Vehicles are billed by the year, monthly. Tax information is generated by the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Revenue and then placed within the appropriate twenty taxing districts by the Dorchester County Auditor’s Office. The information is derived from your bill of sale and car registration.
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. In South Carolina, vehicle taxes are paid a year in advance. If you are renewing your vehicle license tag, you can pay your taxes and renewal fee to the Treasurer's Office and eliminate having to go to the Highway Department.
Several taxpayers question why they are getting a tax bill for a vehicle they just purchased, when the dealer stated that they would take care of tags and taxes at the time of purchase. There are two taxes when purchasing a vehicle: property tax with the County Treasurer's Office and sales tax with the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, they are allowed to pick up your registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes. When the dealer states that they are taking care of your taxes, they are referring to South Carolina sales tax, which is paid at the local Department of Motor Vehicles. This allows you a 120 day grace period to delay payment of personal property taxes on your new vehicle.
If you receive a tax notice for a vehicle you no longer own, you will need to contact the Auditor's Office. If you receive a tax notice for a boat or motor that you no longer own, you must notify the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at Post Office Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202. You will also need to contact the Auditor's Office for further information. There are forms to be completed in the Auditor's Office.
Dorchester County taxpayers have several options to pay vehicle taxes:
In person, at one of our two offices in St. George or Summerville. For more information about office locations, click HERE.
By mail: Dorchester County Treasurer, P.O. Box 338, St. George, SC 29477.
By dropbox, located at the Summerville and St. George offices. All payments made to Drop Box before 8:30 a.m will be credited to the previous day.
*Online here on this site. For more details about making online payments, click HERE. To proceed with online tax record search and pay, click HERE.
By phone using credit card, call 1-888-544-9434. Please note a nominal fee is charged by PayPal.
*Please note, if the dispute of a vehicle tax payment results in a payment reversal, taxes will be considered unpaid regardless of receipt of decal. A reversed payment may subject the taxpayer to suspension of their drivers license and further penalties. If you have questions about a tax payment made online or by any method, please call our office.
Delinquent VEHICLE Tax payments CAN be paid by credit card.
When making a payment online, you will need to supply additional information about your auto insurance coverage on vehicle tax payments.
Please contact the Auditor's Office for additional information regarding applying for high mileage and other frequently asked questions. There are four ways to apply for high mileage:
Online at Auditoradmin@dorchestercounty.net. You can also contact the Auditor's office by filling out this ONLINE FORM.
By fax, at 843-832-0169;
By Mail; or
You can bring a signed statement by the Auditor's Office.
The Auditor's office reserves the right to view the odometer.
Senior Citizen Discount
Inquiries regarding the Senior Citizen Discount are handled by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. You may contact them at (803)896-5000 or visit their website www.scdmvonline.com.