Selling a Car in South Carolina

If you want to sell a car in South Carolina, you’ll need to sign the title over and report the transfer to the DMV.
Written by Claire Beaney
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Updated on Jun 27, 2022
When selling a car in South Carolina, you’ll need to sign your title over to the new owner, report the ownership transfer to the DMV, and pay any requisite fees.
You may be wondering if selling a car privately will be time-consuming and complicated, but it's rather simple once you understand the steps to take. 
Each state has its own set of regulations and laws for ensuring legal ownership transfer, and if you don't follow them, you could be held liable for the car even after it has left your possession.
Luckily, the
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What you need to sell a car in South Carolina

If you’re looking to sell your car privately in South Carolina, you must sign the title over to the buyer and notify your DMV. 
When you sell the vehicle, complete a state Notice of Vehicle Sold (SCDMV Form 416) form and mail it to the appropriate location.
Keep in mind that completing this form does not show a legal transfer of ownership (it’s not a substitute for a proper title transfer). This form just ensures that the last registered owner is financially protected until the new buyer completes the transfer of ownership.

Additional fees

Since 2017, private party vehicle transactions in South Carolina are subject to an Infrastructure Maintenance Fee (IMF) in place of a sales tax. The IMF is 5% of the sales price or up to a $500 maximum.
There are exceptions if the vehicle was:
  • Sold between family members: from grandparents to grandchildren, between cousins, etc.
  • Inherited or bequeathed
  • A gift or donation
  • Purchased by someone in active duty in the military  
Remember to pay any requested titling and registration fees during the sale process, too. 

Getting a pre-sale inspection

South Carolina does not require drivers to obtain a smog certificate or an emissions test for their vehicles before selling them.
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Documenting the sale

Normally, you’ll need to list the sales price and odometer reading on the back of your title. If you can’t list these here, you’ll need to complete a South Carolina bill of sale
In this case, the bill of sale should have the following information:
  • Year, make and model of the vehicle
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
  • Date of sale
  • Sale price
  • Odometer reading on the date of sale (if applicable)
  • Printed legal name and address of the seller and buyer
  • Signature of the seller and buyer
You can find all the necessary documents on the
South Carolina DMV website

Signing the title over

If you have a clear title in hand, the seller will sign the title and hand it over to the buyer, including the following on the back of the title:
  • Odometer reading on the date of sale (if applicable)
  • Purchase date
  • Sale price
If the person who has purchased the vehicle from you is making payments on it, you must complete Section F of the Title Application Form (SCDMV Form 400). The buyer fills out this section initially, and the seller should complete it. 
In this case, you’ll be considered the lienholder for the car, and a new title will be mailed to both of you.
Once the buyer has paid the loan in full, you can sign off on the lien and the buyer will receive a clean title.

Reporting the sale

When reporting the sale, you’ll have to complete a Notice of Vehicle Sold (SCDMV Form 416) form and submit it to your DMV.

Finding affordable car insurance 

Once you’ve finished selling your vehicle, make sure you get the right
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for your new vehicle.  
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