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Legal Requirements for Trailers

South Carolina requires the following for boat trailers.

Trailers weighing less than 2,500 pounds are not required to be licensed or registered.

Trailers weighing more than 2,500 pounds must be licensed and registered.

If the gross weight of the boat and trailer exceeds 3,000 pounds, the trailer must be equipped with brakes.

Trailers must have proper lighting, including turn signals, taillights, and brake lights. All trailer lights must be maintained in an operable condition, same as when the trailer was manufactured.

All trailers must be connected to the towing vehicle by safety chains or cable of sufficient strength to maintain connection under all conditions.

Trailer hitches must not obscure more than two inches of the license plate of the towing vehicle.

For further information, contact the Motor Vehicle Division of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by:

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