License Plates & Placards in South CarolinaPage Overview
When you purchase a vehicle, you may choose to also purchase a new license plate, transfer your old license plate, or purchase a temporary license plate that is valid for 45 days.
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.
South Carolina offers a wide variety of specialized license plates. You may want a tag designating your college or university, a chosen branch of the military, or a non-profit organization. You'll need to complete a Application for Special License Plates (Form MV-95), available online using the free Adobe Reader, to apply for a specialty tag. The costs range from free to $100, depending on the type of tag you choose.
You can also apply for a customized, personal license plate for a fee of $30. You'll need to complete an Application for Personalized License Plates (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
Disabled Placard and License Plate Application(Form RG-007A) 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 and is valid for 2 years
You may also wish to purchase portable placards to carry with you in any vehicle you need to ride. You may purchase a photo-bearing placard for $1. You can apply for your tag at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Disabled veterans may apply for a special tag also. You will need to submit a letter from a physician declaring you permanently disabled and 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.
You will also need to fill out a Application for Military License Plate (Form MV-37)
2 plates are allowed for disabled veterans per applicant and your spouse may keep the tag after your death until he or she remarries. A disabled veteran tag is free.
For more information, check out our special Drivers with Disabilities section.
A vehicle or motorcycle must be at least 25 years old 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.
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 Application for Year of Manufacture License Plate (Form RG-505A) 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
- P.O. Box 1498
- Blythewood, SC 29016
The state requires residents to return their license plates after a cancellation of car insurance for any reason.
If you've sold your vehicle and you do not plan on transferring the plates to another vehicle that you own, you should surrender them to your local SC DMV office.
If you've moved, you can mail in your South Carolina plates once you register your vehicle in your new state.Other Topics in This Section