Boating - Tax Information on Boats & Watercraft

You are required by Article 17, Section 12-36-1710, code of Laws of South Carolina to pay Casual Excise or Use tax. You must have a notarized bill of sale with the purchase price shown to pay the Casual Excise or Use Tax.

Casual Excise Tax - The fee for casual excise tax is 5% of the purchase price and has a maximum of $500 if the boat and motor are purchased from same owner. When an outboard motor is purchased as one unit, the casual excise tax is 6% of the purchase price and has no maximum fee.

For example:

Boats and motors cap at $500 i.e. Boat purchase price $10,000 and motor purchase price $500, then $10,500 x 5%=$525, you pay $500
Boats cap at $500 i.e. Boat purchase price $12,000, then $12,000 x 5%=$600, you pay $500
Motors do not cap i.e. Motor purchase price $9,000, then $9,000 x 6%=$540, you pay $540

When you submit your paper work you can include the casual excise tax along with your fees to the following address:

SC Department of Natural Resources
PO Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202

Use Tax is required when a watercraft or outboard motor is purchased from an out of state (boat) dealer. If tax is paid to an out of state dealer, credit will be allowed.

5 % tax paid to out of state boat dealer Enclose copy of invoice / bill of sale to DNR showing tax has been paid.
Tax paid was less than (< ) 5% you need to pay additional use tax to one of the Department of Revenue Service Centers
Tax paid was greater than (>) 5% Enclose copy of invoice / bill of sale to DNR showing tax has been paid.

If you did not pay taxes out-of-state, then you submit 5% tax with the registration fee. See example above.

Tax Exempt if Purchased from Immediate Family
If you acquire the watercraft or outboard motor from immediate family, you are exempt from the excise tax. Immediate family includes:

You must complete the exempt form on the back of the application to be exempt.

Military persons are not EXEMPT from Casual Excise or Use Tax on boats and Outboard Motors.



If you need to pay additional use tax, you must pay it to one of the S.C. Department of Revenue Service Centers shown below.

Charleston Service Center
3 South Park Circle
Suite 202
Charleston, S.C. 29407
Telephone (843) 852-3600

Columbia Office
301 Gervais Street
P.O. Box 125
Columbia, S.C. 29210
Telephone (803) 898-5788

Florence Service Center
1452 West Evans Street
P.O. Box 5418
Florence, S.C. 29502
Telephone (843) 661-4850

Greenville Service Center
211 Century Drive Suite 210 B
Greenville, S.C. 29607
Telephone (864) 241-1200

Rock Hill Service Center
Business Technology Center
Suite 202
454 S Anderson Road
P.O. Box 12099
Rock Hill, S.C. 29730
Telephone (803) 324-7641

Myrtle Beach Service Center
1330 Howard Parkway
Myrtle Beach, S.C. 29588
Telephone (843) 839-2960