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Paperwork When Selling a Car in South Carolina

Paperwork When Selling Your Car in South Carolina 

Selling your car can be daunting when you're unsure what paperwork you need to submit to either the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or the seller.

This page outlines all the paperwork you need to complete and submit in order to transfer the ownership of your car to another party, including transferring your car registration, title ownership, and license plates.

Selling a Car in South Carolina

To sell your car to another South Carolina resident, you can seamlessly transfer the vehicle title and registration using the state's EZ Title and Registration Online Service. This interactive internet service offers a step-by-step guide to cover all the logistics necessary for such a transaction.

After finishing this portion, you'll be directed to an online Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400) and information sheet (Form 400I). Fill out the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400) and consult the information sheet for information on what documents you'll need to submit to the DMV to complete the title and registration transfer.

These forms are available for printing via the online service. You can also mail documents to the address specified on the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400).

Apply for License Plates and Title

If the buyer is a resident of another state (not South Carolina), or is unable and/or unwilling to complete the online title and registration transfer, they will need to purchase new license plates and apply for a new title and car registration. Buyers will have a maximum of 45 days from the date of purchase to title and register their vehicle.

To purchase a new plate and title for the vehicle, the buyer will need to have the following:

  • Acceptable forms of identification.
  • Vehicle title with your signature (as the previous owner) or Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO).
  • Bill of sale (if the title was issued before June 19, 1989).
  • Lien documentation (if a lien has been issued and has not yet been settled).
  • Proof of liability insurance.
  • A completed Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400).
  • Original paid vehicle property tax receipt.
  • Payment for casual sales tax (5% of the vehicle's purchase price, with a $300 maximum tax).
  • Title and registration fees (there is a $15 title fee, while registration fees vary).

Signing Over a Title in South Carolina

To sign over a vehicle title, you simply fill out the information requested on the back of your original title and submit it to the South Carolina DMV. For details, you can visit our page on Title Transfers in South Carolina.

Transferring SC License Plates

If the license plates on your sold vehicle are still current, you can transfer them to another vehicle. Doing so requires properly registering of the vehicle within 45 days after the date of purchase. During this period, you are expected to store copies of the following documents in the new vehicle:

  • The old vehicle's registration.
  • Bill of sale.
  • Car title.
  • Rental contract.

Required South Carolina Car Inspections

South Carolina does not require drivers to obtain a smog certificate or an emissions test for their vehicles.

Replacing a SC Vehicle Title

If the original title for your vehicle has been lost or destroyed, you can replace it by filling out and submitting an Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400) to your local South Carolina DMV office. Applications can also be submitted by mail. The application form includes directions and a mailing address for completing your submission.

A complete application for duplicate title must include the following:

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