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What is Casual Excise Tax?

Effective July 1, 2017, South Carolina Code Section 12-36-1710(A) imposes a 5% casual excise tax on the issuance of every certificate of title or proof of ownership for each of the following:

  • boats
  • motors
  • airplanes

The tax rate is 6% of the "fair market value" of a motor that is purchased alone (not permanently attached to the boat). The measure of the casual excise tax is fair market value of the item to be licensed, titled or registered. Fair market value is the purchase price less any trade-in allowed, or the value shown in a national publication (NADA) of used values adopted by the SCDOR less any trade-in allowed. The purchaser is liable for the casual excise tax. Department of Natural Resources, and/or the Division of Aeronautics may not issue a license or transfer title until the state sales or use tax has been paid.

Excluded from the casual excise tax are boats, motors or airplanes transferred:

  • to a member of the immediate family (spouse, parents, children, sisters, brothers, grandparents and grandchildren)
  • to a legal heir, legatee or distributes
  • to a partnership, from an individual, upon formation of a partnership
  • to a corporation, from a stockholder, upon formation of a corporation
  • to a motor vehicle or motorcycle dealer licensed under Code Section 56-3-2310 for the purpose of resale
  • to a financial institution for the purpose of resale
  • as a result of repossession to a secured party for the purpose of resale

In addition to the above, the following also are excluded from the casual excise tax:

  • the fair market value of a boat, motor, or airplane transferred to a seller or secured party in partial payment (trade-ins)
  • transfers of airplanes specifically exempted by Code Section 12-36-2120 from the sales or use tax
  • boats, motors, or airplanes, where a sales or use tax has been paid on the transaction necessitating the transfer

Local Taxes: Transfers subject to the casual excise tax are exempt from the 0.5% of 1% sales and use taxes.

Mailing Addresses

Returns - Balance Due
Returns - No Balance Due
General Inquiries
South Carolina Department of Revenue
PO Box 100193
Columbia, SC 29202
South Carolina Department of Revenue
PO Box 125
Columbia, SC 29214-0101
South Carolina Department of Revenue
Sales Tax
PO Box 125
Columbia, SC 29214-0400

How to File Casual or Use Excise Tax Return:

 File ST-236 online using MyDORWAY 


To file by paper, download, print and mail your ST-236 to the address listed on the form

Due Date:

This form should be mailed shortly after the purchase is made.