License Plates

South Carolina

South Carolina License Plates

South Carolina started issuing license plates in 1917 in steel.  Prior to 1917, the cities of South Carolina issued porcelain license plates.   All South Carolina license plates were dated from 1917 except for the year 1981.  The early license plates of South Carolina were a little more sophisticated than most states because of slogans.  In 1930, the word IODINE was embossed on the state’s license plates –vertically on right had side.  In 1932, the slogan: THE IODINE STATE was embossed on the bottom of the South Carolina license plate.  This slogan THE IODINE PRODUCTS STATE was used until 1933 and this was the final year of use of the IODINE slogan on license plates.

The year 1970 marked 300 years of statehood for South Carolina and a license plate was issued to commemorate this year.   The 1970 South Carolina license plate was embossed with: 1670 300 YEARS 1970 at the bottom of the license plate.  The first screen printed South Carolina license plate was issued in 1976 and the word Bicentennial was screen at the top of the license plate between the screw holes.  South Carolina used few graphics on their license plates.  The 1924 and 1925 license plates were embossed with a reverse graphic of the abbreviation of South Carolina: SC.   The 1926 and 1927 South Carolina license plates were embossed with a palmetto tree (the state tree).  License plates issued from 1976 were silk screened on retro-reflective sheeting.  The first year of use for retro-reflective sheeting was 1976 –the same year as the United States Bicentennial.

Half-year license plates were issued in 1934, 1935 and 1936 by the state of South Carolina.   The date OCT 31 was embossed on all South Carolina license plates from 1937 through 1940.  To conserve metal during World War II, may 1943 license plates were made by re-stamping flattened 1942 issues.