South Carolina License Plate Lookup

Name Phone Number License Plate VIN
Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

Run A South Carolina License Plate Lookup Online

With over 4.6 million cars registered in South Carolina, there is a large demand for vehicle related services to support all those vehicles. One of those automotive services is being able to lookup vehicle information. With the help of public record websites, anyone with an internet connection can find vehicle information on the fly with a  South Carolina license plate number or VIN, to find information such as, vehicle history reports, vehicle vehicle title information, odometer verification, accidents, recalls and safety issues to name a few. There are a multitude of reasons to access vehicle related records. We will explore what the top ways to research this information, what information can be found and privacy limitations on what information is accessible by the general public.

What You Can Lookup With a South Carolina License Plate Search  

A license plate search in South Carolina can provide a wealth of information about a vehicle’s history and vehicle information which can be useful for various reasons. However, there are also privacy concerns associated with this type of search where personal information is limited by SC driver privacy laws. There are only certain allowable circumstances where South Carolina vehicle owner information can be resourced from a license plate search. 

Reasons to Run a South Carolina License Plate Search

A South Carolina license plate search can yield a lot of valuable vehicle information for various reasons, including law enforcement, insurance companies, private investigators, and potential buyers of second-hand vehicles. Some of the most common reasons to run such a search include: 

  • To confirm if the used vehicle’s details match the information provided by the seller, for potential buyers. 
  • To identify if a vehicle has been reported stolen. 
  • To validate auto insurance claims and prevent insurance fraud, as well as accident investigations. 
  • To uncover the vehicle history, past accidents, vehicle title status, and if the odometer reading is accurate. 
  • To enforce laws and regulations related to vehicle use and ownership, by South Carolina law enforcement. 
  • To assist in various types of private investigations, including civil, criminal, and personal reasons. 
  • To check for any unresolved liens against the vehicle. 
  • To discover if the vehicle was part of a safety recall or has any reported safety concerns reported by the NHTSA. 
  • To assist in certain lawsuits or legal disputes related to vehicle use or ownership, or if a vehicle was used in some type of crime. 

Car Owner Search

A Little History About South Carolina License Plates

South Carolina was one of the last states to start requiring automobile owners to display license plates on their vehicles, starting in 1917. The first SC plates were yellow embossed aluminum plates with black lettering. Today there are a lot of different options to choose from if you don’t want a standard SC license plate, from specialized to custom plates that can say what you like or the plates can represent a cause or a veteran. The customized and specialized SC plates are at a premium to regular plates and that extra fee will be required every year.

Fun Factoids About South Carolina License Plates

  • The very first South Carolina plates were made of porcelain and used from 1917 to 1919. They were not very durable and later the state switched to metal plates. 
  • The state’s nickname, “The Palmetto State,” was first displayed on license plates in 1981. 
  • South Carolina released license plates featuring the state bird in 1975. The state bird is the Carolina Wren. 
  • For 3 years, 1977 to 1980, the state plates featured a diamond-shaped separator between numbers, which made it easier to read. 
  • As of 2023, South Carolina offers over 200 specialty plates, which support special causes, military, non-profit organizations, and vintage plates, to name a few. 
  • The “In God We Trust” SC plate, began being issued in 2002. This became one of the most popular specialty plates in the state’s history. 
  • South Carolina is one of the few states to have had a license plate made of soybean-based plastic during WWII due to metal shortages. 
  • The state famously offers “Parrot-head” plates for fans of the popular singer Jimmy Buffett. The profits from this plate go to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 
  • SC also offers a plate with the phrase “Salt Life”, which supports the state’s artificial reef program. 
  • There is also the “I Believe” license plate, which features a cross on a stained glass window, with the phrase “I Believe,”. 

South Carolina Vehicle Record Privacy Concerns

Many people inquire if it is acceptable to access South Carolina vehicle owner information. While a SC vehicle record search can offer up details about the South Carolina license plate owner, there are many limitations to accessing personal information. Only certain allowable entities are permitted to access personal information from a vehicle record search. The availability of personal information can lead to misuse in the form of stalking, harassment, or identity theft. However, there are a multitude of reasons people lookup vehicle information that are completely allowable. No matter what the intent of your plate or VIN check is, you will be required to select a valid reason for performing their search and comply with all the privacy laws associated with your inquiry.


South Carolina License Plate Lookup


South Carolina License Plate Search FAQs

Can anyone run a South Carolina license plate check?

Yes, most South Carolina vehicle records are public record which means that anyone can look them up online. The only exception is South Carolina vehicle owner information, where there are limitations due to state privacy laws on what is available.

How can I find out if a vehicle has any liens in South Carolina?

A license plate or VIN check can show if the vehicle has any current liens or lien holders on the title, depending on what resource you are using.

Can a South Carolina license plate or VIN check reveal a vehicle's mileage?

You can verify if the odometer reading is accurate from a vehicle history report, which can be found with either the license plate number or VIN

Can I run a South Carolina license plate search for free?

There are a few online services may offer free basic searches however, comprehensive vehicle reports often require a small fee. These paid reports typically provide more detailed information such as the history of a vehicle.

Can a South Carolina license plate check show the owner's information?

Due to state driver privacy laws, a license plate check will not reveal personal information about the vehicle's owner, such as their name or address, unless you meet certain legal requirements.

Is it legal to perform a South Carolina license plate check?

Yes, it's legal to perform a license plate check in South Carolina as long as the information obtained is used for permissible purposes under the DPPA, such as researching the history of a used car, truck or SUV. Personal information is restricted to very specific allowable reasons.

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Responses to “South Carolina License Plate Lookup

  1. says:

    I would like to look up the names and addresses of approximately 500 plates in South Carolina. What would be the cost and lead time to conduct this search?

  2. says:

    Chadwick, you will need to check with the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Department about what specialized SC license plate numbers are available

  3. says:

    Is the Personalized S.C.Tag taken ? HUFF IT

Last Updated: 2023-07-09

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