New SC temporary license plates now tied directly to vehicle’s owner

For years, South Carolina temporary license plates affixed to newly purchased vehicles were thin pieces of paper adorned with an expiration date written in marker.

For police engaged in traffic stops, it meant not knowing anything about the driver or vehicle — a dangerous proposition that lawmakers and Gov. Henry McMaster sought to change.

In 2018, the General Assembly approved a measure requiring those 45-day tags be tied directly to a vehicle’s owner through an alphanumeric code.

State Department of Motor Vehicle branches begin issuing the updated tags on Tuesday.