License Plates & Placards in South Carolina
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When you purchase a vehicle, you may choose to also purchase a new license plate, transfer your old license plate, or purchase a 45-day temporary license plate.
More information can be found in our Registration and Titling section.
Aside from regular South Carolina license plates, you also have the option of ordering specialized, personalized, and disabled license plates.
You can also apply for a customized, personal license plate for a fee of $30. You'll need to complete Form MV-96 and submit up to three choices for your tag. After your application is reviewed, your license will be approved or denied. You are not guaranteed your first choice.
If you are disabled, either temporarily or permanently, you'll need to complete Form DMVB-16 to apply for a disabled license plate. Your doctor will need to complete a section of the application, certifying your condition. The cost of a disabled license plate is $20.00.
You may also wish to purchase portable placards to carry with you in any vehicle you need to ride. You may purchase one photo-bearing placard for $1.00. You can apply for your tag at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Disabled veterans may apply for a special tag also. Just submit a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating:
- You are entitled to compensation due to loss of limb; or
- You have visual impairment; or
- You are a South Carolina veteran classified as totally and permanently disabled
Two disabled veteran plates are allowed per applicant and your spouse may keep the tag after your death until he or she remarries. There is no fee for a disabled veteran tag.
For more information, check out our special Drivers with Disabilities section.
A vehicle must be at least 25 years old (or 30 years for a motorcycle) to be eligible for an antique plate. Additionally, the vehicle must only be used for antique exhibitions, parades, and other related activities.
Apply for the plate at a DMV office. You'll need to surrender your title, but you'll be issued another title reflecting the antique-vehicle status. The plate costs $10.00.
Once you relinquish ownership of the vehicle, you must surrender your antique plate to the DMV.
Year of Manufacture Plates
If you own a vehicle and have a South Carolina plate from its model year, you may apply to display the plate on the vehicle.
The plate must be unaltered, contain no more than seven characters, and be in a usable condition.
The DMV lists many other requirements on the model year application form.
Send the completed application, along with a color photograph of the vehicle, proof of your paid property tax, and payment for your registration fee and the $30.00 year of manufacture fee to:
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Personalized Plate Unit
- P.O. Box 1498
- Blythewood, S.C. 29016-0008
The state requires South Carolina residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our SC License Plate Surrender page.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.