When buying, selling, or transferring ownership of a vehicle in South Carolina, you will need an SC bill of sale.
The SC DMV Bill of Sale acts as more than a receipt that details the transaction of the sale. It also acts as proof of ownership and protects both the buyer and the seller from liability should there be an issue with the vehicle.
For example, if the previous owner had parking tickets that were not paid, or there had been an accident involving the vehicle, the buyer could use the SC DMV bill of sale to prove they were not in ownership at the time of the incident.
An SC DMV bill of sale is also a requirement when the new owner needs to register and title the vehicle.
Other Related Documents
Sellers are required to complete Form 416 (Notice of Vehicle Sold) and submit this to the DMV. The odometer reading must be written in the appropriate area on the back of the vehicle’s title. If there is no room, you will need to create an Odometer Disclosure Statement. Currently, the state of South Carolina does not have its own Odometer Disclosure form. For odometer readings that require correction before a sale, the seller will need to complete Form TI-008 (Odometer Correction Request)
If you are going to be registering and titling a vehicle for another, you will need to complete a South Carolina Vehicle Power of Attorney (Form MC-25)
Creating an SC Bill of Sale
South Carolina’s DMV does not have its own SC bill of sale form, so you will need to either create one or use a template. When creating an SC DMV bill of sale, you must include the following details:
- The date that the document was created
- Details of both the seller and the buyer, which must include full legal names, legal addresses, and contact details.
- Details about the vehicle, which must include the VIN, make, model, year, body type, and license number of the seller
- Sale information, which must include the sale price, any liens remaining on the vehicle, trade-in details, and taxable total.
- Odometer disclosure details and whether the vehicle is beyond its mechanical limits, or if there was an odometer malfunction that caused an incorrect reading.
- Signatures of both the seller and the buyer with a line under each for the date of the signing. This must be notarized.
Registering a Vehicle in South Carolina
By law, if you wish to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in South Carolina, you must have the vehicle registered. If the vehicle was purchased at a dealership, the dealer generally takes care of submitting the titling and registration documents for the buyer. For private sales of a vehicle, the buyer has 45 days from the date of purchase to register the vehicle. Registrations are valid for a period of two years, in which the registration must be renewed for as long as you own the vehicle.
Where to register
Vehicles that are being registered for the first time will need to be done in person at your nearest DMV Office, or done via mail and sent to the DMV’s Main Headquarters.
Renewals can be done using the DMV Online Renewal service if you have received your Form MV1 (renewal notification) from the Department of Motor Vehicles. You will need to have paid your property taxes to your county, which must notify the DMV that this was done. You will also need to provide proof of your vehicle insurance.
Documentation Needed to Register and Title a Vehicle
Before you visit the DMV to register your vehicle, you will need to go to your local County Auditor to pay the appropriate vehicle county tax. This will vary depending on which county you reside in. You can then go to your local DMV office to begin the registration process. You will need to provide the following:
- A current and valid SC Driver’s License or another form of ID. If you do not have one, you will need to complete and submit Form TI-006 (Statement of Vehicle Operation in SC)
- Your Vehicle County Tax Receipt
- Completed and signed Certificate of Title
- Odometer Disclosure Statement, if there isn’t room on the title.
- A completed, signed, and notarized SC DMV Bill of Sale
- A completed Form SCDMV-400 (Title Application Form)
- If someone else will be registering the vehicle for you, they will need to have completed Form MC-25 (Vehicle Power of Attorney)
- Proof of vehicle insurance with a registered South Carolina insurance provider (as set out in Code 56-10-225) Insurance must meet the Minimum State Requirements:
- Cover of $25,000 for injury, per individual
- Cover of $50,000 for an accident, per instance
- Cover of $25,000 for property damages
- The funds to pay the correct Registration and Titling Fees
The State of South Carolina does not require emissions testing prior to registration of a vehicle,