Prototypes & Color Test             Error            Unknown            Souvenir/Special Event
These may or may not be the same design as an actual plate.
Protos are made to consider possible designs and/or to confirm colors and design.
Not known if every plate type is made as a prototype. Most are 1-of-a-kind.

1961 color test

black/purple or light blue
actual colors used: red/white

1964 dealer color test/layout test

actual dealer what white/black with bottom legend "SC-DEALER-64"

1966 color test

actual colors used: white/blue

1969 die and spacing test

white/blue, correct colors

1974 color test

white/maroon, ultimately used in 1975

Antique Auto are considered permanent

1975 motorcycle

never known of another motorcycle sample; consider this prototype

1976 Public Service Commission truck 

1977 truck or personalized

c.1987 passenger
4th photo used as 1989 personalized design
2nd photo used as 1991 personalized design

Commission on Higher Education

regular issues had single number, no leading zero

never issued in pairs; could be color test of the blue letters/numbers

c.1997 passenger
7th photo was Governor Beasley's proposal for design and slogan
8th photo used as 1998 general design

Permanent Apportioned Truck/Trailer

2008 passenger plate vote

these are artist renditions - unlikely that any actual prototype was ever made
1st design won the online vote by a wide margin. "South Carolina" moved to the top with "Travel2SC.com" on the bottom


no samples of specialty plates exist
Blanks are made as color test and layout approval for DMV internal use. Then, 3 prototypes are made with serial number 000 or non-standard number for (1) DMV administrative approval; (2) organizational approval; (3) Highway Patrol road test for visibility.

1997 Endangered Species

regular issues in "H1234" format
no samples of specialty plates exist