When buying a car in South Carolina, you must obtain certain documents from the seller in order to register and apply for a title in your name. The documents that you need include the bill of sale and vehicle title. You will use these documents to register and title the car you have purchased with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you buy a car from a vehicle dealer, they will handle required paperwork for vehicle registration and titling for you. However, if you buy from a private seller, you will need to obtain certain paperwork from the seller in order to register the vehicle in your name. Continue reading this article to get more information about the paperwork required when buying a car in South Carolina.

Paperwork for South Carolina Car Buyers

To register and title your newly purchased car in South Carolina, you must obtain certain documents from the seller. The documents you need include:

  • Vehicle title, which must be signed by you and the seller.
  • A bill of sale, if there is no space on the vehicle title to include odometer reading and vehicle purchase price.

Title Transfers in South Carolina

The certificate of title that you obtain from the seller must be signed over to you and should include:

  • A signature from the seller.
  • Odometer reading.
  • Any current liens.
  • The purchase price.

NOTE: If the space on the title is not enough to include the above information, you have to obtain the bill of sale from the seller. When you register the car with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle, you will also need to:

  • Transfer the title.
  • Pay the 5% sales tax.
  • Pay the $15 title transfer fee.

Missing Title

You should not purchase a vehicle without a title. If the title is missing, damaged or lost, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy and sign it over to you.

South Carolina Vehicle Registration

You have to register and title your newly purchased vehicle within 45 days from the date of purchase. You can do so by either mail or in person at your local South Carolina DMV office. To register through mail, you will need to send all the required paperwork to: South Carolina DMV P.O. Box 1498 10311 Wilson Blvd Blythewood, SC 29016 To register your used car, you will need:

  • A vehicle title (filled out and signed).
  • A bill of sale, if there is no space on the vehicle title to include odometer reading and vehicle purchase price.
  • A completed Form 400 (Application for Certificate of Title and Registration).
  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Proof of identification.
  • Property tax receipt.
  • Payment for fees and taxes: $24 registration fee. $15 title transfer fee. Sales tax, which is usually 5% of vehicle purchase price.

Vehicle History Reports

A Vehicle History Report is not needed when registering or titling the car. However, this report is needed to verify and confirm the status and history of the car that you are purchasing. By requesting a vehicle history report, you will not only avoid car problems, but also avoid a number of vehicle frauds. Make sure you have this document at hand when negotiating with the seller.

South Carolina Lemon Law

South Carolina has a lemon law that covers vehicles used to transport goods and people. This law covers vehicles for 12 months from the date of delivery from the seller or vehicles which have covered 12,000 miles or fewer. If you think you have bought a lemon, you need to notify the manufacturer to attempt repair. If the problems are not repaired, you can then request a refund and vehicle replacement.