Registering or renewing license plates in South Carolina is done through the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Vehicle owners can apply for standard plates, specialty plates, or disability plates. Most plates have the option to be personalized for an additional fee.
It is possible to look up available plate numbers online before applying.
All vehicles owned by South Carolina residents are required to have license plates on their vehicles.
There are a few different types of license plates issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in South Carolina. License plates available for vehicles include:
Prices vary by plate type and may include additional requirements to register.
The following specialty license plates are available for South Carolina residents from the DMV:
Specialty license plates may require additional documentation for proof of enrollment or association. For example, military license plates require proof of being enlisted or valid discharge papers. Those seeking specific honorary plates must have valid certification of the applicable military awards.
The fees required for specialty plates vary by type. Some charitable and organizational fees receive a portion of the plate fee to support their causes or initiatives.
Personalized license plates enable you to customize your vehicle's plate number. The DMV of North Carolina requires that you follow these guidelines:
Applications will be reviewed by DMV staff to ensure they follow these guidelines.
To look up available license plates in North Carolina, use the search bar above.
People with disabilities may be qualified to obtain disability license plates from the DMV.
Disability license plates and placards are available for:
Disability plates and placards permit people with disabilities to park in designated parking spaces throughout the state.
Applications for license plates can be done in person at a DMV office throughout North Carolina. To register a vehicle, the following may be required:
All vehicles owned by North Carolina residents must be registered to drive legally throughout the state.
New residents are required to register their out-of-state vehicle(s) within 45 days.
Residents who are purchasing a new or used vehicle are required to register it within 45 days.
It is possible to register vehicles either by mail or in person.
Registered vehicles will be issued registration stickers, which must be placed on the rear license plate. Before the expiration date on the plate, vehicle owners can apply for renewal either:
New registration stickers will be issued, which must be placed over the old ones.
When a new vehicle is purchased, owners can transfer their old license plates for a nominal fee.
It is typically not possible to transfer license plates to the person purchasing a used vehicle.
Surrendering License Plates in North Carolina
The following situations require vehicle owners to surrender their license plates in North Carolina:
Plates can be surrendered by mailing or dropping off plates at a local DMV office.
When registering your vehicle with the North Carolina DMV, you will be required to pay taxes and service fees in addition to any of the following registration fees:
Please contact a local DMV office for more information about fees and taxes for specific car types.
It is possible to look up license plates in North Carolina to obtain information about:
Use the search bar above to begin looking up license plates in North Carolina or any state across the U.S.