Motor Vehicles

  • The tax date for vehicles begins with the last day of the month in which a license is required and ends on the last day of the month in which the license expires or is due to expire.
  • The owner shall make a property tax return to the auditor before applying for a license when a vehicle is first taxable in a county.
  • The Auditor sends Taxpayers a tax notice in which the Taxpayer has 120 days from the date of purchase to pay the tax. The Auditor receives affidavits from the Department of Motor Vehicles weekly concerning the sales of motor vehicles by the dealers.
  • The Auditor determines the assessed value of motor vehicles by using guides and manuals published by the Department of Revenue. The value of a vehicle may not exceed 95% of the prior year's value.
  • If an owner sells a vehicle, he can request a cancellation of the tag at the Auditor's office. By turning in the tag and registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles and requesting a Form 5051 and taking the form to the Auditor, the Auditor prorates the taxes paid on the vehicle and processes any refund that may be owed to the taxpayer.
  • If an owner moves out of state, and registers the vehicle at the new residence, the owner must deliver the license plate and registration to the Department of Motor Vehicles and requests Form 5051 along with proof of registration in the other state. The Auditor will then order any owed refund.
  • Transferring a motor vehicle license from one vehicle to another does not require the Auditor to levy the tax on the second vehicle until the license plate decal expires, providing that no other transfer had previously taken place. The owner simply pays a transfer fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles to transfer the license and taxes.
  • When a nonresident military service person resides in South Carolina, their motor vehicle is not subject to taxation if licensed in South Carolina or the service persons home state. A leased vehicle would not qualify for the tax exemption.