Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When are the taxes due on my motor vehicle?
Annually. 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 didn't I get a tax bill for my car?
If you have moved and not informed the Richland County Auditor's Office, your bill was sent to your previous address. If you did not change your address with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles that information was not forwarded to the Auditor’s Office which then sent your bill to your previous address.
If the SC Department of Motor Vehicles did not send the Richland County Auditor’s Office information that your automobile was still registered in Richland County, you would also have not received a bill.
You can contact the Auditor's Office at 803-576-2600 (option #1) to obtain a current bill.
Q: How do I change the address on my vehicle?
To change the address on your vehicle tax bill, you need to call the Auditor's Office at 576-2600 (option #1).
Q: How do I receive my renewal sticker for my vehicle?
If you pay your vehicle taxes by mail, at any NBSC branch, via the Internet or phone, 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.
The registration renewal fee charged by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) appears on your tax bill every other year. If you pay your vehicle taxes after the expiration of your license tag, you will need to go to a local DMV office to show your paid tax receipt. Then, a new sticker will be issued to you in person. If this occurs in a year when you were charged a renewal fee on your tax bill, the DMV will charge you a late renewal fee at that time.
If you do not receive your sticker within this time period, contact the SC Department of Motor Vehicles by clicking on this link or by phone at 803-896-5000.
Q: I owe two years of taxes on my new car. Didn't I pay the taxes when I bought my vehicle?
When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, their personnel are allowed to pick up your registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes. The tax you paid to the dealership at the time of purchase was the South Carolina state sales tax.
State law mandates that the Auditor's Office cannot send you a bill until 120 days after the purchase. If this bill is not paid, it will still be due and payable the following year when your tag must be renewed.
Q: Why do I have to pay a late fee at the SC Department of Motor Vehicles?
Richland County does not currently charge a late fee on delinquent automobile tax payments. If you are charged a late fee by SCDMV, your tag was not renewed (taxes paid) in time for their records. If this fee was incurred due to a billing problem, you need to contact Richland County Auditor's Office at 803-576-2600 (option #1).
Q: Why did I get a tax bill on a car I sold?
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.
Q: Why did I receive a notice that my vehicle registration is suspended?
If you purchased your car from a dealer and the dealer obtained a tag for you, state law mandates that the Auditor's Office cannot send you a bill until 120 days after the purchase. If this bill is not paid, state law requires the Treasurer's Office to send a suspension on your vehicle for non-payment of taxes to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This suspension is lifted when the tax obligation on the vehicle is satisfied.