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South Carolina License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in South Carolina

South Carolina License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in South Carolina
November 22, 2022

The State of South Carolina is located in the southeastern region of the United States. 

 

The state was named in honor of King Charles 1 of England, who originally called it Carolus, the Latin for Charles. 


Every vehicle operated or driven on South Carolina expressways must be licensed and registered with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. 

 

When shopping for a car in the Palmetto State, it is important to start by researching the vehicle before purchasing it. 


Even though most South Carolina auto dealers offer license plate lookup services, there is no harm in doing it yourself. 

 

This way, you get to verify their claims' integrity and gain valuable insights into the vehicle's history.


At times, car dealers may not be upfront about every detail concerning the car. 

 

However, a license plate lookup protects you against pre-owned car scams and fraud. You can find out whether you are purchasing a stolen vehicle or one with a faulty title. 
 

A South Carolina license plate lookup provides more details about the vehicles and their previous owner(s). This article will provide all you need to know about performing a license plate lookup in South Carolina. 

a finger touching a car's license plate


Management and Operation of South Carolina License Plates


Every vehicle in South Carolina, including trucks, cars, motorcycles, vans, and trailers, must have a single license plate attached to the back. The state's Motor Vehicle Code provides that license plates must be attached to vehicles at all times. 


The South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) oversees the issuing of license plates to vehicles. License plates come with stickers bearing the renewal and expiration date on them. 


Previously, the state issued two stickers; one for the month and another for the year. However, the state currently issues only one sticker containing both year and month. This was done to make the stickers more visible to law enforcement agencies and to save costs.


South Carolina is one of the few states that does not allow the transfer of license plates alongside the vehicle to other individuals. 

 

However, it permits vehicle owners to reuse a license plate on another vehicle so long they re-register the plate within 30 days of removal with the Division of Motor Vehicle. 


If the owner fails to do so, they must submit the license plate to the DMV. The state's standard license plate contains an indigo and white background featuring the state's crescent and the popular Palmetto tree which is native to South Carolina. 


The plate also bears the caption, "While I breathe, I hope." All other regular license plates feature color-coded decals that indicate the year of expiration. 

 

Aside from these, various custom designs and mottos are also available for personalized license plates. 


Popular taglines include "Smiling faces, beautiful places" and "Bayou State." The state follows the ABC 123 format for license plates.

a man attaching an empty license plate on a vehicle


How to Conduct License Plate Lookup in South Carolina 


While purchasing a vehicle can be exhilarating, it is always recommended that you carry out various due diligence exercises to ascertain the authenticity of your purchase. One such exercise is running a license plate lookup. 


Through a license plate lookup, you can retrieve data, such as the vehicle's title history, liens, odometer reading, accident history, and a lot more. 

 

However, South Carolina does not disclose certain types of information, especially the personal details of past owners. 


This is in accordance with the provisions of the South Carolina Driver Privacy Protection Act. 

 

The act limits access to details such as the owner's phone number, emergency contact details, medical history, and social security number. 


Interested parties looking to conduct a license plate lookup at the Division of Motor Vehicles can only do so upon provision of any of the following reasons stated under the Driver Privacy Protection Act:


* To validate the integrity of the vehicle owner's details
* To prevent fraud or scam
* To verify or retrieve information for an employer
* To investigate any claim made by an insurer 
* For the use of a licensed private investigator 
* Such details are required in criminal, civil, administrative, or arbitral proceedings
* To be used by government agencies


The South Carolina Interactive, in partnership with the South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, administers a subscription-based license plate search. 

 

You will be required to pay an annual subscription fee of $75, and you will be charged $7.25 for every license plate search you conduct. 


Licensed and registered participants can perform a license plate lookup using the vehicle's plate number on the South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicle inquiry application page. 

a license plate that reads new

 

You must fill out the form and submit it to the agency. You can also visit the division for further inquiries at:


South Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles,
Titles and Registration,
P.O. Box 1498,
Blythewood, SC 29016-0024


Finally, another agency that maintains records of driving and license plate records in South Carolina is the state's Department of Transportation. 

 

You will be able to discover details about driver's licenses, renewals, registration, and lots more. You can contact them through the following details:


Phone Number: 803 737-2314,
Office Address: 955 Park Street,
Columbia, SC 29202


Conclusion 


South Carolina license plate lookup is your one-stop means of obtaining every piece of information related to vehicles in the state. 

 

Outlined above are the best techniques for conducting license plate lookups in South Carolina

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