South Carolina Revises Motor Vehicle Closing Fee Statute

South Carolina Revises Motor Vehicle Closing Fee Statute and Imposes July 3, 2016 Re-Filing Deadline for Dealers

On June 2, 2016, the South Carolina legislature ratified HB 4548, which amends the South Carolina Consumer Protection Code’s motor vehicle closing fee statute. The new statute gives the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (the “Department”) express authority to determine whether a motor vehicle dealer’s closing fee is reasonable. Fees of $225 or less are automatically deemed reasonable. Fees above $225 must be submitted to the Department for evaluation under the criteria set forth in the statute. Note that dealers are still required to provide written notice to the Department annually of the maximum closing fee the dealer intends to charge, include the closing fee in the advertised price of the vehicle, and display the closing fee in a conspicuous location in the dealership.

The new requirements became effective June 3, 2016. However, dealers that have already made their annual closing fee filing with the Department have until July 3, 2016, to refile their maximum closing fee in accordance with the new statute. On June 6, 2016, the Department released a memo stating that it is in the process of revising its closing fee forms. The revised forms will be available on the Department’s website by this Friday, June 10.

2016 SC HB 4548

SC Department of Consumer Affairs Memorandum


Thomas B. Hudson, Esq.
Editor in Chief, CARLAW LLC
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Blythewood, S.C. – April 4, 2015 – The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) now has a new online transaction designed for customers applying for a duplicate title certificate. Customers who use the new online service will receive their title by mail at the address on file.

The term “duplicate title” might be confusing for some customers. The purpose of the duplicate title transaction is to replace an original title that has been lost or destroyed. To use the online transaction, you must have a valid SC driver’s license or identification card. You cannot request a duplicate title within 30 day of being issued a title on the same vehicle. Once the purchase has been confirmed, the transaction cannot be cancelled.

Vehicles with multiple owners must know if their title indicates the owner relationship as “and” or “or.” If the title indicated “and,” only two owners are allowed for this transaction and both owners will be required to enter information. If the relationship is indicated by “or,” multiple owners are allowed for this transaction and only one owner is required to enter information.

“Before we had this online process, customers could only apply for a duplicate title in a DMV office or by mail,” said Acting DMV Executive Director John Laganelli. “The new online service is one of the many ways we’re working to provide more convenient services to South Carolina citizens.”

For more information, visit the SCDMV Web site at



  1. What is a duplicate title?
    A duplicate title is a replacement title for the original title that has been lost or destroyed.
  1. Who can use this transaction?
    Only vehicle owners or lien holders may use this transaction. You will not be able to use this transaction if the vehicle has more than two owners with an “and” relationship (more than two with an “or” relationship is okay) or if the vehicle is in the name of a trust or has a custodian listed. Duplicate titles cannot be issued for vehicles with the Non-Rebuildable brand.

 How often can I request a duplicate title? 

  1. You cannot request a duplicate title within 30 day of being issued a title on the same vehicle.

 Where can I find the new duplicate title online transaction?

  1. Visit the DMV website at Select “Online Services” and then “Public Services” from the drop down box to go to the correct page.
  1. What is the name of the transaction?
    The transaction is located under Vehicle Services group and is called “EZ Online Duplicate Title.”

 What do I need to use this transaction?

  1. Individual owners will need a valid SC driver’s license or identification card, social security number and a valid VISA, MasterCard, or Discover credit card to use the online transaction. Business customers and lien holders will need the customer number assigned by DMV.

 Can I conduct any other title business using this transaction?

  1. The transaction is designed for customers applying for a duplicate title certificate only. This transaction will not allow you to change the address on file, report a lien satisfaction or conduct any other DMV business.
  1. How will I know if my transaction is complete?
    You will receive a confirmation. Once your purchase has been confirmed online, you cannot cancel the transaction.

 How will I receive the duplicate title?

  1. The duplicate title will be mailed to the address on file or the lienholder’s address if the vehicle has a lien on it.
Posted in SC

SCDMV Dealer Connection -Spring 2015

Titling Vehicles in the Name of a Trust

If your customer requests to title their newly acquired vehicle in the name of a trust, a copy of the trust cerficate must be submitted along with the the application (Form 400). The trust certificate will list the official name and date of the trust along with the name(s) of the trustee(s) and the trustee powers. This “certificate” is a summary of the official trust and contains all of the pertinent information for titling the vehicle in the name of the trust.

Issue 3

Posted in SC