Under South Carolina law, you are required to pay personal property taxes on your vehicle before you can obtain a license plate. Taxes must be paid annually thereafter in order to receive a new decal.
Property tax is based on the retail value of the vehicle and the taxing district in which you reside. Vehicles are also taxed at different ratios depending on ownership and weight. The ratios are as follows:
Privately owned passenger vehicles: 6% of retail value
Business owned vehicles: 10.5% of retail value
Trucks with an empty weight over 9,000 lb and a gross weight over 11,000 lb: 10.5% of retail value ( the weight used is provided by the manufacturer)
The retail value of your vehicle is determined by using guides provided by the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
New residents to South Carolina have 45 days to pay their vehicle taxes and get their South Carolina license plate and registration. In South Carolina, taxes on your vehicle are paid a year in advance.
In order to register a vehicle, we need one of the following:
Bill of Sale
Registration from previous State
The address you provide when registering a vehicle for the first time will be used for all tax bills and other correspondence from our office. We can make address changes on our system after you have received your tax bill. However, the changes we make are only temporary. It will be necessary for you to make a permanent address change with the South Carolina DMV. You may do this online at scdmvonline.com. A link has been provided on this website. We receive all of our billing information from the DMV records. Any address changes made on your vehicle registration through their office will be sent to our office.
- How do I figure out how much my taxes will be on a new vehicle I am purchasing?
- We have a manual provided to us by the Department of Revenue that shows the value of all vehicles. We can give you an estimate from our manual by phone, fax, or e-mail. If you want to figure an estimated amount yourself, take the market value (before any rebates, allowances, or trade ins) and multiply that by 7.50% if the vehicle will be in your personal name or by 10.50% if the vehicle will be in a business name. After you have done that, you will multiply your answer by the tax rate of the district you live in. We can give you the tax rate if you tell us what your address is or you can find it on any of your tax bills for the current year. If you need an exact amount, you will need to fax, e-mail, or come in and bring a title or bill of sale.
- How do I know if my vehicle qualifies for a high mileage discount?
- We have a chart provided to us by the Department of Revenue for mileage adjustments. You can call or e-mail our office and give us your mileage and year of your vehicle to find out if you are eligible.