Vehicle Tax


Q: When are the taxes due on my motor vehicle? 
A. Taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles must be paid before your license plate tags can be renewed. These taxes are due by the last day of the month in which your tag expires. 

Q: Why am I being charged taxes for the vehicle I just purchased? Didn't I pay the taxes when I bought my vehicle? The dealer told me he would take care of tags and taxes. 
A. There are two taxes when purchasing a vehicle: property tax with the County Treasurer's Office and sales tax with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, they are allowed to pick up your registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes. When the dealer states that they are taking care of your taxes, they are referring to South Carolina sales tax, which is paid at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. This allows you a 120 day grace period to delay payment of personal property taxes on your new vehicle.

Q: Why am I getting a tax bill for a vehicle or boat that I no longer own?
A: If you receive a tax notice for a vehicle you no longer own, you will need to contact the Auditor's Office at (803) 321-2105. If you receive a tax notice for a boat or motor that you no longer own, you must notify the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at Post Office Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202. You will also need to contact the Auditor's Office for further information. There are forms to be completed in the Auditor's Office.

Q: How do I apply for high mileage discount on my vehicle? 
A. To apply for a high mileage appeal, you must visit the Auditor's Office and bring a signed statement with your vehicle mileage prior to the due date.

Q. How do I apply for Senior Citizen Discount on vehicle renewal fees? 
A. Customers must apply directly to the DMV for the deduction.

Q. How do I receive my renewal sticker for my vehicle?

A. If you pay your vehicle taxes by mail or via the Internet, the sticker comes from SCDMV. That sticker is sent to your mailing address within 7 business days. Please make sure that your address is correct and that your insurance certification is provided when required.  If you do not receive your sticker within this time period, contact the SC Department of Motor Vehicles at (803) 896-5000.


Q. Is there a late fee for late payment of vehicle taxes? 

A. The County does not charge a late fee for late payment of vehicle taxes.  However, the registration renewal fee charged by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) appears on your tax bill every other year. When you have a DMV tag fee due and the taxes are paid after the expiration of your license tag, you will need to go to any S.C. DMV to show your paid tax receipt, pay your renewal fee and the late fee, and obtain your decal and registration.


Q. Why did I get a tax bill on a car I sold?  

A. For your automobile, if the SCDMV did not recognize the car sale transaction within 90 days of sending your bill, they have already transmitted ownership data to the Auditor's Office that still reflects you as the owner of the vehicle even though you no longer are liable for the taxes. Contact the Auditor's Office at (803) 321-2105