Types of Special License Plates in South Carolina
In South Carolina, you can choose from many types of specialty license plates for your vehicle, including personalized plates and plates for organizations. If you qualify, military tags and antique plates are also available.
Read below to learn more about the different types of specialty license plates available in South Carolina.
- Ready to apply? See our Applying for Custom License Plates page for more information.
- Looking for disability parking permits? Visit Disability Placards & Plates for application instructions.
License plates from the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can be personalized for an additional fee.
Your custom tag number must meet specific requirements to be approved. It can have:
- Up to 7 characters.
- 6 characters on motorcycle plates.
- An ampersand (&).
- A blank space (counts as a character).
The letter/number combination CANNOT use vulgar or derogatory language.
When you apply for a personalized tag, you'll submit several combinations in order of preference in case any numbers are already in use.
The fee for a personalized plate is $30 PLUS the standard vehicle registration fee.
South Carolina offers a number of specialty plates that feature unique designs. Types of specialty license plates include:
- Organizational plates for charities, non-profits, and other groups.
- Collegiate license plates.
- Sports license plates.
Organizational license plates are available for a range of groups, from charities to membership organizations.
Fees for organizational plates are charged IN ADDITION to regular South Carolina registration fees. In most cases, a portion of the additional fee goes to the organization.
Some of the available plates include:
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.: $70 every 2 years.
- Requires a current sorority financial card or certificate of membership.
- Boy Scouts of America: $30 every 2 years.
- Available to anyone.
- Donate Life: $30 every 2 years.
- No eligibility requirement.
- Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: $50 every 2 years.
- No membership requirement.
See the SC DMV website for a list of organizational license plates, eligibility requirements, and fees.
To apply, visit our Applying for Specialty License Plates page.
Collegiate plates are another type of specialty license plate available from the SC DMV. A portion of collegiate plate fees benefit scholarships or other programs at the college.
License plates are available for South Carolina universities as well as out-of-state schools. For example, you can get license plates for:
- Benedict College.
- Florida State University.
- The University of South Carolina.
You'll find a complete list of collegiate plates on the SC DMV website.
The fee for most collegiate plates, like the University of South Carolina plate, is $70 per 2 years PLUS the regular registration fee. Fees may vary by college.
Visit Applying for Specialty License Plates for application details.
Sports License Plates
The South Carolina DMV also offers license plates for various sports and teams. In most cases, the additional fees for these plates benefit a charity or a state recreation organization.
You can get a sports plate for teams and organizations such as:
- The Carolina Panthers: $70 for 2 years.
- The Special Olympics: $50 for 2 years.
The SC Department of Motor Vehicles website has a complete list of sports plates available.
In 2014, the South Carolina DMV ended its licensing agreement with NASCAR. As a result, no NASCAR plates will be issued, renewed, or replaced as of March 1, 2015.
If you currently have a NASCAR license plate, you will need to choose a different one upon your next renewal.
Military license plates from the SC DMV are available to current and former service members. Some plates are also available to spouses or family members.
South Carolina military plates fall into several categories, including:
- Medals and honors, such as the Bronze Star plate.
- Combat experience, such as the Vietnam Veteran plates.
- Military service, such as the U.S. Armed Forces Retired plate.
See the SC DMV website for a list of all military license plates.
To be eligible for a military license plate, you must have proof of service—such as your discharge papers—that reflects the experience shown on the plate.
Fees for military tags vary; for example:
- The Bronze Star license plate: Standard registration fees.
- The U.S. Armed Forces Retired plate: $30 for 2 years, PLUS standard registration fees.
For application details, see our page on Applying for Specialty License Plates.
An antique license plate can be issued by the SC DMV for vehicles that are:
- At least 25 years old.
- Used ONLY for exhibition, shows, and similar events.
The fee for the license plate is $10 PLUS $15 to retitle the vehicle as an antique.
See our page, Applying for Specialty License Plates, to learn how to apply.
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