With beautiful landscapes and breathtakingly beautiful Midlands and the Blue Ridge Mountains, South Carolina is the dream destination of many. Whether it’s to seek employment in the popular cities of Columbia and Charleston or enjoy the scenic beauty of the amazing landscapes, South Carolina is the perfect place to settle in.

If at all you’re planning a move to, from or within South Carolina, you first need to know about all the legal paperwork as it’s usually time-bound. That includes your DMV paperwork and updating your change of address forms on your driver’s license and vehicle registration. Don’t know how to go about it? Well, you needn’t worry about that as we have covered everything you need to know about your DMV paperwork. Let’s just dive right in!

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving To South Carolina From Another State

The state gives you as many as 90 days to get yourself a new driver’s license and register your vehicle with the South Carolina DMV. It will be good if you take care of these important formalities as soon as you move to the state as your move will definitely require you to take care of other things as well. That’s why we advise you to keep this task on the top of your moving checklist. Unfortunately, the state doesn’t give you any online or over-the-phone services to get a new driver’s license. You’ll have to visit the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles in person to apply for a new driver’s license. Here’s what all you would be needing:

1. Apply For A Change Of Address (Getting A New License)

When you move to South Carolina, the state makes it mandatory for you to get a new driver’s license as well as register your vehicle with the South Carolina DMV. As mentioned earlier, you have 90 days in your hand to get done with these important formalities.

You will need to carry all the required documents given below:

  • Completed application form for a new South Carolina driver’s license (Form 447-NC)
  • Your current out-of-state driver’s license.
  • Proof of identification (Birth certificate or US passport will do).
  • Proof of South Carolina residency (utility bills, pay stub, etc).
  • Social Security Number.

Note: In case of a name change because of marriage or divorce, you’ll have to carry proof of name change like a court order, marriage certificate, or divorce decree.

Good to know: For those holding a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), the state allots just 30 days to get it transferred.

As long as your current out-of-state driver’s license has not expired, you needn’t take a driving test in South Carolina. But the state requires you to pass a vision test. If at all your out-of-state license has been expired for nine months or more, you will have to pass the driving, vision, and knowledge tests.

Speaking of fees, you will be charged around $12.50 for your license and that’s valid for four years. But if you need a license that’s valid for eight years, you’ll be charged around $25. Apart from that, there’s also the knowledge fee of $2 in case you’re asked to give one by the South Carolina DMV.

2. Register Your Vehicle In South Carolina

Unlike the time period to get a new driver’s license, South Carolina gives you only 45 days to register your vehicle. That’s why you shouldn’t waste any time and get done with it as soon as you move to the state. You’ll need to go to your nearest South Carolina DMV office in person to get your vehicle registered.

Procedure: First and foremost you’ll have to get your South Carolina address updated to your auto insurance provider. Do keep in mind that your auto insurance provider has to be licensed to carry out business in the state. Then you’ll have to give the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) along with your vehicle’s recent registration card or title to your county’s auditor’s office. You’ll be made to pay a property tax bill for your vehicle to the county treasurer.

Only after completing the above procedure, you can head to the South Carolina DMV office with the following required documents:

  • Receipt of paid property tax from your county office.
  • Your application for the certificate of title.
  • Your out-of-state vehicle title or registration card.
  • Information about your liability insurance company.
  • Proof of identification.

Registration Fees: Speaking of fees, the state requires you to pay an Infrastructure Maintenance Fee of $250. Along with that there’s also the road use fee of $40 which can increase especially if yours is an electric or a hybrid vehicle. You’ll also have to pay the Gross Weight Vehicle Fee in South Carolina. For further information on the fee structure, you can visit the state’s license fee schedule page.

Do you need proof of insurance to register a car in South Carolina?

No, you don’t need a proof of insurance to register a car in South Carolina. The state’s DMV will electronically verify your insurance once you get your vehicle registered.

Can you update your South Carolina DMV change of address online?

No, you can’t update your SC DMV change of address online if you’re moving here from another state. This option is only available for people moving within South Carolina.

Can you drive with a foreign driver’s license in South Carolina?

Yes, you can drive with a foreign driver’s license in South Carolina only if you are visiting the state. If you become a permanent resident here, you’ll have to get a new SC driver’s license.

Also See: Moving To South Carolina – Relocation Guide | How Much Does it Cost to Move State to State

Obtaining A Driver’s License When Moving Within South Carolina

10 days! That’s the amount of time you have in your hands to update your driver’s license if you’re moving within South Carolina. As you see, that’s much less than the amount of time the out-of-state residents have to update their driver’s license. That’s why we suggest you do this task as soon as possible to avoid stressing at the last minute.

Fortunately the state gives you three alternatives to update your driver’s license and get your vehicle registered while moving within SC. You can either do it through their online service or submit your change of address form via mail. If not that, there’s also the option of personally going to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Office to submit your change of address form. Since the state offers you three different alternatives, you can choose whatever you’re comfortable with and get done with your change of address formalities.

1. Online

Now that you know that 10 days are all you have, you might want to consider the quicker way of doing things. You can avail of the state’s online service to update your change of address on your driver’s license. All you have to do is visit South Carolina DMV’s online address change system. There you’ll have to enter the following important details:

  • Your driver’s license or ID card number and issue date.
  • Your Social Security Number.

2. By Mail

You can also choose to change your address on your driver’s license by mail. Just make sure you have the following requirements ready with you:

  • Your completed Application for Name or Address Change.
  • Date of birth or Social Security Number.
  • Special Mailing (Form 4057).

You can mail the above details to the following address:

SC DMV, Alternative Media, P.O. Box 1498, Blythewood, SC 29016-0035.

3. In Person

If at all you want to be present while the important paperwork takes place, then you can choose to do your change of address the old-fashioned way. All you have to do is go to your nearest SC DMV office in person and fill out the application form.

To Update Your Vehicle Registration

Just like the time period for updating your driver’s license, you have only 10 days to get your vehicle registered if you’re moving within South Carolina. The easiest way to do it is through the South Carolina Change of Address System online. You can also do it in person by visiting the SC DMV office.

Make sure that you carry the following important documents:

  • Your driving license number.
  • Your Social Security Number.
  • Your current title certificate.
  • Your Vehicle Identification Number.

Note: You will be charged $10 for updating your change of address. Also, your driver’s license or vehicle registration records will not be updated just by filling out the US Postal Service Change of Address Form.

See Also: Best Local Moving Companies in the US

When You Are Moving Out Of South Carolina

There may be several things on your moving checklist that you need to plan and execute properly. No wonder moving can become stressful as you have to take care of so many things altogether. Fortunately, if you’re moving out of South Carolina, you don’t have to worry about notifying the DMV about your move. That means after you get your new license in your new state, South Carolina will automatically cancel your SC license.

Unfortunately, for your vehicle registration change of address, there are no online services available. You’ll have to mail your change of address to the below address:

South Carolina DMV, P.O. Box 1498, Blythewood, SC 29016-0019.

Also, make sure that you don’t dispose of your license plates as you’ll have to return them to the SC DMV before you cancel your vehicle’s insurance coverage.

How To Contact The South Carolina DMV?

Website: scdmvonline.com

Phone: (803) 641-7752

Operational Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 5 pm.

Also Read: Top Out of State Moving Companies


It’s good if you keep all your important documents up to date to avoid facing any kind of consequences in the future. Your driver’s license and vehicle registration are the most important legal formalities you need to take care of especially if you’re moving. These documents are multi-purpose documents and can come to your rescue when you least expect them. That’s why we suggest you choose any convenient alternatives given by the South Carolina DMV and get your driver’s license and vehicle registration updated right away.