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Larry Dandridge

SC Military License Plates

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According to the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) website (https://bit.ly/3ZWkVHk) and SCDMV Form MV-37, there are 43 different types of S.C. Military Plates for vehicles. Some of those plates provide limited free parking in metered and timed spaces and some require a fee.

Veterans and their family members can view all of the available SC military license plates at https://bit.ly/3ZWFp2R.

Required Documentation

To apply for a Military Plate, applicants must provide to the SCDMV a completed MV-37 Form and all necessary official military documentation, which may include DD-214, NGB Form 22, Official order, A “Twenty Year Letter” from a Military Reserve Component, and a Veterans Identification Card.

Plates that provide free parking at metered and timed parking spaces

Under S.C. Code, Title 56, Chapter 3, Section 56-3-14910, the following S.C. Military Plates (1) Medal of Honor-Army, (2) Medal of Honor-Navy, (3) Medal of Honor-Air Force, (4) Distinguished Service Cross-Army, (5) Distinguished Service Cross-Navy, (6) Distinguished Service Cross-Air Force, (7) South Carolina Medal of Valor, (8) Silver Star, (9) Bronze Star (with valor), (10) Soldier’s Medal allow active and prior service members to park in metered and timed parking places without paying a fine.

Under S.C. Code, Title 56, Chapter 56, Chapter 3, Section 56-3-14920, the following Military Plates (1) Distinguished Service Medal-Army, (2) Distinguished Service Medal-Navy, (3) Distinguished Service Medal-Air Force, (4) Distinguished Service Medal-Marine Corps, (5) Distinguished Service Medal-Coast Guard, (6) Distinguished Flying Cross, (7) Legion of Merit, and (8) Palmetto Cross allow active and prior service members to park in metered and timed parking places without paying a fine.

Under S.C. Code, Title 56, Chapter 56, Chapter 3, Section 56-3-14930, the following Military Plates (1) Gold Star Family: available to immediate family members (spouse, parent, children, or siblings), (2) Gold Star Family Personalized: available to immediate family members (spouse, parent, children, or siblings), (3) Prisoner of War: available to the award recipient and spouse, (4) Purple Heart: available to the award recipient, (5) Purple Heart Wheelchair: available to the award recipient allow active and prior service members to park in metered and timed parking places without paying a fine.

The Military Plates issued under S.C. Code, Title 56, Chapter 56, Chapter 3, Section 56-3-14910, -14920, and -14930 have no application to those areas or during those times in which the stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles is prohibited or which are reserved for special types of vehicles. As a condition to this privilege, a vehicle must display a distinguishing license plate issued by the SC Department of Motor Vehicles for vehicles registered to recipients of an award specified in subsection (A) of the code. The above-mentioned S.C. Military Plates do not provide for free parking in privately owned parking places.

S.C. Military Plates which require a fee

Air Medal, Bronze Star, Chief Petty Officer, Combat-Related Disabled Veteran, Female Veteran or Female Veteran (Wheelchair), Marine Corps, Meritorious Service Medal, National Guard, National Guard-Retired, Normandy Invasion Survivor, Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Pearl Harbor Survivor, and State Guard.

There is a limit of 3 plates per registrant who qualifies. All plates labeled “wheelchair” require the applicant to also submit Form RG-007A titled, Application for Placard and/or License Plate for People Who have a Disability with their completed application.

MV-37 Form Page 1

The MV-37 From has sections for General Information, Plate Selection and Vehicle Information, Customer Information, Insurance, Certification, Gold Star Family, and Surviving Spouse Certification. 

The first section of the form also tells applicants to mail the completed application MV-37 Form (and if required an RG-077A Form) and all other required documentation and applicable fees to SCDMA Headquarters at S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, Specialty Plates, P.O. Box 1498, Blythewood, S.C. 29016-0038. If the SCDMV receives the veteran’s application within 90 days or less of your current plate expiration, a paid tax receipt for the next registration year and additional fees may be required.

The form’s first section also requires veterans to select the type of vehicle they are requesting a plate for. The choices are Motor Home, Motorcycle, Private Passenger Auto, or Truck with an empty weight of up to 9,000 pounds or a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of up to 11,000 pounds. There are Senior Citizen Reduced Fees available for age 65 or older of $36 for Passenger autos and $38 for seniors aged 64. The Senior Citizen fee for Trucks with a GVW of up to 6,000 pounds of $30.

MV-37 Form Page 2

Covers guidelines and 29 types of S.C. Military Plates.

MV-37 Form Page 3

Covers 14 types of S.C. Military Plates and an extract from S.C. Code Sections 56-3-14910(D), -14920(D), -14930(D) which states, “A person issued a license plate under the provisions of subsection (A) may park in metered or timed parking places without being subject to parking fees or fines. This section has no application to areas or during times in which stopping, parking, or standing of all vehicles is prohibited or which are reserved for special types of vehicles. As a condition of this privilege, a vehicle must display a distinguishing license plate issued by the (SC) department for vehicles registered to recipients of an award specified in (the Code).”

Get help from a VSO

Veterans, their family members, and survivors can get help applying for S.C. Military Plates from a Veterans Service Officer (VSO). Below are the county VSOs listed at https://scdva.sc.gov/county-veterans-affairs-offices in the Lowcountry area.

Beaufort: Carl Wedler, 843-255-6880, cwedler@bcgov.net.

Charleston: David J. LeBlanc, Sr., 843-974-6360, vaoffice@charlestoncounty.org.

Colleton: Janet D. Smith, 843-549-1412, cvao@colletoncounty.org.

Berkeley: Gerald Baxley, 843-377-8506, gerald.baxley@berkeleycountysc.gov.

Dorchester: Johnny K. Brown, 843-832-0050, JKBrown@dorchestercountysc.gov.

Hampton: Sharon Johnson, 803-914-2085/2087, sjohnson@hamptoncountysc.org.

Jasper: Alton Jenkins, 843-726-7727, ajenkins@jaspercountysc.gov.

Forms

You can download the MV-37 Form and the RG-007A Form at https://bit.ly/3ZWkVHk and at https://bit.ly/3J6PZOM.

SCDMV New Notices

As of April 18, 2022, applications for military plates will only be processed by mail at SCDMV Headquarters in Blythewood. Also, as of May 6, 2022, all newly issued military license plates will require an updated decal each year. Read the article at https://bit.ly/3R00ULU for more information.

So, what are you waiting for? Go on and apply for your hard-earned SC Military Plates!

Larry Dandridge is a Vietnam War wounded warrior, disabled veteran, ex-Enlisted Infantryman, ex-Warrant Officer Pilot, and retired Lt. Colonel. He is a past Veterans Service Officer, a Patient Adviser at the RHJ VA Hospital, the Fisher House Charleston Good Will Ambassador, and the VP for Veteran Affairs for the local Army Association Chapter. Larry is the author of the award-winning book Blades of Thunder and a contributing freelance writer with The Island News. Contact him at LDandridge@earthlink.net or 843-276-7164.

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