Vehicle registration plates of South Carolina

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The U.S. state of South Carolina first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1917.

Passenger baseplates 1917 to present[edit]

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that fixed the size for license plates for vehicles, except those for motorcycles, at six inches in height by twelve inches in width, with standardized mounting holes. The 1955 (dated 1956) issue was the first South Carolina license plate that complied with these standards.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1917 Black on white none 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1918 White on brown none 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1919 Dark Blue on brown none 12-345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1954 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "SOUTH CAROLINA 54" embossed in white block letters below numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1955 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "SOUTH CAROLINA 55" embossed in black block letters above numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate; "SOUTH CAROLINA 56" embossed in black block letters below numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1957 Embossed white numbers on blue plate; "SOUTH CAROLINA 57" embossed in white block letters above numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1958 Embossed blue numbers on white plate; "SOUTH CAROLINA 58" embossed in blue block letters below numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1959 As 1957 base, but with "59" in place of "57" none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1960 As 1958 base, but with "60" in place of "58" none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1961 Embossed red numbers on white plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA 61" embossed in red block letters above numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1962 Embossed white numbers on red plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA 62" embossed in white block letters below numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1963 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA 63" embossed in white block letters above numbers none A-123456 Letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1964 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA 64" embossed in white block letters below numbers none A-123456
AA-1234
First letter corresponds to weight class Double-letter serial format introduced for each weight class, though the single-letter format continued to be issued.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1965 Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA 65" embossed in black block letters above numbers none A-123456
AA-1234
First letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1966 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA 66" embossed in white block letters below numbers none A 123456
AA 1234
First letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1967 Embossed dark blue numbers on white plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA" and "1967" embossed in dark blue block letters centered above and below numbers respectively none A 123456
AA 1234
First letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1968 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA" and "AUTO" embossed in white block letters centered above and below numbers respectively; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "68" in bottom right corner none A 123456
AA 1234
First letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1969 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA" and "1969" embossed in white block letters centered above and below numbers respectively none A 123456
AA 1234
First letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1970 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA" embossed in white block letters centered above numbers "300 YEARS" embossed in white block letters centered below numbers, with "1670" in bottom left corner and "1970" in bottom right corner A 123456
AA 1234
First letter corresponds to weight class Commemorated the 300th anniversary of the settling of South Carolina.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1971 Embossed white numbers on dark red plate with border line; "SOUTH CAROLINA" and "1971" embossed in white block letters centered above and below numbers respectively none A 123456
AA 1234
First letter corresponds to weight class
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1972 As 1968 base, but with "1972" embossed below numbers none ABC 123 For each three-letter serial, only the numbers 101 to 250 were issued. This practice continued until 1976.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1973 As 1969 base, but with "1973" embossed below numbers none ABC 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1974 As 1970 base, but with "1974" embossed below numbers none ABC 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1975 As 1971 base, but in a brighter shade of red and with "1975" embossed below numbers none ABC 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1976 Red on white base Bicentennal 1776 and 1976 on top of plate ABC 123
South Carolina 1994 ADJ 630.jpg 1990 - December 1997 Carolina Wren (state bird). Dated "91" in right sticker box. none ABC 123 AAA 101 to ? Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1990 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time South Carolina has been so honored.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg January 1998 - Spring 2008 Sabal palmetto (state tree). Dated "99" in right sticker box. Smiling Faces. Beautiful Places. 123 ABC 101 AAA to present Numbers 101 to 900 issued for each letter series. Serials were initially embossed but were surface-printed beginning at around the X series, and extended to number 999.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Summer 2008 - present Black flat numbers on multicolored sunset background with state flag motif at center. TRAVEL2SC.COM ABC 123 AAA 101 to present Serials are surface-printed.

Optional types[edit]

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
South Carolina In God We Trust License Plate.JPG 2003 to 2007 Black on light blue with national and state flags. In God We Trust 123 4AB 101 1AA to 998 9ZZ (as of 10/28/07) No cost. Serials were initially embossed but were later surface-printed.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 2008 to present Black on light blue with national and state flags. In God We Trust 123 4AB 101 1AA to present No cost. Series were initially flat but were later surface-printed.

External links[edit]