Year of Manufacture information (SC)

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South Carolina
    click here for the law (see Article 10)
    click here for the application (click on RG-505A)
  • YOM registration is only done at DMV headquarters in Blythewood, SC. Local offices know little, if anything, about YOM registration.
  • Year-of-Manufacture (YOM) plates are basically registered as vanity plates; therefore, the number must be "clear" in the DMV computer. Some prefixes are completely blocked, while others are restricted to blocks of numbers (see below for link to DMV prefix list). Prefix doesn't matter, as long as the plate number is clear (i.e. trucks can use car plates and vice versa; weight class prefix issued back then doesn't matter today).
  • You will be issued a regular registration and expiration stickers, which you keep in the car (not required to put stickers on the plate).
  • Vehicle must be 30 years old.
  • Only single plates are required, even if pairs were originally issued (pairs issued 1921 through 1974).
  • call 803-896-9638 (DMV) to see if a number is clear.
  • Something the form doesn't tell you: if you have a current registration and are within 3 months of renewal, you must pay your county tax before submitting the application (i.e. say you have a current August expiration: send your form in by at least May 15; after May 31, you must wait until you pay your August tax
  • Also, look at your current registration - if you are in the 2nd year of the two-year registration cycle, you must add 1/2 the registration fee ($12 for cars, $15 for light trucks)
  • If you are registering a vehicle for the first time, I recommend getting a regular plate at a local office first, then applying for YOM plates by mail. The form asks for a current plate number. If you wish to register a YOM plate without a current registration, you must send in all paperwork (form 400/title application, tax receipt, YOM form, etc... and sometimes it is hard to get all the fees right).
  • * The 'Bicentennial' design (1976-1980) can be used for any model 1976-1980, regardless of which year sticker is showing. Same for the 'State Outline' design (1981-1985).

* Certain letter combinations are 'blocked', while some are limited because they are used on current 'specialty' plates. Check the DMV prefix list for the most up-to-date list.
link: DMV prefix list (.pdf document)   
**This list was last updated by DMV in November 2011. I have asked for them to update it, as many new prefixes have been added. Added prefixes are unclear whether they will be fully blocked, or limited. To be added to DMV's list: AB, AL, AN, AS, CT, DF, DM, DV, II, ME, MM, MT, MW, NB, PM, PT, PU, QD, RH, RM, SC, SS, TC, TD, TN, TS, TZ, VL, WX, WZ, XA, XP, XX, XZ, ZD, ZE, ZF; also, K should be limited to at least over 15,000; B should be limited to over 10000; T and U should be limited to over 40000.

Most common prefixes:
single letter prefix used 1921-1971
A (used for Benedict College), number must be > 6,000
B (used for The Citadel), number must be > 6,000    =>> update, Citadel plates are exceeding 6800 now, so this will be a moving target.
C (used for political/boards/commissions), single "C" completely blocked.
D (used for SC State University), number must be > 6,000
E (used on Wildflower specialty), number must be > 20,000
F (used for Francis Marion University), number must be > 6,000
G (used for Furman University), number must be > 6,000
two letter prefix used 1964-1971
AC (used for Anderson College specialty), number must be > 6,000
BC (used for Bus: common carrier/commercial), completely blocked
CA (used for Cattlemen's Assoc. specialty), number must be > 6,000
CB (used for Breast Cancer specialty), number must be > 6,000
GA (used for Univ. of Georgia specialty), number must be > 6,000
HA (used for Mason specialty), number must be > 6,000
many, many more on the list

For plates 1972+ in the 3-letter/3-number format, you are in competition with current "Sunrise" design plates. As of Spring 2017, prefixes AAA through NZZ are blocked for YOM use - this will be a 'moving' target.

*May, 2011: motorcycles are now YOM eligible. Z-prefix numbers on a first-come/first-served basis.

South Carolina YOM plates for sale