|Law||S.C. Code Ann. § 56-19-480(G)|
South Carolina Total Loss Threshold
SECTION 56-19-480. Transfer and surrender of certificates, license plates, registration cards and manufacturers’ serial plates of vehicles sold as salvage, abandoned, scrapped or destroyed.
(A) An owner who scraps, dismantles, destroys, or in any manner disposes to another, except to a demolisher or secondary metals recycler, as wreckage or salvage, a motor vehicle otherwise required to be titled in this State immediately shall mail or deliver to the Department of Motor Vehicles the vehicle’s certificate of title notifying the department to whom the vehicle is delivered together with a report indicating the type and severity of any damage to the vehicle. A person or entity who disposes of a vehicle to a demolisher or secondary metals recycler shall provide the vehicle’s title certificate to the demolisher or secondary metals recycler so that the demolisher or secondary metals recycler can surrender the title certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to Sections 56-5-5670 and 56-5-5945.
(B) If a vehicle is acquired by an insurance company in settlement of a claim to the vehicle by fire, flood, collision, or other causes, or is left with the claimant after being declared a total loss by the insurance company, the company or its agent immediately shall deliver to the department the certificate of title together with a report indicating the type and severity of damage to the vehicle. At such time as the insurance company may thereafter transfer the damaged vehicle, the company or its agent shall notify the department to whom the transfer was made on a form prescribed by the department. Notwithstanding another provision of law, when an insurance company obtains title to a vehicle from settling a total loss claim, the insurance company may obtain a title to the vehicle designated as “salvage”. The insurance company must pay the title fee contained in Section 56-19-420.
(C) All insurance companies which make payments on liability, collision, fire, theft, or comprehensive policies for damaged motor vehicles in this State shall allow department officials to examine all records of the company which pertain to payments made pursuant to the policies during normal working hours.
(D) Vehicles acquired by insurance companies as outlined above are exempt from ad valorem property taxes and inventory taxes, and the transfers of the vehicles to and from insurance companies exempt from sales taxes.
(E) If a salvage vehicle is rebuilt, a regular certificate of title may not again be issued except upon submission of an application stating that the vehicle has been rebuilt and containing the information ordinarily required by the department for the issuance of a certificate of title as well as any information the department may require about the identity of the vehicle, the source and cost of any parts used in, and the extent of any repairs or other work done to the vehicle. In addition, the department may require the vehicle to undergo an inspection by the Highway Patrol or someone authorized by the department to check the identity or the safety of the vehicle, or both. Any regular certificate of title issued by the department for a previously salvaged vehicle must be annotated to show that the vehicle was “salvaged-rebuilt” and the reason why the vehicle was salvaged.
(F) The manufacturer’s serial plate or vehicle identification number (VIN) plate must remain with the vehicle at all times until the vehicle is shredded, crushed, melted, or otherwise destroyed.
(G) For purposes of this section, a “wrecked vehicle”, a “salvage vehicle”, and a “vehicle declared to be a total loss” are all synonyms and are defined to be any motor vehicle which is damaged to the extent that the cost of repairing the motor vehicle, including both parts and reasonable market charges for labor, equal or exceed seventy-five percent of the fair market value of the motor vehicle. The provisions contained in this section do not apply to a motor vehicle that has a fair market value of two thousand dollars or less, or an antique motor vehicle as defined by Section 56-3-2210. When an insurance company is involved, the fair market value of the vehicle must be determined as of the date immediately before the event which gave rise to the claim. When an insurance company is not involved, then the fair market value must be determined as of the last day on which the vehicle was lawfully operated on a public highway or the last day on which it was registered, whichever is later.
(H) A person violating any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, for a first offense, must be fined not less than two nor more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both. For a second or subsequent offense, the fine must not be less than five hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.