Paperwork When Buying a Car in South Carolina
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Before you purchase a car, make sure the seller gives you:
- The original title, signed over to you
- A Bill of Sale. This online version is only a sample; South Carolina requires the original document, so you may want to pick one up at your local DMV.
Then you're ready to go register your car.
In South Carolina, you can't buy or sell a vehicle that doesn't have a title. Buyers should use caution if someone attempts to sell you a car without a title; this may signal that the seller doesn't really own the car or have a legal right to sell it. If the seller has misplaced the title, they should order a duplicate title.
Registration papers are another matter; sellers are not required to provide the buyer with the vehicle's registration. When you as the buyer register and tag the vehicle in your own name, the DMV will give you a new set of documents.
If the car you purchased has a title dated prior to June 19, 1989, you will need a bill of sale for registration purposes. If you have difficulty obtaining the state's bill of sale, you can easily download a generic copy of this document from our Bill of Sale page.
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