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  • Custom Built Car Registration in South Carolina

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    Custom Built Car Registration in South Carolina

    The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a couple different designations for custom-built cars―those that are homemade, and those made from kits. If you do not have the title for your homemade vehicle or kit car, the department will let you know what documents you'll need to obtain. You may contact the SC DMV ahead of time for more information.

    On this page, you'll find an assortment of instructions about the process of registering a homemade car or kit car in South Carolina.

    Homemade Cars

    Homemade cars include vehicles built from raw materials. The model of the car is determined by the year the car is actually built, not the age of the parts. If applicable, the title for your homemade vehicle will be based on the previous title if there ever was one. The previous title must be assigned to only you; any liens must be cleared or released.

    When applying to title your homemade car with the SC DMV, you'll need to provide:

    You'll register and tag this vehicle just like you would a regular car in SC.

    Kit Cars in South Carolina

    Kit cars are manufactured to resemble other vehicles already made, but at a lower cost.

    Some kits require you to purchase the chassis elsewhere, whereas some come complete with their own chassis.

    These kit cars will generally come with a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin, which you will need to present when you register and tag your vehicle. The title issued to you will designate that the car is a kit car.

    You won't need any special forms to register and tag your kit car. However, the SC DMV will require you to complete the Application for Certificate of Title and Registration for Motor Vehicle or Manufactured Home/Mobile Home (Form 400) at the time of your application.

    License Plates

    With a custom-built vehicle, you may want to order one of the special license plates that are available in South Carolina for it. If that's the case, you'll need to be sure to explore all the plate options available.

    If you decide to order a personalized plate for your custom vehicle, you'll need to complete an Application for Personalized License Plates (Form MV-96). You'll need to mail the application and all registration fees to the following address:

    S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles
    P.O. Box 1498
    Blythewood, SC 29016

    The cost for a personalized plate is $30 in addition to the regular car registration fees in South Carolina.