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Does SC Have Electronic Titles

Does SC Have Electronic Titles

Here is the updated article with the new section added:

Yes, South Carolina has an Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program that allows authorized lenders to electronically record and service liens on vehicles, trailers, and mobile homes.

The South Carolina ELT program, which became mandatory in 2007, enables the electronic exchange of vehicle and lien data between the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) and participating lienholders.

How South Carolina’s Electronic Lien and Title Program Works

Under South Carolina’s ELT program, when a vehicle is financed, the lien is recorded electronically on the electronic title held by the SCDMV instead of being printed on a paper title.

The SCDMV transmits the lien information to the lienholder electronically.

Some key aspects of how the SC ELT process works:

  • Participating lienholders must register for a SC ELT account through an approved service provider like South Carolina ELT
  • Lienholders are assigned a unique ELT ID number used when placing liens
  • After a title application is submitted, it takes 3-5 days for the electronic lien to appear in the lienholder’s SC ELT account
  • The lienholder receives an email notification when a new lien is added to their account
  • When the lien is satisfied, the lienholder electronically releases it through the ELT system and the SCDMV is automatically notified
  • The SCDMV then marks the lien as satisfied and an electronic title is issued to the vehicle owner

Vehicle owners have the option to keep their title electronic even after the lien is satisfied, or they can request the SCDMV to print a paper title if needed.

Lienholders can also request a printed title through their ELT account.

What to Do After Paying Off a Loan

In South Carolina, once you have fully paid off your loan, here are the steps you should take if you had an electronic title:

  1. The lienholder (lender) will electronically release the lien through the South Carolina ELT system, typically within 15 business days of loan payoff.
  2. The SCDMV is automatically notified when the lienholder releases the electronic lien and marks the lien as satisfied on the electronic title.
  3. At this point, the vehicle owner has two options: a) Keep the title in electronic format. The e-title will remain with the SCDMV until a paper title is requested. b) Request a printed paper title. The owner can visit their local SCDMV office to request the paper title in person, or the lienholder can request it on their behalf through the ELT system for a $2.50 fee.
  4. If requesting the paper title in person, the owner needs to bring:
  • A government-issued photo ID
  • Proof the loan was paid off
  • Proof of South Carolina car insurance
  • Payment for the title fee

So once the loan is satisfied, the lienholder and SCDMV handle most of the electronic lien release process. The owner then has the choice to maintain the electronic title or obtain a printed paper title.

Benefits of Electronic Titles for South Carolina Vehicle Owners

South Carolina’s transition to electronic vehicle titles provides several advantages for residents:

  • Reduces title fraud and counterfeiting thanks to secure electronic storage and transfer of data
  • Eliminates the risk of losing your vehicle title since it’s held electronically by the SCDMV
  • Enables faster lien releases and title transfers by avoiding mail delays and paperwork
  • Allows you to keep your title electronic even after satisfying your lien for convenience
  • Saves paper, printing and mailing costs associated with traditional paper titles

My Summary

SC’s electronic title system makes the titling and lien release process more efficient, secure and environmentally friendly. You can always opt to get a printed title once your lien is released if you prefer a hard copy.

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Picture of Steve Momot - Author

Steve Momot - Author

Steve, a seasoned expert in the automotive industry, formerly held a car dealer license in Florida. With extensive experience spanning across car trading and mechanical work, he founded Autohitch. His mission? To guide both buyers and sellers through the intricate maze of car purchasing, ensuring a seamless and informed experience. Outside of the automotive world, Steve has a passion for fishing and capturing the beauty of nature through photography.


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