South Carolina Motorcycle Registration & Title Laws

ATTENTION: Be prepared to satisfy any insurance requirements when you register & title your motorcycle.

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This page will cover the street legal requirements and registration and title process in South Carolina and provide some tips on how to register if you bought the motorcycle without a title.

Learn more about motorcycle title transfers in South Carolina.

South Carolina Title & Inspection Requirements for Used Motorcycles

  • Does South Carolina have an equipment/safety inspection?
    • Not required.
  • Does South Carolina require VIN Inspections for motorcycles bought out of state?
    • Not required.
  • Does South Carolina require a title for old motorcycles?
    • Yes, all motorcycles receive titles.

Title and Register a Motorcycle in South Carolina

To title and register your bike in SC, you’ll need the following:

  • Signed over title
    • Bill of sale and old registration if bought in a state that doesn’t issue titles.
  • Bill of Sale for motorcycles with titles issued before 1989.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Application of Title and Registration
  • Sales tax.
  • Title and registration fees.

Find more information about South Carolina motorcycle registration and registration renewal.

Register a No Title Motorcycle in South Carolina

Option 1: Motorcycles bought in SC

Before sale is complete, ask previous owner to get a duplicate title:

Learn how to replace a lost motorcycle title in South Carolina.

Option 2: Bikes from out of state

If the motorcycle was bought in a state that requires motorcycle titles:

Option 3: If the motorcycle is over 25 years old and has no title:

  • Affidavit of Ownership
  • Photos of the motorcycle from all sides.
  • Submit to the South Carolina DMV headquarters by mail.
  • If your application is approved, you can use it to title the bike.

Option 4: Register in a No-Title State

Register the bike in a non-title, no residency requirement, mail-in registration application state, such as Vermont.

South Carolina Street Legal Motorcycle Equipment Requirements

SC requires motorcycles to have:

  • Rearview mirror.
  • Passenger footrests when carrying passenger.
  • Daytime headlights.

This information was correct at the time of writing it, but state laws are subject to change.

More South Carolina Motorcycle Resources

7 thoughts on “South Carolina Motorcycle Registration & Title Laws”

  1. Dillan A Miracle

    Hi, I have a 1987 suzuki intruder VS700 that is completely disassembled. It was my uncles bike and he told me he wanted me to have it when he passed. Well sadly that time came and I got the bike in boxes. Before I do the restoration on the bike the way he would have wanted I want to get it titled but am unsure how to. I live in SC and he lived in TN. I was unable to find any documentation of when he bought the motorcycle (i.e. title, registration, bill of sale, etc..) it has sit in my garage for the past 2 years and I’ve finally found the time and money to do the work, I just don’t want to do the work and then come up empty handed when it come time to make it street legal. Any guidance on what steps I should take for my specific situation would be greatly appreciated!!

  2. Michelle Morton

    Hello, we were given a motorcycle to us from my husband’s father. It was titled in PA. What do we need to do in SC? Do we pay the property tax before or after the title transfer?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      Property tax will need to be paid before the transaction – you’ll bring the receipt as part of the application. When you visit the DMV, you’ll also need the title and proof of ownership/inheritance documents (i.e. Bill of sale, form from probate court, etc.), a registration & title application, and the necessary fees & taxes.

  3. What sections of a motorcycle title need to be completed for a private sale with no lein?

    1. motorcyclezombies

      There should be an area near the top on the back of the title that has a section that says: Signature of Seller, Printed Name of Seller, and Address.

      There may be sections in the same area with fields for Odometer Reading, Purchase Price, and Date of Sale.

      The seller fills these sections out and gives it to the buyer to complete the title transfer at the DMV.

  4. I need help with a 1979 Honda CT. I’m purchasing it from an individual in North Carolina with no title. Seller is willing to sign whatever is needed. The seller has owned the bike for about 10 years but never titled it. What’s my best option for getting it titled and registered in South Carolina?
    thanks
    Joseph

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