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How is the value of my vehicle determined?
The South Carolina Department of Revenue provides each county with assessment guides that are required to be used as a first source to value vehicles. The second source is the NADA Vehicle Guide.
These values are multiplied by the assessment ratio set by the Law to determine the amount of taxes owed on a vehicle.
The assessed value is then multiplied by the millage rate to determine the amount of taxes owed on a vehicle.
How is the assessed value of my vehicle calculated?
According to Law Code: Title 12, Chapter 37, Section 12-37-268 vehicle assessments are determined by guides given to each county by the South Carolina Department of Revenue.
These guides are used to calculate the taxes due in accordance with the mills for the district in which you reside within the county.
When are my vehicle taxes due?
Property tax on motor and recreational vehicles must be paid before the license plates can be renewed.
The renewal month is the month that the vehicle was originally registered in.
If the vehicle is new to the State or if you have purchased it from an individual, it’s required by Law to pay the property taxes and have the vehicle registered within 45 days.
How do I apply for the high mileage discount on my renewal bill?
You may apply for the high mileage discount by completing the high mileage portion of the tax bill. This may be mailed, faxed, or emailed. According to State Law, you must request the high mileage discount on or before the last day if the month in which your license plate expires.
When the dealer tells me they take care of the taxes and tags, why did I receive a tax bill?
The dealership collects your South Carolina Sales Tax and DMV license plate fee. The bill you will receive is for the personal property taxes. Since the dealer is the only one who can purchase a license plate before the property taxes are paid, you will be given 120 days from your purchase date to pay your property taxes. If the property taxes are not paid at the end of the 120-day mark, your driver’s license may be suspended.
What do I need to do if I purchase a vehicle from an individual?
If you have purchased a vehicle from an individual, the property taxes must be paid before you can register the vehicle at the SCDMV. A copy of the title or bill of sale must be emailed, faxed or brought into the Auditor’s Office for a tax bill to be prepared. The paid tax receipt must be taken to the SCDMV. You may go online to scdmvonline.com to see what additional information the SCDMV may require. You have 45 days to register your vehicle.
How do I get a 45-day temporary license plate?
A person who newly acquires a vehicle may purchase a 45-day temporary tag from a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles branch office.
What do I do if I receive a tax bill on a vehicle that I have sold?

  • If the bill you received is a renewal bill, you may disregard the bill. However, you must turn the license plate back into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office within 30 says of the sale. If you still have time left on your license plate, you may qualify for a partial refund. If your vehicle was sold, total loss, or was repossessed, you may provide the Berkeley County Auditor’s office with the correct documentation. This information may be emailed, fax, mailed, or brought into the office.
    • If your vehicle was sold, please provide our office with your bill of sale or copy of the title signed over to new owner and your receipt for your tag being turned into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle.
    • If your vehicle was total loss, please provide our office with your total loss letter from the insurance company and your receipt for your tag being turned into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle.
    • If your vehicle was repossessed, please provide our office with your repossession letter and your receipt for your tag being turned into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle.
  • If the bill received is a Car Dealership Purchase bill, you will need to contact the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office. You may owe all or a portion of the tax bill. Disregarding this tax notice could result in your driver’s license being suspended.
    • If your vehicle was sold, please provide our office with your bill of sale or copy of your title signed over to the new owner and your receipt for your tag being turned into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle.
    • If your vehicle was total loss, please provide our office with your total loss letter from the insurance company and your receipt for your tag being turned into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle.
    • If your vehicle was repossessed, please provide our office with your repossession letter and your receipt for your tag being turned into any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle.

What do I do if I want to transfer my license plate to another vehicle?
If you have a valid license plate from a previously owned vehicle in your name that has not expired, you may transfer the plate to your new vehicle. The tag from the previous vehicle and the title or bill of sale for the newly acquired vehicle must be taken to the SCDMV to have it transferred. Property taxes are not due on the new vehicle until the plate is ready for renewal.
What do I do with a South Carolina license plate once I’ve moved out of state?
When you move out of South Carolina and have registered your vehicle in another state, you must mail your South Carolina registration and license plate back to the SCDMV.
If the license plate has not expired, you may qualify for a refund. You may fax, email, mail or bring into the office a copy of your new registration complete with your new mailing address to apply for a refund.
What do I do if I move to Berkeley County from another county in South Carolina?
You must update your address with the SCDMV and then contact the Berkeley County Auditor’s Office.
How do I apply for the military exemption if I am active duty military?
The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act exempts military personnel and their spouses (whose HOME OF RECORD is somewhere other than the State of South Carolina), from paying Berkeley County Property Taxes.
If you are active duty military stationed in South Carolina and claim another state as your home of record, vehicles (as well as leased vehicles) with a title in your name and/or your spouse’s name may be exempted from property taxes. A current Leave and Earning Statement (LES) must be filed with the Auditor’s Office yearly.
If your spouse is on the title as a co-owner or alone, a copy of their dependent ID card or copy of your marriage license must be presented in addition to the military member’s LES every year. Only active duty military personnel and their spouses may be exempt. Any other names on the title with the active duty military member’s name will result in the bill being half exempt.
You may also qualify for the military exemption if you are stationed elsewhere but you have family members still living in Berkeley County or if you own property in Berkeley County.
If you claim South Carolina as your home of record, you do not qualify for the exemption.
If you are in the Reserves, you are not eligible for the exemption.
Is there a senior citizen discount for vehicle taxes?
There is no senior citizen discount on vehicle taxes.

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