the lower right-hand corner of the plate. Vehicles that have a registration expiring and due for renewal in 2021 will have a yellow decal in the lower right-hand corner.

The pattern of white then yellow then green stickers should continue until further notice.

While you may see some plates with a sticker on the left-hand side with simply a number, such as "8" to designate the eighth month of the year - August - this sticker is no longer required to have a valid registration since the month, year, and plate number is now printed on the color-coded sticker on the right-hand side of the plate.

Temporary License Plates

To obtain a traceable temporary license plate, you must bring in the title, bill of sale, or lease contract from the seller of the vehicle, plus a completed and signed Application to Issue or Replace 45-Day Temporary Plates (Form 45-A) to an SCDMV branch.

Find an SCDMV branch