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County Council

Lexington County

212 South Lake Drive

Lexington, SC 29072

 

Information Line

(803) 359-8000

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please click on the topic for Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Addressing 

Animal Services

Assessment

Building Permits

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Paying Taxes
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Treasurer

Unemployment Office
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Voter Registration

 

 

Animal Services

Question: What can I do about an animal running loose around my property?

 

Answer:

 

If the owner of the animal is known, then there is a requirement of a signed complaint against the owner of the animal.  The complaint must include a description of the animal, the date and time of the violation, and the address of the owner of the pet.  Once there is a signed complaint, then officers of the department can go to the owners of the animal to address the violation of the County Ordinance.  The basis for a signed complaint is that many times when officers arrive on a scene the pet may have either ran off or has been secured back on the owner's property.  Responding officers can issue a warning or a citation, depending on the circumstances of the violation.  If a warning is given the officers explain to the pet owner what the county ordinance is and how it was violated.  In a case where a citation is issued, a court date will be set and you may be required to appear as a witness.  Fines for violations of the County Ordinance are set by the court and could be as high as $1,087.50.
If the owner of the animal is not known, an officer will come to your property to see if he can impound the animal.  If the dog is contained in a fenced yard or kennel, the officer will remove the animal with the property owner's consent.  If the owner of the property is home the officer will get him to sign a release when he impounds the animal.  If the property owner is not home, he may leave a release to be signed giving the officer consent to impound the animal.  There are some cases where the officer is unable to get near an animal-at-large.  In these cases the property owner may request a trap.
 
Question: How long are stray animals kept at the shelter?

 

Answer:


Stray animals are held for a period of five business days.  During this time the animals are checked for identification tags, scanned for a microchip, and the staff will look through reports of lost animals to check for a description that matches the animal.  At the end of the holding period the animal will become the property of the county.  The animal then may be evaluated to see if it may be put up for adoption or sent to a rescue organization. 

 

Question: What can I do with my pet that I can no longer keep?

 

Answer:


We accept pets from the public.  Due to the large volume of animals that come into the shelter we cannot guarantee adoption of the animal.  When an owned pet is accepted by Animal Services the owner signs a release of all ownership rights to the animal and is told the animal may be euthanized.  If an owner of an animal cannot bring the animal to the shelter, then an officer may be able to pick it up.  This is a low priority call and the owner of the animal is responsible for its care until the officer is able to respond.

 

Question: Why must I sign a surrender form for an animal that I do not own?

 

Answer:

 

It is required that anyone turning in an animal to Lexington County Animal Services provide picture identification and sign the animal over as custodian.  This increases the level of accountability for the animals that come into the shelter and may prevent someone from turning in an animal that they know to be owned.


Question: Do you have traps available to the public?

  

Answer:


We do have dog and cat traps that are available to Lexington County residents at no fee.  There may be a waiting list for a trap due to the high demand for traps.  A trap agreement must be signed by the property owner.  The property owner is responsible for monitoring the trap while it is on their property and for treating any animals in the trap in a humane manner.  You are responsible for notifying Animal Services if there is an animal in the trap.  No one, other than Lexington County Animal Services staff, may remove an animal from a Lexington County trap.  Traps are delivered, baited and set by the officer.  After the initial baiting of the trap it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the bait in the trap is kept fresh.


Question: Can my dog run loose on my property?

 

Answer:

 

The Restraint and Confinement Ordinance (Chapter 10:34) of the County states that all pets (cats and dogs) must be restrained or confined at all times.  If the animal is not confined and on its owners property then the pet owner must be outside with the pet and the pet must be obedient to the owner’s verbal command.  If there is no one outside with the pet, then it must be confined.  This applies to all property owners regardless of the size of the property.


Question: Does the leash law apply to cats the same as dogs?

 

Answer:

 

The Restraint and Confinement Ordinance (Chapter 10:34) of the county states that all pets must be restrained or confined at all times.  Pets are defined as a dog or cat.


Question: Do you spay or neuter for the public?

 

Answer:

 

While we encourage pet owners to have their animals spayed or neutered, we do not perform this service for the public.  There are numerous veterinarians in the area or you can contact the spay and neuter clinic in Columbia.


Question: Do you pick up stray animals after hours or on the weekend?

 

Answer:


There is an Animal Control Officer on-call 24 hours a day; however that officer is only available after hours or on the weekends for emergency calls.  We are not able to respond after hours for the impoundment of stray animals that are not dangerous, but just a nuisance.  Please call during normal business hours and officers will try to get the animal as quickly as possible. 


Question: Do you handle complaints on squirrels, raccoons or other wildlife?

 

Answer:


We operate under the Lexington County Animal Control Ordinance that covers cats, dogs and certain exotic animals.  For assistance with these types of wildlife, citizens may contact the Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-922-5431 or a private wildlife removal company.  A list of wildlife removal companies can be found online at www.dnr.sc.gov/ or in the yellow pages of the phone book.


Question: Is it illegal to own exotic animals in Lexington County?

 

Answer:


Lexington County does have an exotic animal ordinance (10:91-94) that lists the animals that are defined as exotic and cannot be in the possession or control of anyone in the County. 

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Assessment

Question: What is the taxable market value of my property?

 

Answer:

 

The taxable market value (as per the market values of December 31, 1999) is determined by the Assessor’s Office. It is shown in the “Current Tax Year” table on the top left (unshaded) portion of the tax bill, the middle column titled “MARKET VALUE.

 

Question: The assessment on my property is higher this year than last year.  Why?

 

Answer:

 

The tax assessment does not change unless physical changes have been made or a county reassessment program is implemented.

 

  • Physical Changes  If made any additions to your property or made other major improvements, your property value increased to reflect the changes completed through December 31, 2000. If your home was damaged, the value may have been reduced.
  •  

  • Reassessment Program  Lexington County implemented a reassessment program this year (2001) in compliance with state law.  The purpose of a reassessment program is to determine real property market values that are in line with current property characteristics and market conditions.  Lexington County’s previous reassessment program was nearly 10 years ago.  Significant changes in property values had occurred that were not reflected in the property tax system.  South Carolina’s Constitution requires that property be taxed equitably. When similar properties in the same taxing district are taxed differently because conditions have changed over a long period of time, the system becomes unequal. South Carolina law now requires counties to reassess every five years. Only real property is reassessed every five years. Values of personal property such as cars, boats and motorcycles are kept current through annual updates by the Department of Revenue.
  •  

    Question: How was the market value for my property determined?

     

    Answer: 

     

    An employee from the County Assessor’s office has visited and measured your home to determine square footage. The employee also notes other information, such as age, type of construction, type of heating and air conditioning, number of floors, and whether the structure has a garage, deck, swimming pool or other amenities.

     

    The Assessor’s Office then considers this information along with similar properties that have sold in the area, adjusting that sales information to fit your property.  For rental or commercial property, an evaluation is made on how much income the property produces, what the operating expenses are and what kind of investment return can be reasonably expected.  With all of this information, the Assessor’s Office then determines the market value of the property.

     

    Question: Am I supposed to be told about changes in market value determined for my property?

     

    Answer: 

     

    Yes.  The Assessor must mail a property assessment notice to all property owners whose real property’s fair market value increases by $1,000 or more. Assessment notices must be sent to the person listed as property owner as of December 31 of the prior year.

     

    The assessment notice includes the market value, the new assessment value, the assessment ratio, number of acres or lots, location of property, tax map number and the appeals procedure.

     

    When a reassessment program is completed, the Assessor must mail the assessment notices by February 1 of the year the reassessment program will be implemented.

     

    Question: If I disagree with the market value put on my property, can I do anything about it?

     

    Answer: 

     

    After receiving your real property assessment notice, if you disagree with the new value assigned, you have the right to appeal. A written appeal must be filed with the Assessor within 30 days of the date on the assessment notice.  Don’t wait until your tax bill arrives to appeal your new value; it’s too late.  If no assessment notice is received, the open appeal period is between January 1 and March 1 of each year.

     

    All appeals are reviewed according to market value.  Appeals based on the tax bill amount cannot be considered as grounds for an assessment appeal.

     

    If you appeal your property value and the appeal is not settled by December 31, you will be billed for at least 80% of the assessed value for the current year. You may request in writing that you be billed for more than 80% in order to avoid paying interest should your appeal not be successful. The tax must be paid by January 15.

     

    Once the appeal is resolved, you may receive a refund or be expected to pay additional tax, depending on how the appeal is resolved. You must pay interest at the current prevailing rate on any outstanding taxes owed. Likewise, if your appeal is successful and your taxes are less than what you paid, you will be paid interest.

     

    Manufacturing, utility, railroads, boats and motors, and business personal property are assessed by the Department of Revenue. Vehicles are assessed based on information provided by the SC Division of Motor Vehicles and the SC Department of Revenue. A state property tax is levied on private carlines and airlines based on the average statewide millage rate as determined by the SC Department of Revenue.  All other property is assessed by the County Assessor.

     

    Information on how to contact entities for additional information about property taxation is provided on the back of the tax bill.

     

    Question: How can I find out why my property taxes have increased?

     

    Answer:

     

    The new tax bill format being implemented to collect taxes for the various taxing entities in Lexington County in most cases provides “current tax year” and “previous tax year” information.  Taxpayers can use this information to identify changes that may have caused the amount of taxes for a particular piece of property to change.  The amount of taxes due can change if there is a change in the assessment on the property or in the millage levied by one or more of the tax entities serving the tax district in which your property is taxed.

     

    1.  Assessment Changes.  An assessment change can result from a change in the market value of a property or from a change in the assessment ratio applied to the market value to calculate the assessment.

     

    1.1  Market Value Changes.  South Carolina’s Constitution requires that property be taxed fairly and equitably.  To accomplish this South law requires periodic reassessment programs by county assessors.   It is a fact that the market values of different properties at different locations change in value in different directions and at different rates over time. State law now requires that counties reassess property every five years.

     

    1.2  Values of personal property such as cars, boats and motorcycles are kept current through annual updates by the Department of Revenue.

     

    2.  Millage Rate Changes. Lexington County government does not control or approve the millage levies of other independent taxing entities.  However, state law requires the County Auditor to prepare tax bills on behalf of the county’s taxing entities and the County Treasurer to collect those taxes (except that the performance of this function for municipalities is done at the municipalities’ request).  Contact information for the individual taxing entities is provided on the back of the tax bill.

     

     

    Question: Why are my car taxes higher than my house taxes?

     

    Answer: 

     

    One of several factors may contribute to this.  The “assessment ratio” for vehicles is higher than for legal residence classification of homes.  So taxes on a $20,000 vehicle are about the same as for a $60,000 legal residence, without any discounts, such as the Homestead Exemption or S.C. (Education Property Tax) Tax Relief.  If the property is a legal residence to which these discounts are applied, the tax on a $20,000 vehicle could be considerably higher than on a $60,000 legal residence.  State law governs property taxes in South Carolina, including how property values are determined, how property is assessed and what discounts are available (see www.sctax.org).

     

    Question: My taxes are paid by my mortgage company.  Since my taxes went up, will this change my mortgage payment?

     

    Answer:

     

    The County Treasurer provides tax bill information to mortgage companies as a courtesy at the request of the mortgage companies.  Mortgage companies typically include an amount in the owner’s monthly mortgage payment to build up a reserve for paying the property tax.  The mortgage company may adjust this monthly amount based on the taxes due this year or on future amounts they anticipate will be needed

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    Building Permits

    Question: When is a building permit required?

     

    Answer:

     

    A permit is required any time you construct, enlarge, renovate, move, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, renovate, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the Building Codes Ordinance. A permit to install or replace a manufactured home is required regardless of the cost of installation.

     

    Question: Is any work exempt from building permitting?

     

    Answer:

  • The following items do not require a building permit:
  • Ordinary repairs and maintenance
  • Fences
  • Retaining walls unless supporting a surcharge
  • Water tanks
  • Sidewalks, driveways and patios
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets and similar cosmetic finish type work
  • Swimming pools accessory to a one or two family dwelling
  • Swings and other playground equipment accessory to a one or two family dwelling
  • One-story detached storage structures accessory to a one or two family dwelling, provided that the floor area does not exceed 500 square feet
  • Shade cloth structures constructed for nursery or agricultural purposes and not including service systems
  • Window awnings supported by an exterior wall
  • Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 5 feet 9 inches in height
  • Question: Who can take out a building permit?

     

    Answer:

     

    A homeowner can obtain a permit to perform construction on his own residence provided that the home is not offered for sale or rent for a period of two years. Anyone he hires to work on his residential property should be licensed with the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulations for the work they are performing if the cost of that work exceeds two hundred dollars. If you hire a contractor to build, renovate or add onto your home you should require the contractor to obtain the building permit. If you obtain the permit in your name, you, not the contractor, will be held responsible for any deficient work the contractor performs even if you sell the property. The permit fees are the same for both contractors and homeowners alike.
    A homeowner, licensed electrician or licensed dealer may obtain the permit to install a manufactured home.
    If the total cost of construction on a commercial project exceeds $5000 a general contractor’s or mechanical contractor’s license issued by the South Carolina Contractor’s Licensing Board will be required to obtain the permits. The type and scope of work will determine what permits are required and what classification of contractor’s license is needed.

     

    Question: Where do I go to get a building permit?

     

    Answer:

     

    Our offices are located on the fourth floor of the Lexington County Administration Building located at: 212 South Lake Dr., Lexington, SC 29072
    Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
    Our phone number is (803) 785-8130 and our fax number is (803) 785-5186

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    Child Support

    Question: Can I add funds to the Support Debit Card?

     

    Answer:

     

    Currently you cannot add funds to the Support Debit Card.

     

    Question: Can I have more than one Support Debit Card?

     

    Answer:

     

    Currently you cannot have more than one Support Debit Card per person.

     

    Question: Is there a minimum balance on the Support Debit Card?

     

    Answer:

     

    No, there is not a minimum balance on the Support Debit Card.
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    Community Development

    Question: What is a subdivision?

     

    Answer:


    The dividing of property (a tract or parcel of land ) into two or more lots, building sites, or other divisions.
    Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 2.30, Subdivision

     

    Question: What are subdivision restrictions/covenants?

     

    Answer:

     

    These are private restrictions that are placed in effect by the developer of the property (parcels, lots, or tracts) during the development stages prior to the sale of such parcels, lots, or tracts. The County does not require covenants and restrictions for subdivisions.  Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 7.10

     

    Question: How can I get a copy of the restrictions for my subdivision?

     

    Answer:

     

    Restrictions, often referred to as “Covenants and Restrictions”, are usually recorded in the Register of Deeds Office by the developer. They may be available for viewing online at the Register of Deeds section of the County web site or you may get a copy at the Register of Deeds Office in the County Administration Building.
    Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 7.12

     

    Question: Who enforces them?

     

    Answer:

     

    Subdivision regulations must be enforced in a private manner by the developer or the property owners of the subdivision.
    Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 7.13

     

    Question: What is a private road?

     

    Answer:

     

    Any road or driveway used for access to three or more parcels of land and which is not publicly maintained by a municipality, the County, or the State of South Carolina, is a private road.
    Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 2.30, Road, a

     

    Question: Can I subdivide property that is accessed by private road?

     

    Answer:

     

    Approval by the Lexington County Planning Commission is required for the subdivision of property accessed by a private road. Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 2.30, Road,a, 1

    Question: I want to divide my property in order to give it to my children. Is this considered a subdivision?

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. Any dividing of property is considered a subdivision and each new lot or parcel must be provided with access to a publicly maintained road (or an approved private road), adequate storm drainage, water, and sewer.
    Reference: Subdivision regulations – Section 2.30, Subdivision

    Question: The Register of Deeds Office told me that I need approval by the County Planning Commission before they could record my plat. Is that correct?

     

    Answer:

     

    All plats to be recorded in the Register of Deeds Office must be reviewed and approved by the Lexington County Department of Community Development (on behalf of the Lexington County Planning Commission) in conjunction with rules and regulations of Stormwater Management, Public Works, and the Lexington County Environmental Health Department (DHEC). Each new lot must be provided with access to a publicly maintained road (or an approved private road), adequate storm drainage, water, and sewer.
    Reference: Subdivision Regulations – Section 3.34


    Question: What is required for the approval of my plat?

     

    Answer:

     

    In order to have your plat approved (over-the-counter) for recording, the following items are reviewed:

  • 1. Access - A plat of a lot/parcel must show access to a publicly maintained road, which meets the requirements of  the Planning Commission’s Access Policy. In order for a lot/parcel to be accessed from a private road, approval by the  Planning Commission is required.
  • 2. Water and Sewer Availability - Any lot less than 1 acre in area must be approved by the Lexington County Environmental Health Department for septic system suitability or proof must be provided to show that an existing sewer service is available from a public utility. Any lot 1 acre or larger is usually not reviewed for water and sewer availability.
  • 3. When Can a Subdivision be Reviewed Over-the-Counter - In most cases, a plat showing 1 or 2 lots can be reviewed as a simple over-the-counter plat provided the total acreage of the lot being subdivided equals the total sum of the acreage of the two lots being created. Subdividing which creates a total of three or more lots must go through a formal subdivision review by staff. Generally, the subdividing of a lot on a privately maintained road cannot be approved as a simple over-the-counter plat.
  • 4. Recordable Quality - plats submitted for approval must bear the original signature of a South Carolina Registered Surveyor and include the surveyor’s embossed seal.
  • Question: Where do I get a County business license?

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County does not require or issue business licenses. Instead, all land use activities must have a valid zoning permit. However, some municipalities do require a business license in order to operate within their city/town. Check with your City/Town Hall regarding their license requirements.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 12, Chapter 1, Section 121.10


    Question: How often am I allowed to have a yard sale on my property?

     

    Answer:

     

    Garage and yard sales are allowed to take place up to four times a year from the same location without the need for a zoning permit. For such sales to take place at the same location more often, the activity would no longer be classified as a typical garage sale and would require a zoning permit.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 2, Chapter 1, Section21.21(f)

     
    Question: Am I allowed to post signs advertising my garage sale?

     

    Answer:

     

    Signs advertising garage and yard sales are allowed provided that they are located on private property with the property owner’s permission and not located in the road right-of-way or on utility poles or attached to road and street signs. Garage and yard sale signs shall not exceed 6 square feet in size, should not be posted for longer than 7 consecutive days, and must be removed within 24 hours after the completion of the event. Garage and yard sale signs meeting these requirements do not require a zoning permit.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 2, Chapter 5, Section 26.40(h)


    Question: Do I need a zoning permit even if I work out of my home?

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes, all nonresidential activities require a zoning permit and certain restrictions apply to home occupations.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 2, Chapter 1, Section 21.22


    Question: If I am located within town or city limits, do I need a County zoning permit?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Lexington County Zoning Ordinance only pertains to unincorporated areas of the County. Municipalities have jurisdiction within their own city/town limits. Check with your City/Town Hall regarding their zoning requirements.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 1, Chapter 1, Section 11.20


    Question: I live in a mobile home located on my own property and have two other mobile homes on the same (or adjoining) parcel. Can I put additional mobile homes there?

     

    Answer: 

     

    The County Zoning Ordinance only allows two mobile homes on a parcel, on adjoining parcels, or even parcels within the vicinity of one another unless the property owner resides (legal residence) in one, in which case a total of three are allowed. More than two mobile homes (or three if the property owner resides in one) are considered a Mobile Home Park. Mobile Home Parks are only allowed by special exception (permission granted by the Board of Zoning Appeals) and are subject to certain requirements as outlined by the Zoning Ordinance.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 7, Chapter 1, Section 71.20


    Question: My house is located in a subdivision and I want to fence in my back yard and/or build a residential storage building. How far off the property line should they be?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Lexington County Zoning Office does not address or regulate residential fencing. Accessory buildings to residential activities must maintain a minimum 3-foot setback from adjoining property lines. However, some private subdivision restrictions/covenants may regulate and/or prohibit fencing and accessory buildings. If your subdivision has such private restrictions in effect, they would be recorded with the County Register of Deeds and are not enforced by the Zoning Office.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 2,Chaper 3 Section 23.30


    Question: I see many “stick in the ground” type signs and signs on utility poles and road signs along the roadways, are these allowed?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Zoning Ordinance does not allow signs to be placed within road rights-of-way, or sign placement on utility poles or road/street signs. Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 2, Chapter 5, Section 26.14, 26.35


    Question: A particular parcel is classified as residential by the Tax Assessor’s Office, but I have heard that a commercial operation is planned for that property. If the zoning is residential, how is that allowed? (b) I have a contract for the option of purchasing a tract of land that is listed on the County GIS maps as commercial. Does this mean that it is approved for any type of commercial activity?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Tax Assessor classifications are entirely different from zoning classifications and are not necessarily related to or dependent on one another. To find out the zoning classification for any given property in the unincorporated areas of Lexington County, go to the GIS/Mapping section on the County web site. Zoning, plus additional useful information, is available on the County web site.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 1, Chapter 1, Section 11.40, 11.50


    Question: How can I find out the zoning district and street classification for my property?

     

    Answer:

     

    You can access the GIS maps on the County web site. Once into the maps and zoomed in close enough, click Zoning as a visible layer. The Zoning Maps will show the zoning district and the street classification. Or, you may visit the Zoning Office in the County Administration Building to view the GIS maps.


    Question: Where can I get a copy of the Lexington County Zoning Ordinance?

     

    Answer:

     

    Printed copies are available from the Zoning Office in the County Administration Building for a nominal fee. However, the Zoning Ordinance is also available on the County web site. You may view it online, print the entire document, or simply print selected pages or selections

     
    Question: Do I need to renew my zoning permit every year?

     

    Answer:

     

    No, once a zoning permit has been issued and the project/activity is underway, it is good for the life of the activity as long as that specific activity doesn’t change or is expanded. If there is to be a change or expansion, a new application and site plan must be submitted and a new zoning permit issued prior to such change or expansion.
    However, if a zoning permit has been approved, but the project or activity has been put on hold and has not begun or completed, a zoning permit shall be effective for two years from the date of the approval. Up to five one-year extensions of the zoning permit will be granted provided an annual request is made by the original permit applicant provided the obligations of the permit continue to be met, and provided there have been no amendments to these regulations that would prohibit approval. Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 1,Chapter 1, Section 11.31 & Article 12, Chapter 1, Section 121.10


    Question: My property is located in an ID (Intensive Development) Zoning District that allows the type of activity that I plan to develop, but I was told that it is not an allowed activity. Why is that?

     

    Answer:

     

    While a particular activity may be allowed in a given zoning district, the Lexington County Zoning Ordinance limits access to activities by street classification. Both the zoning district and the street classification are used to determine allowed activities for specific parcels.
    Reference: Zoning Ordinance – Article 1, Chapter 1, Section 11.40; Article 2, Chapter 1, Section 21.31; Chapter 2, Section 22.00; Article 2, ; & Article 2, Chapter 2, Section 22.02


    Question: When is a building permit required?

     

    Answer:

     

    A permit is required any time you construct, enlarge, renovate, move, or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, renovate, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by the Building Codes Ordinance. A permit to install or replace a manufactured home is required regardless of the cost of installation.

     

    CDBG FAQ'S

     

    Question: What is the Community Development Block Grant Program?

     

    Answer:

     

    The CDBG Program is a federal grant program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The annual grant provides a flexible funding source for local governments to use for community improvement projects, such as revitalization of neighborhoods, reconstruction of streets, new sidewalks, public facilities, public service activities, affordable housing, and economic development opportunities.


    Question: How does the County receive CDBG funds?

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County is eligible under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, to automatically receive an annual CDBG allocation each year under the Grant Entitlement Program. Section 24 Part 570 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) regulates the CDBG entitlement program.


    Question: How are CDBG funds being used in Lexington County?

     

    Answer:

     

    CDBG has a wide range of eligible activities that gives local governments the flexibility to meet their community’s needs. Some examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to, public works projects, provision of neighborhood facilities, code enforcement, acquisition of real property, and rehabilitation of existing housing stock. Recent Lexington County CDBG projects have included public facilities improvements, infrastructure improvements, public safety projects, and public service projects.

    Question: What are some of the program requirements?

     

    Answer:

     

    A majority of funds must be spent on projects that benefit low and moderate-income persons. Every project must meet one of the national objectives and must be consistent with the County’s community development goals and objectives.


    Question: Who determines what projects will be funded each year?

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County citizens are provided with opportunities at least twice a year to comment and make suggestions on CDBG-funded projects. The comments and suggestions received are reviewed and considered in making funding recommendations. County Council approves the CDBG budget and projects around May of each year.

    Question: What is the Consolidated Plan?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Consolidated Plan is a five-year plan that is submitted by Lexington County to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development outlining the goals and vision for community development actions to be accomplished with CDBG funds. It provides the opportunity to shape housing and community development strategies and creates an opportunity for strategic planning and citizen participation. The Consolidated Plan describes the County’s efforts to provide its citizens with decent, safe and affordable housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. Annual goals and benchmarks for these goals are included in the Consolidated Plan.

    BACK TO CDBG


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    Coroner

    Question: WHY IS THE CORONER INVOLVED? 

     

    Answer:

     

    State law requires the Coroner to inquire into and determine the circumstances, manner,
    and cause of all sudden, violent, or unusual deaths and those deaths where the decedent has
    passed within 24 hours of admission to the hospital. The deceased may be taken to the
    Coroner’s morgue facility and examined by a pathologist to determine the cause of death. A
    death certificate is issued after the examination is completed. Occasionally, more extensive
    testing is required, in which case an interim or “pending” death certificate is issued, which
    will allow the family to make funeral arrangements. An amendment will be issued to
    accompany the death certificate following completion of special testing.
     
    Question: WHAT SHOULD I DO NOW?

     

    Answer:

     

    Select a funeral home and inform the funeral director that the death is being handled by the
    Coroner. Ask them to please notify us that they will be handling the arrangements. Our
    office does not select funeral homes nor do we make arrangements. In the event someone is
    making the arrangements for the family, the Coroner must be provided written
    authorization to release the deceased, signed by the legal next of kin. Should he/she reside
    at a distant location, they may send a FAX directly to the Coroner’s Office. The following
    format should be used:
    CORONER, LEXINGTON COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA
    RELEASE THE REMAINS OF MY (relationship and name of decedent, Coroner case #)
    TO (name of funeral director selected).
    SIGNED (name) ________________________
    RELATIONSHIP ________________________
    PHONE NUMBER ______________________
     
    Question: WHAT ABOUT TISSUE/ORGAN DONATION? 

     

    Answer:

     

    In conjunction with LifePoint, we support the donation of organs and tissues. With your
    consent, many types of tissues may be donated. If you are interested, call the Organ &
    Tissue Donor Referral Hotline at (800) 269-9777 as soon as possible. A representative will
    be available to answer your questions 24 hours a day.
     
    Question: WILL AN AUTOPSY BE PERFORMED? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The Coroner’s Office will determine what level of examination is warranted on any given
    case in order to determine the cause and manner of death. Permission from the family is
    not required. Not all cases will require an autopsy. Contact us for further information on
    the status of your loved one’s case.
     
    Question: WHERE WILL MY RELATIVE/FRIEND BE TAKEN?

     

    Answer:

     

    He/She will be taken to the Coroner’s main morgue facility located at:
    Lexington Medical Center
    2720 Sunset Boulevard
    West Columbia SC 29169
     
    Question: IS IT NECESSARY FOR ME TO COME TO THE CORONER’S OFFICE TO IDENTIFY THE BODY? 

     

    Answer:

     

    No. In a majority of cases, visual identification is not required. Should it become necessary
    for you to come in or bring records or x-rays, you will be contacted.
     
    Question: IS VIEWING ALLOWED?

     

    Answer:

     

    No. The Coroner’s morgue facility is not designed to accommodate viewing. Arrangements
    can be made at the selected funeral home for viewing
     
    Question: ARE TISSUES, ORGANS, BLOOD AND/OR BODY FLUIDS RETAINED AFTER THE  AUTOPSY AND RELEASE OF THE BODY?

     

    Answer:

     

    If it is determined that an autopsy, external examination or toxicology analysis is required to determine or confirm the cause and manner of death pursuant to South Carolina Code of
    Laws Section 17-5-520
    , tissue(s), organ(s), body fluid(s) may be retained for analysis
    and/or evidentiary purposes pursuant to South Carolina Code of Laws Section 17-5-530.
     
    Question: WILL AN AUTOPSY REPORT BE AVAILABLE TO ME? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. The decedent’s next of kin may obtain a copy of the autopsy report and/or toxicology
    report by submitting a written request to the Coroner’s Office, 117 Duffie Drive, Lexington,
    SC, 29072. Requests may also be faxed (803-785-8492) or emailed (coroner@lex-co.com).
    In many cases, extensive testing of organs, tissues, blood, etc. must be performed in order to
    determine the cause and/or manner of death. Although we strive to ensure that death
    certificates are obtained in a timely manner, these tests may take from ten to 16 weeks to be
    finalized, and a final death certificate cannot be issued until the final autopsy report is
    issued by the pathologist.
     
    Question: HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE BEFORE MY RELATIVE/FRIEND IS RELEASED FROM YOUR OFFICE? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Generally, it should not take more than two days. The legal next of kin or funeral director will coordinate the release.
     
    Question: WILL I BE CHARGED FOR CORONER SERVICES? 

     

    Answer:

     

    No. There are no fees to the family of the deceased for Coroner services.
     
    Question: I NEED TO ENTER MY RELATIVE/FRIEND’S RESIDENCE, BUT IT IS SEALED. WHAT CAN I DO?

     

    Answer:

     

    In order to enter, you need to obtain permission from the agency listed on the seal. If it is a Coroner’s seal,

    call (803) 359-8439.
     
    Question: HOW AND WHEN CAN PERSONAL POSSESSIONS BE CLAIMED?

     

    Answer:

     

    Any personal possessions in the custody of the Coroner’s Office may be claimed by the legal
    next of kin. Governmental documents (driver’s license, passport, military identification
    card) will not be released to the next of kin. These documents will be returned to the
    issuing agency for disposition. To avoid any inconvenience to you, call the Coroner’s Office
    at (803) 359-8439 before coming into the office. The Coroner’s Office will advise you if any
    documents will be needed and of any other requirements. The Personal Property Section is
    open from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Monday through Friday and is closed weekends and
    holidays. Sometimes, personal possessions are taken into custody by other law
    enforcement agencies. You will need to contact those agencies to recover personal
    possessions in their custody. Clothing is not usually considered property. Unless there is a
    need to hold clothing as evidence, it is released to the mortuary recovering the deceased.
    Clothing that presents a health and/or safety hazard may be disposed of for the safety of all
    persons involved.
     
    Question: IF THERE ARE NO FUNDS FOR BURIAL, WHAT CAN I DO? 

     

    Answer:

     

    If the deceased or the legal next of kin do not have sufficient funds for burial, the alternative
    may be County disposition. In these circumstances, proof of indigence is required. The

    legal next of kin should contact the Coroner’s Office at (803) 359-8439 for additional
    information. If County disposition is authorized, there may be a substantial delay in
    receiving a death certificate and, as a consequence, certain benefits.
     
    Question: MY RELATIVE/FRIEND WAS IN THE MILITARY. WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR INFORMATION?

     

    Answer:

     

    Persons who have served in the Armed Forces, were honorably discharged, and meet other
    service requirements may be entitled to a Veteran’s burial. For information, contact the
    Lexington County Veteran’s Affairs Office at (803) 785-8400 or (803) 332-8400. For more
    information on Veterans or Social Security benefits, contact your funeral director.
     
    Question: WHERE CAN I OBTAIN A DEATH CERTIFICATE? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Death certificates are filed with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SC
    DHEC) Vital Records by the funeral home. Should you require certified copies, they can be
    ordered through the funeral home or purchased from:
         1) SC DHEC Vital Records County Office
         1070-B South Lake Drive
         Lexington SC 29072
         Phone: (803) 785-6550


         2) SC DHEC Vital Records State Office
         2600 Bull Street
         Columbia SC 29201-1797
         Phone: (803) 898-3630
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    Homestead Exemption

    Question: What is the Legal Residence discount?  Who qualifies?  How do I know whether I have it? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Property owners can apply for the Legal Residence discount for their one legal residence in the state of South Carolina.  This means that the qualifying property’s market value would be assessed at a ratio of four percent rather than six percent to obtain the property’s assessment (assessed value) for tax purposes.  Even on a “home place,” some of the property may not qualify—for example, rental homes, second homes, commercial property, acreage above five acres, or property receiving another discount, such as “ag” (agriculture) use.  You can look on the fifth line of the information in the upper right hand of your tax bill to see whether the billed property has the Legal Residence discount applied.  The Assessor’s Office has the forms that you can fill out and submit to that office.
     
    Question: I own a motor home.  Can it qualify as real property and/or my legal residence?  

     

    Answer:

     

    A motor home that: is used as a primary or secondary residence; and is eligible for the mortgage interest deduction on a federal tax return; and has a bathroom, sleeping and cooking facilities, is eligible to be taxed as real property.  However, the taxes are still due in advance, as for personal property, and to be taxed as a legal residence a form must be completed and filed with the County Auditor.
     
    Question: Do I qualify for Homestead Exemption? 

     

    Answer:

     

  • 1. I hold complete fee simple title or life estate to my primary residence.
  • 2. As of December 31, preceding the tax year of the exemption, I
    was a legal resident of South Carolina for one year
  • 3. As of December 31, preceding the tax year of the exemption, I was 65 years of age, or
    was declared totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency having the authority to make such a declaration, or  was legally blind as certified by a licensed ophthalmologist.
    If statements 1, 2, and 3 are true, you are qualified to receive the Homestead Exemption
  • The surviving spouse of a qualified or potentially qualified Homestead recipient may also receive the benefit if: You are the surviving spouse of a qualified Homestead recipient
  •  You are the surviving spouse of a person who was not otherwise qualified for the Homestead Exemption but failed to make application in the year that they would have received the exemption at the time of his/her death.
  • And, If you remarry, you would not qualify for the surviving spouse benefit for the Homestead Exemption
  • Question: When can I apply for the Homestead Exemption on my primary residence? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The Lexington County Homestead Coordinator may accept applications during the following periods:

  • Pre-application Period
    The year that you turn 65 or classified 100% disabled or legally blind, apply between July 16th and December 31st.
  • Application Period
    The year after you turned 65 or classified 100% disabled or legally blind, apply between January 1st and July 15th. 
  • Post-application Period
    Apply between July 16th and before the first penalty date of the tax year that the exemption can first be claimed.
    If you apply during the post-application period and you qualify, you may be eligible for a refund for the preceding year.
  • Question: Where do I apply? 

     

    Answer:

     

    You may apply for the Homestead Exemption at the Lexington County Auditor’s office. If you are unable to go to the Auditor’s office, an agent can make an application on your behalf.
     
    Question: What documents are needed? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Proof of your eligibility is required.

  • 1. If you are applying due to age, bring your birth certificate or Medicare card, and your South Carolina Driver’s License.
  • 2. If you are applying due to disability, you will need to present documentation from the state or federal agency certifying  the disability and your South Carolina Driver’s License or South Carolina Identification.
  • 3. If you are applying due to blindness, you will need to present documentation from a licensed ophthalmologist and your photo Identification
  • Question: Do I need to re-apply annually?

     

    Answer:

     

    No. It is not necessary to reapply annually, except when there is a change of ownership as a result of death or a change in occupancy.
    When is it necessary to reapply It is necessary to reapply when one of the following occurs:

  • Change in disability status
  • Change in ownership
  • Rental of your home
  • Remarriage of the surviving spouse
  • Question: What is the benefit?

     

    Answer:

     

    The program exempts the first $50,000 of the value of your home from all property taxes. See the following examples:
                                                           Example Without Credit                        Example With Credit                        
    Value of Home                                        $ 62,500                                                 $ 62,500         
    Less Homestead Credit                         $      -0-                                                   $ (50,000)        
    “New” Value of Home                             $ 62,500                                                 $ 12,500
    Multiplied by 4% ratio =                             2,500                                                       500
    Multiplied by millage                                  .285                                                         .285 
    Total taxes due =                                   $ 712.50                                                 $ 142.50
     

    This is an example and may not apply the same benefit for your property.
     
    Question: Where can I get assistance with my Homestead Exemption questions?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Lexington County Homestead Exemption Program Coordinator will answer any questions regarding eligibility status and application procedures. Please call (803) 785-8448 to talk to the Lexington County Homestead Exemption Program Coordinator. 
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    Grants

    Question:  What is the Community Development Block Grant Program? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The CDBG Program is a federal grant program funded by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The annual grant provides a flexible funding source for local governments to use for community improvement projects, such as revitalization of neighborhoods, reconstruction of streets, new sidewalks, public facilities, public service activities, affordable housing, and economic development opportunities.
     
    Question: How does the County receive CDBG funds? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County is eligible under Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, as amended, to automatically receive an annual CDBG allocation each year under the Grant Entitlement Program. Section 24 Part 570 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) regulates the CDBG entitlement program.
     
    Question: How are CDBG funds being used in Lexington County? 

     

    Answer:

     

    CDBG has a wide range of eligible activities that gives local governments the flexibility to meet their community’s needs. Some examples of eligible activities include, but are not limited to, public works projects, provision of neighborhood facilities, code enforcement, acquisition of real property, and rehabilitation of existing housing stock. Recent Lexington County CDBG projects have included public facilities improvements, infrastructure improvements, public safety projects, and public service projects.
     
    Question: What are some of the program requirements?

     

    Answer:

     

    A majority of funds must be spent on projects that benefit low and moderate-income persons. Every project must meet one of the national objectives and must be consistent with the County’s community development goals and objectives.
     
    Question: Who determines what projects will be funded each year? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County citizens are provided with opportunities at least twice a year to comment and make suggestions on CDBG-funded projects. The comments and suggestions received are reviewed and considered in making funding recommendations. County Council approves the CDBG budget and projects around May of each year.
     
    Question: What is the Consolidated Plan? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The Consolidated Plan is a five-year plan that is submitted by Lexington County to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development outlining the goals and vision for community development actions to be accomplished with CDBG funds. It provides the opportunity to shape housing and community development strategies and creates an opportunity for strategic planning and citizen participation. The Consolidated Plan describes the County’s efforts to provide its citizens with decent, safe and affordable housing, a suitable living environment, and expanded economic opportunities. Annual goals and benchmarks for these goals are included in the Consolidated Plan.

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    Marriage License

    Question:  How do I obtain a Marriage License? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Both the bride and groom must appear in the Probate Court to obtain a marriage license, along with the following Identification that includes proof of age by presenting one of the following:

  • Driver's License
  • Passport
  • Military ID
  • Or another legal document (with photo ID)
  • Social Security Card, or another legal document that verifies name and social security number such as an insurance card or tax records. (Applicants who are non-U.S. citizens can meet this requirement by presenting a Passport, Visa, or Resident Alien Card.)
  • $30 cash for the filing fee. This includes the $10.00 fee set by the County, and the $20.00 marriage license tax set by the State. The fee is non-refundable.
  • Question:  Are there any tests required to obtain a Marriage License? 

     

    Answer:

     

    No tests are required. To be legally entitled to marry, applicants must be unmarried, mentally competent, of requisite age, and not disqualified due to close relationship by blood or affinity as provided in S.C. Code Section 20-1-10.
     
    Question: Is there a waiting period from the time application is made until the time the license may be issued? 

     

    Answer:

     

    There is a twenty-four (24) hour waiting period from the time application is made until the time the license may be issued. After the waiting period has expired, either the bride or the groom may return to pick up the license. For your convenience you may also have a third party pick up the license if you provide written authorization. If you prefer to have the license returned to you by mail, provide the court with a self-addressed stamped ($0.65) envelope at the time of application.
     
    Question: What is the age you must be in order to obtain a marriage license in South Carolina? 

     

    Answer:

     

    You must be at least 16 years of age in order to obtain a marriage license in South Carolina. If the applicants are 16 or 17 years of age, the custodial parent, relative or legal guardian with whom the minor resides must give written consent by sworn affidavit. (If the parents are separated or divorced, the parent with custody must confirm custody with a separation agreement or divorce decree.) The minor applicant must also present his birth certificate, or a hospital or baptismal certificate (with parents' names) which has been issued and dated within one year after birth, or a certified copy thereof, showing that he is of lawful age. The applicant must also present a State issued ID, and Social Security Card.
     If the bride is pregnant or has borne a child, and if she and the putative father agree to marry, she must also submit a report or certificate from a licensed physician certifying that she is pregnant or has borne a child. In such cases State law requires that written consent to the marriage must be given by one of the parents of the bride, or by a person standing in loco parentis to the bride, such as her guardian or the person with whom she resides, or, in the event of no such qualified person, with the consent of the superintendent of the department of social services of the county in which either party resides. In such cases, there is not a requirement for consent from the groom's parent or guardian.
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    Master-in-Equity

    Question: How can I find out if a foreclosure action has been filed with the court? 

     

    Answer:

     

    You can go to the Public Judicial Index Search for Lexington County (http://cms.lex-co.com/scjdweb/publicindex/) and search for cases. When you first access the Judicial Index Search, select the Circuit Court option. This will bring you to a search page where you will enter the name of the party you are searching for. The search will bring up any Circuit Court cases filed under this name and will give you some additional information, including the case number and the law firm representing the plaintiff.
     
    Question: Do I need to appear at the foreclosure judgment hearing scheduled for my case?

     

    Answer:

     

    You have a right to be present at any hearing pertaining to the action filed against you. If you have not previously filed an answer with the court you are not required to appear, however, it may be a good idea to appear if any of the following apply:
                   *You are working on some type of modification plan with your lender.
                   *You have questions about your eligibility for the HMP program.
                   *You have any questions about the foreclosure and sale process.
    This is your opportunity to follow up on any modification plans you are being considered for and speak with the Judge and the lender’s attorney about timelines and procedures.
     
    Question: What does it mean if a Deficiency Judgment is demanded against me?  

     

    Answer:

     

    This means the Plaintiff is not only foreclosing its mortgage but is also seeking a personal monetary judgment against you for the difference in what your property brings at sale and the amount of the judgment granted against you in this action. The bidding on your property will remain open for (30) days after the original sales date. On that 30th day, the property is offered for sale again and the highest bid is accepted. If there are no upset bids at the second sale, then the property goes to the high bidder from the original sale and a subsequent deficiency judgment for the above mentioned difference will be issued against you.
     
    Question: If I am unable to avoid a foreclosure judgment and subsequent sale, how long do I have to vacate the property?

     

    Answer:

     

    Until the purchaser at the foreclosure sale receives a deed from the Court, you remain the owner of the house.  That purchaser, which may or may not be the Plaintiff in the foreclosure action, will advise you when a deed has been received.  At that point, the purchaser is entitled to possession, and you must give up possession of the house. Depending upon the situation, this can take from 5 days to 45 days after the completion of the sale.
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    Obtaining Forms, Permits

    Question: Where would I go to get an application for Agricultural Use?

     

    Answer:

     

    "Department of Assessment and Equalization, 2nd floor, Administration Building. "
      
    Question: Where would I go to obtain a birth or death certificate? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County Health Department.
      
    Question: Where do I go to obtain Building Permit? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Community Development, 4th floor, Administration Building.
      
    Question: Where do I go to obtain Franchise information for Cable Television, Water and/or Sewer Systems? 

     

    Answer:

     

    County Council, 6th floor, Administration Building
      
    Question: Where do I obtain a License to sell fireworks in Lexington County? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Clerk of Court's Office, 1st floor, Marc H. Westbrook Lexington County Judicial Center
      
    Question: Where do I obtain a Permit to move my Mobile Home? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Department of Assessment and Equalization, 4th floor, Administration Building
      
    Question: Where do I obtain Property Deeds? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Register of Deeds, 3rd floor, Administration Building.
      
    Question: Where do I obtain a Septic Tank Permit in Lexington County? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Environmental Health, Auxiliary Administration Building, 605 West Main Street. 
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    Passports

    Question: How do I obtain a Passport for travel? 

     

    Answer:

     

    You must make an appointment to apply for a passport. Please call (803) 785-8250.
    Passports are done on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only. Between the hours of 8:30 am & 11:00 am and 2:30 pm & 4:00 pm interval of 30 min. You will need to allow 4-7 weeks for your passport to arrive.
     
    Question: Are there any fees associated with obtaining a passport? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Fees for Passports Book are as Follows:

  • Children up to 15 years old: $80.00
  • Adult 16 years old and older: $110.00
  • Fees for Passports Card are as Follows:

  • Children up to 15 years old: $15.00
  • Adult 16 years old and older: $30.00
  • Fees for Passports Book & Card are as Follows:

  • Children up to 15 years old: $95.00
  • Adult 16 years old and older: $140.00
  • There is a one- time per application $25.00 processing fee to be added to all of the above.
    If you need to expedite your passport, you will still need to allow 7-10 working days. There is an extra fee for expediting.
    If expediting is required, please add $60.00 per application plus overnight postage of $18.30 going and coming back $12.72. A total of $91.02 plus cost of passport application.

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    Paying Taxes

     Question: How does the "Residential Exemption" for South Carolina (Education Property Tax) Tax Relief approved by the General Assembly in 1995 apply to the taxes I'm paying on my real properties?

     

    Answer:

     

    Only your legal residence is eligible for the residential exemption.  The following is a detailed explanation of how the exemption works:

    • Up to $100,000 in market value (i.e. up to 4,000 assessment) of your legal residence is exempted from the education (school) property tax, adjusted to “cap” the relief per county using a formula based on population.  Due to state funding problems some property owners may see an adjustment in their “SC Tax Relief” compared to previous years.  The new tax bill provides the previous tax year information, if available.
    • The impact on the five school districts in Lexington County on average in the 1995 tax year was a (+/-) 45% reduction in the property taxes paid on property that qualified for the “Residential Exemption,” according to the County Treasurer’s Office.  Subsequently, the state funds available to replace local property tax education funds to schools districts were “capped” due to state funding problems mentioned above.
    • The County Auditor must equitably apportion the “capped” relief to each eligible taxpayer as close as possible to the intent of the original legislation.

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    Planning & GIS

     

    Question: Where do I get an address?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Department of Planning and GIS assigns addresses in the County’s unincorporated areas based on the guidelines of the Addressing and Road Naming Ordinances. Any structure that has power, water, septic, or requires a permit should have a unique address assignment. Each municipality assigns addresses within their boundaries. For more information about the assignment of addresses in Lexington County please click here.

     

     

     

    Question:   Why do I need an address?

     

     

    Answer:

     

    Addresses are essential to the E911 system. Addresses are vital for rapid response in an emergency. Any structure that has power, water, septic, or requires a permit should have a unique address. For more information about the assignment of addresses in Lexington County please click here.

     

     

     

    Question: Do I have to post my address?

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. Per state law, Title 23 Chapter 47,  all addresses should be posted on the structure or feature that is addressed. We recommend posting the address at the entrance to the driveway if the number posted on the home is not clearly visible from the road. The number can be posted on the mailbox or on a post beside the road. Blue addressing signs are available from the Lexington County Fire Service. To purchase a sign simply stop by any Lexington County Fire Service Fire Station.

     

     

     

    Question: How do I get to the county maps?

     

    Answer:

     

    To access all of the Lexington County online mapping pages click here. Then accept the county mapping disclaimer. To go directly to the newest mapping viewer for roads, parcels, addresses, and more you may visit the Maptopia website.

     

     

     

    Question:  When are aerial photos taken?
     

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County provides several years of aerial photography through its online mapping applications. In 2007, Lexington County started working with Pictometry Inc. to take both orthographic photography (straight down view) and oblique (angled view) aerial photography on a schedule of once every two years. The newest set of photography from 2013 is now available on the Maptopia site.

     

     

     

    Question:  How are roads named?

     

    Answer:


    Roads are most often named as a part of the development process. If you have questions about naming a road or would like to reserve a road name please call or visit the Department of Planning and GIS (803-785-1454) located on the 3rd floor of the County Administration Building.

     

     

    Question: Where do I report a problem with my road name or address?

     

    Answer:

     

                  Lexington County’s goal is to have the most accurate and complete information possible. We ask that anyone who finds any discrepancies in the data to please report the problem to our office. For a more complete statement of our data accuracy please read our Data Disclaimer.

                   To report a data problem please email the Department of Planning and GIS at lexcogis@gmail.com. Include in the email the nature of the problem, the map service or document in which the problem was found, and any auxiliary information that may be helpful in correcting the problem. Please do not email us about road name corrections in commercial mapping services such as Google Maps, Bing Maps, Map Quest or GPS services, as we have no control over the datasets that these private companies may be using.

     

     

     

    Question: Where do I report a problem with road name signs?

                  

    Answer:

     

    To report a problem with a road sign, please contact the Lexington County Public Works Department at 803-785-8364. To confirm the official name of a street please contact the Department of Planning and GIS at 803-785-1454.

     

     

     

    Question: How are full addresses written?

     

    Answer:

     

     

     

    Question:  Do I need an address to get a permit in Lexington County?

                  

     

    Answer:

     

    Generally, any activity that requires a permit will require an address. For certain activities one will need to speak with the Zoning Department in Community Development (803-785-8121) prior to applying for a permit. For information on Zoning or Building inspections please visit the Community Development webpage.

     

     

     

    Question:  Where can I find a printed County Map?

     

    Answer:

     

    The Lexington Chamber of Commerce has foldout maps of Lexington County available in their office. For information on their location and office hours please visit the Chamber of Commerce website. For more specific ready to print maps of Lexington County please visit the Lexington County Map Gallery.

     

     

     

    Question: What does GIS stand for?

     

    Answer:

     

    Geographic Information System. An integrated collection of computer software and data used to view and manage information about geographic places, analyze spatial relationships, and model spatial processes. A GIS provides a framework for gathering and organizing spatial data and related information so that it can be displayed and analyzed.

    SOURCE: ESRI

     

     

     

    Question: What is the County population?
     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County had a population of 262,391 as of the 2010 Census.

     

     

     

    Question: When is the next Census?

     

    Answer:

     

     2020

     

      BACK TO TOP

    Probate Court

    1. Estate Administration FAQ's

     

    Question:  What is an estate?

     

    Answer: 

     

    An estate is comprised of any real and personal property owned by an individual at the time of his/her death, including any partial ownership interests.

     

    Question:  What is probate?

     

    Answer: 

     

    Probate generally means the proceedings involved in the administration of a decedent’s estate, including the transfer of legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the "decedent") to his or her proper beneficiaries.

     

    Question:  How much does probate cost?

     

    Answer: 

     

    Fees are based on the total value of the probate assets as follows:

     

    Assets                                               Filing Fee

    $0 - $4,999…………........................$25.00

    $5,000 - $19,999…......................…$45.00

    $20,000 - $59,999…........................$67.50

    $60,000 - $99,999…........................$95.00

    $100,000 - $599,999.......................$95.00 plus .0015 over $100,000 - see EXAMPLE # 1 BELOW

    $600,000 - unlimited........................$95.00 plus .0025 over $600,000 - see EXAMPLE # 2 BELOW

     

    EXAMPLE # 1: If the estate is worth $325,000.00. The first $100,000.00 has a fee
    of $95.00. The remaining $225,000.00 is multiplied by .0015 for a total of $337.50. Add together $95.00 plus $337.50 for a total filing fee if $432.50.
     
    EXAMPLE # 2: If the estate is worth $925,000.00. The first $600,000.00 has a fee of $845.00(computed using the formula in EXAMPLE # 1). The remaining $325,000.00 is multiplied by .0025 for a total of $812.50. Add together $845.00 plus $812.50 for a total filing fee if $1,657.50.

     

    Question:  Why is probate necessary?

     

    Answer: 

     

    The primary function of probate is transferring title of the decedent’s property to his/her heirs and/or devisees. If there is no property to transfer, there is usually no need for probate. Another function of probate is to allow the payment of outstanding debts and for setting a deadline for creditors to file claims. 

     

    Question:  Does all property have to go through probate?

     

    Answer: 

     

    No.  Any real or personal property owned jointly with right of survivorship passes to the surviving co-owners without going through probate. In addition, life insurance policies or annuities payable directly to a beneficiary do not have to go through probate. Furthermore, money from IRAs, Keoghs, and 401(k) accounts transfer automatically, outside probate, to the persons named as beneficiaries. 

     

    Question:  What if the decedent owned land or a home in more than one state?

     

    Answer: 

     

    If the decedent owned real property out-of-state you must also file for “ancillary administration.” Please note that the laws of the other state govern who gets the real estate located in their jurisdiction unless there is a Will. If there is a Will, it must be submitted in both jurisdictions. 
     

    Question:  Why can’t we just distribute the assets according to the wishes in the Will without going through probate?

     

    Answer: 

     

    A Will is not effective until it is admitted to probate. Also, many assets cannot be disbursed without a Certificate of Appointment issued by the Probate Court. 
     

    Question:  Do I need an attorney?

     

    Answer: 

     

    There is not a legal requirement to retain an attorney, but Personal Representatives for many estates believe that it is most helpful, especially when real estate is part of the estate.
     

    Question:  How long does probate take?

     

    Answer: 

     

    The administration of an estate lasts eight to twelve months, but it can be shorter or longer given the particular circumstances of each estate.
      

    Question:  What if only a copy of the Will can be found?

     

    Answer: 

     

    Formal administration will be required if the original Will cannot be located. This means that you must give prior notice to all the intestate heirs and all persons named in the Will as devisees. This typically requires a hearing unless all persons receiving notice sign a Waiver and Consent asking that the copy be probated.
      

    Question:  Can the Personal Representative charge a fee for his services?

     

    Answer: 

     

    Generally, a Personal Representative is entitled to a commission not to exceed 5% of the value of the personal property of the estate. This does not include the value of real estate, unless the real estate is sold by the Personal Representative as part of the administration of the estate. 
     

    Question:  What if someone objects to the Will?

     

    Answer: 

     

    If someone with legal standing contests a Will, any objections to probate must be in writing.
     

    Question:  What happens if a Will cannot be found?

     

    Answer: 

     

    In the event that a Will cannot be found you might want to check with the decedent’s bank to determine if there is a safe deposit box that he or she may have had. You should also check with the decedent’s attorney, if they had one. If the Will cannot be found or a decedent did not leave a Will, upon application the Probate Court will appoint a Personal Representative who will distribute the assets in accordance with the rules of intestate succession.  
     

    Question:  If the decedent has a safe deposit box,  who may gain access?

     

    Answer: 

     

    According to Section 34-19-50 of the S.C. Probate Code the financial institution where the safe deposit box is held must allow the following persons to examine the safe deposit box without court order: (1) the surviving spouse; (2) the parents; (3) any adult children or grandchildren; and/or (4) a person named as Personal Representative who presents a copy of a document that appears to be the Will of the box holder.  The financial institution is allowed by law to deliver the Will to the Probate Court or to the person named as Personal Representative. Any life insurance policies can be given to the beneficiaries, and the deed to a burial plot may be given to any eligible family member who chooses to handle the burial. No other items may be removed from the box at this time.  Further search and removal of items from the box will be granted to the Personal Representative at such time that Certificates of Appointment are issued. 

     

    2. Marriage License FAQ's

     

    Question: Does the Probate Judge for Lexington County perform marriage ceremonies?

     

    Answer:

     

    No, the Probate Judge for Lexington County does not perform marriage ceremonies.  That is not a statutory duty of the office.

     

    Question: Are proxy marriages valid in South Carolina?

     

    Answer:

     

    According to longstanding opinions of the S.C. Attorney General, the bride and groom must be present for the ceremony, and their attendance by telephone or proxy is not authorized.

     

    Question: We want a minister from out of state to perform our marriage ceremony.  Does the minister have to be licensed in South Carolina?

     

    Answer:

     

    No.  Ministers are not licensed by the State and there is no residency requirement for the minister who performs the marriage ceremony.

     

    Question: After the marriage is administered, if the parties believe that grounds exist for an annulment can the Probate Judge order an annulment or declare the marriage invalid?

     

    Answer:

     

    No.  That is a Family Court matter.

     

    Question: If the applicants are divorced, do they need to provide divorce papers?

     

    Answer:

     

    No.  When applying for your license you are required to sign an affidavit indicating that you are free and legal to marry.

     

    Question: Under what circumstances can a person apply for a marriage license before they are divorced?

     

    Answer:

     

    Under no circumstances. By State law a divorce must be final and filed with the Clerk of Court before applying for a marriage license.

     

    Question: Are marriage records open for the public to see?

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. They are all public record.

     

    Question: Can an incarcerated individual apply for a marriage license?

     

    Answer:

     

    No. Both parties must apply in person.  Probate Court does not issue transport orders for purposes of applying for a marriage license.

     

    Question: What if the applicants do not want their names in the newspaper?

     

    Answer:

     

    Marriage licenses are public record by State law so they are accessible to the media.  Therefore, if you do not want it published, you may wish to make your request to the newspaper.

     

    3.Mental Health Commitment FAQ's

     

    Question: What can I do if I don't know where to find the person?

     

    Answer:

     

    You need to know where the person is so you can contact the appropriate county mental health center, and so that law enforcement knows where to pick the person up with an Order of Detention. Law enforcement is not required to search for the person.

     

    Question: How long is an Order of Detention in effect?

     

    Answer:

     

    72 hours.

     

    Question: I have already talked to Mental Health and they won't do anything. Can the Probate Judge commit the person?

     

    Answer:

     

    No. The Probate Judge cannot issue an Order of Detention except upon a written affidavit screened by the Lexington County Community Mental Health Center, as provided by State law.

     

    Question: Are you saying that the Probate Judge cannot commit a person to the hospital for emergency treatment?

     

    Answer:

     

    That is correct. Only a licensed physician can commit the person for emergency treatment, and that must be based upon a Certificate of Licensed Physician. The Probate Judge can only order law enforcement to pick up the person to be examined by a physician for this purpose based upon a sworn written affidavit of the Lexington County Community Mental Health Center. That is why it is so imperative that you contact them. If you call the Probate Court first, we can only refer you to Mental Health since State law requires them to provide preadmission screening for all mental health and substance abuse emergencies.

     

    Question: I am concerned about a person that is in need of emergency treatment, but is presently in jail. Can I get an order from the Probate Court to get him out of jail and into a treatment facility?

     

    Answer:

     

    No. The Probate Court can only issue an Order of Detention authorizing the person to be picked up by law enforcement to be taken to a physician. However, in this case, the person is already in custody of law enforcement and a physician is already available. You should relay your concern to an emergency counselor at the Lexington County Community Mental Health Center. They will contact the detention facility. A physician is available to screen detainees to determine whether they are in need of emergency treatment.

     

    Question: How can I contact the Probate Court if I have any other questions?

     

    Answer:

     

    You are welcome to call the Probate Court's Mental Health Clerk. These laws are somewhat complex, and we are always happy to answer questions you may have involving these very sensitive matters.

     

    Question: Are Probate Court records involving commitment matters confidential?

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. They are protected by State confidentiality and privacy laws.

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    Purchasing and Bids

    Question: What is the County’s bidding procedures? 

     

    Answer:

  • Requesting Department submits specifications to Procurement.
  • Procurement mails bid to vendor list and advertises bid on SCBO, Demandstar, and the County website.
  • Vendor must submit Bidder Schedule with completed prices, Certificate of Familiarity, W-9, and Vendor Application in a sealed envelope.
  • Procurement opens bid and submits copies to end user for review.
  • Statement of Award and Bid Tabulation is issued both in the mail to the vendors and listed on our website after department recommendation (7-10 days).
  • If the recommended bid amount is over $25,000.00, the purchase must be approved by County Council.
  • After approval, contract or purchase order or contract is issued to vendor.
  • Question: Do we give preference to County of Lexington or South Carolina residents?  

     

    Answer:

     

    The County only gives preference to Lexington County residents in the case of a tied bid
     
    Question: Are bid and performance bonds required for all solicitations? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Bid and performance bonds will be necessary if stated in the bid document
     
    Question: Does the County pay sales tax?  

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes, but the tax is not included in a base bid price. We will add taxes after the bids are awarded
      
    Question: Can a contracted vendor employ illegal immigrants? 

     

    Answer:

     

    In accordance with the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act, 2008, Act No. 280. Section 3 of this Act added to Chapter 14 to Title 8 of the South Carolina Code of Laws prohibits covered persons from entering into covered contracts unless the contractor agrees either (a) to verify all new employees through the federal work authorization program [and requires the same from subcontractors and sub-subcontractors] or (b) to employ only qualifying workers. Effectively, the Act also requires contractors to agree to provide any documentation required to establish either (a) that the Act does or does not apply to the contractor, subcontractor, or sub-subcontractor; or (b) that the contractor, and any subcontractor or sub-subcontractor, are in compliance with Section 3 of the Act.”
     
    Question: How can I apply to the County Wrecker Rotation Service? 

     

    Answer:

     

    A new rotation list will be created each fiscal year (July 1 through June 30). Copies of each wrecker application may be requested from Procurement starting on March 1 of that fiscal year.  A wrecker service desiring to be on the rotation list in the next year must apply in writing by May 1st and be inspected and qualified prior to June 30th. On June 30th of each year the County of Lexington will publish the wrecker rotation list to be effective July 1st.
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    Questions and Answers

    Question: Where do I get a copy of the Budget? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Budget and Financial Documents are updated annually and posted on our Website Home Page.
      
    Question: Who is my Council Representative? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The County is divided into nine districts from which members of Council are elected for four-year terms. The Council serves as the governing body of the County and enacts laws by ordinance. In addition, the Council members appoint the membership of special boards and have an influence on several other regional commissions.
    You can determine your representative by locating your area on our Council District Map on our County Council WebPage.
      
    Question: How can I contact my Council Representative? 

     

    Answer:

     

    By viewing our County Council Members Quick Link for names, phone numbers and email addresses located on the County Council WebPage.
      
    Question: Who do I contact for Road Maintenance and paving issues within the County? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The Lexington County Public Works Department’s primary responsibilities are the maintenance, repair, design and construction of the various County roads.  The department maintains 390 miles of paved roads, 719 miles of dirt roads, associated right-of-ways, and drainage systems, totaling 1109 miles of roads.  Of course, there are many more miles of road than this within Lexington County, most of which are maintained by the SC Department of Highways and Public Transportation. "Contact Public Works for more information and assistance at 803-785-8201"
      
    Question: The county now has Shredded Wood Mulch for pick by residents, where can I get this and what is the cost? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Shredded Wood Mulch is available for pick-up by residents, businesses or municipalities at the Edmund Wood Grinding and Compost Facility located at 498 Landfill Lane, Lexington, SC 29072. Please note that shredded mulch has not been refined, colored or treated and is not recommended for use directly against a residence or building. Mulch is suitable for around trees, gardens, erosion control areas, along water ways or trails.
      
      Charges for the mulch are:
      Pickup Truck or Small Trailer: 
      $10.00 per load (2.8 cubic yards=two bucket loads)
      Large Vehicles:
      $20.00 per ton (Any size)
      
    For more information, please contact the Lexington County Solid Waste Management Department at 803-755-3325.
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    Solicitor

    Question: What is the Worthless Check Program? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The Solicitor’s Worthless Check Unit collects monies on bad checks and distributes restitution to the victims. The Program transfers the collection process from the victim to the Solicitor’s Office, eliminating the victim’s work and cost associated with collections. The traditional prosecution of worthless checks is still the law. Participation by a victim in the Worthless Check Program is FREE, but optional. The Worthless Check Program is self-sustaining under the control and supervision of Solicitor Myers’ Office and is supported through cooperation of the judicial, law enforcement, County Council and community service agencies. Operational costs are recovered from the offenders, not the victim. Upon full collection of a worthless check, Solicitor Myers’ Office will send a check to the victim for the full amount of the check plus all legally approved service charges

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    Solid Waste Management and Recycling

    Question: When is the landfill and transfer station open?

     

    Answer: 
           
    Monday – Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The landfill is closed for the following holidays: New Year's Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
      
    Question: When are the Collection and Recycling Centers open? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. The centers are closed Tuesday and Thursdays as well as New Year's Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
      
    Question: How do I get to the landfill or Collection and Recycling Centers? 

     

    Answer:

     

    For driving directions to the landfill, click here. For the locations of the County's 11 Collection and Recycling Centers, click here.
      
    Question: Is there anything I should know when bringing debris to the landfill? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. State law requires vehicles be properly equipped to prevent loose material from escaping by blowing or spilling. Please make sure your truck or trailer is securely tarped to prevent "accidental" litter. Also, make sure there are no holes or cracks in your truck or trailer bed. You must also be able to show you are a resident of Lexington County.
      
    Question: How much does it cost to dispose of material at the landfill? 

     

    Answer:

     

    For residents, it is free to dispose of normal residential waste. Fees may apply  in certain instances. Click here to see a current fee schedule.
      
    Question: Can I bring garbage and/or recyclables from my business to the landfill or collection centers? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Businesses are not allowed to use the Collection and Recycling Centers. Businesses may bring materials to the landfill for

    disposal and recycling. Appropriate fees will be assessed. Click here for fee schedule.
      
    Question: Should I separate my trash and recyclables before I come to the landfill? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes, household garbage will need to be separated from yard trimmings and construction & demolition debris. In addition, tires, appliances, electronics and mattresses will also need to be kept separate from other waste streams.
      
    Question: Can I take items from the landfill? 

     

    Answer:

     

    No. Scavenging is not allowed at the landfill or any of the Collection and Recycling Centers.
      
    Question: Where can I dispose of shingles? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Shingles must be brought to the landfill for disposal. Loads of shingles must be delivered by 4 p.m. Businesses will be charged $22 per ton.
      
    Question: Do you accept tires? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. State law bans tires from the landfill.Residents and businesses may dispose of tires at the landfill, where they are sorted and recycled. If tires can easily be counted, the handling fee for DOT tires (auto or on road truck tires) is $1.50 per tire. For non-DOT tires, or tire loads that cannot be easily counted, the fee is $150 per ton. The handling fee is waived if proof of prior payment for disposal (receipt or ST-390 form) is presented to the scale house attendant. Tires with rims are acceptable.
      
    Question: Who do I call about litter, illegal dumping or tire piles? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Call the Sheriff's Department's Code Enforcement Division at 803-785-2454.
      
    Question: Who do I call to report a dead animal on a roadway? 

     

    Answer:

     

    For county roads, call 803-785-8201. For state roads, call 803-359-4103. Dead animals may be brought to the transfer station for disposal.
      
    Question: Do you accept appliances? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. State law bans white goods (appliances) from disposal in a landfill. Lexington County Solid Waste Management collects white goods, where they are sorted and recycled. The disposal fee for refrigeration units (this includes air conditioners) is $15 per unit. These items are separated and the Freon extracted. Non-Freon white goods are $22 per ton. All units must be empty.
      
    Question: What if the Freon has been removed from the refrigeration unit?  

     

    Answer:

     

    You must present a statement from a certified EPA technician on letterhead with their EPA certification number and serial number.
      
    Question: How much longer will Lexington County’s Construction & Demolition (C&D) landfill last? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Like other landfills, Lexington County’s C&D landfill is divided into a series of sections called "cells."  The current cell, opened in June 1987, should last another four years. When the 38-acre cell closes, another will be opened on the 498-acre Solid Waste Management property. Lexington County strongly promotes recycling, which can have a profound impact on the life expectancy of the landfill.
      
    Question: How clean do containers need to be before I toss them into the recycling bin? 

     

    Answer:

     

    That dried chocolate milk or last bit of peanut butter might compel you to run your recyclables through the dishwasher, but a good rinse will suffice.
      
    Question: What material is accepted for recycling in Lexington County? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Click here to view our recycling brochure.
      
    Question: Do I need to take the labels off jars and cans? 

     

    Answer:

     

    No, they will be burned off during the recycling process.
      
    Question: Can caps and lids be recycled? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes, please leave the caps and lids on the plastic bottles.
      
    Question: Should I step on plastic bottles and crush cans? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes. By crushing bottles and cans, they take up less space in the container. That means we can fit more material into the containers and make fewer trips transporting them.
      
    Question: Why can’t plastic bags be recycled with plastic containers? Where can they be recycled? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County does not accept plastic bags for recycling because there is not a buyer for them. Most area grocery stores do accept plastic bags for recycling in containers outside of their stores, including Wal-Mart, Piggly Wiggly, BiLo, Food Lion and Publix.
      
    Question: I see used motor oil is accepted. What about used cooking oil? 

     

    Answer:

     

    You may recycle used cooking oil at all 11 Collection and Recycling Centers.
      
    Question: Can I recycle old electronics? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes! All electronics are accepted for recycling at the Edmund C&D Landfill. State Law now requires certain electronics be recycled. These items include computers, computer monitors, printers and televisions. In addition, please check the solid waste calendar for e-waste collection events.  
      
    Question: Why can't I recycle broken glassware or plates with my glass bottles and jars? 

     

    Answer:

     

    The ingredients used to make glassware is different from what goes into container glass. If these two types of glass are recycled together, the resulting glass will not be suitable for container glass. In fact, glassware, ceramics, windowpanes and mirrors can pose a threat to equipment in a glass recycling plant.
      
    Question: Why do you only accept plastic bottles and jugs, but not tubs? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Even though plastic bottles and tubs might have the same number inside their recycling symbols, they are not identical material. If the two plastic containers are recycled together, the result is a mixture of material that has little value in a second round of manufacturing.
      
    Question: What should I do with common household alkaline batteries (non-rechargeable)? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Throw them away. Regular household batteries are composed primarily of common metals - steel, zinc and manganese - and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. Rechargeable batteries may be recycled at the landfill. Some local business such as Lowe's, Home Depot or the Habitat for Humainty ReStore may also accept rechargable batteries for recycling.
      
    Question: What should I do with old paint? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Dry out the remaining wet paint. Kitty litter, sand or saw dust will help the paint dry quicker. Once the paint is hardened, residents can throw the can away with their household garbage.
      
    Question: How can I dispose of fluorescent lighting? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Lexington County will accept up to 2 fluorescent tubes from residents per day. These tubes can be placed in household garbage. Metal fixtures can be placed in scrap metal recycling containers at the Collection and Recycling Centers. For smaller, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), many local home improvement stores will accept and recycle these.
      
    Question: How do I get a permit for hauling and selling scrap metal? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Call the Lexington County Sherrif's Department at 803-785-8230.
      
    Question: How do I dispose of old or unwated medication? 

     

    Answer:

     

    First, check with your pharmacy to see if they have a prescription take-back program. If not, call the Sherrif's Department at 803-785-2557-- they periodically have special collection events for prescription medication. If you must dispose of the medication, first make sure that your personal information is removed from the bottle, then fill the bottle with dirt, sand or water. Tape the lid securely and throw it away with your household garbage. DO NOT flush any medication down the toilet.
      
    Question: Is there mulch available for sale at the landfill? 

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes! Solid Waste Management has been able to divert thousands of tons of clean wood waste from the landfill and grind it into mulch. Residents may purchase mulch at the landfill for $10 a load (approximately 2.8 cubic yards). The cost is $20 per ton for businesses and municipalities. Because our mulch is untreated and unrefined, we do not recommend using it directly against houses or other buildings. It is perfect for use around trees, gardens, pathways and waterways as well as erosion control areas. Call 755-3325 for availability.
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    Surplus

    Question: How does the County dispose of surplus items? 

     

    Answer:

    The County currently auctions those items at www.govdeals.com, http://www.jmwood.com/, and https://www.rawlsautoauction.com/.

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    Traffic Tickets

    Question: Where do I go to pay my traffic ticket?

     

    Answer:

    In order to pay your traffic fine, you need to contact the correct Court location as indicated on the fifth line of your traffic ticket.  The Central Traffic Court office, located at the Summary Court Center, accepts fine payments for tickets with a court location of 139 East Main Street, Suite A, Lexington, SC  29072.
     
    The Lexington County Central Traffic Court payment window is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
    If mailing in a payment, please send a money order or cashier’s check. DO NOT MAIL CASH OR PERSONAL CHECKS.
    Traffic Tickets issued by the Lexington County Sheriff's Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, State Transport Police and other state agencies may also be paid online.

    Court sessions for the Central Traffic Court are held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
     
    The Central Traffic Court office is closed on legal holidays. 
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    Treasurer 

    Vehicle Tax Questions

     

    Question:  When are the taxes due on my motor vehicle?

     

    Answer:

     

    Annually.  Taxes on motor vehicles and recreational vehicles must be paid before your license plate tags can be renewed. These taxes are due by the last day of the month in which your tag expires.

     

    Question:  Why didn't I get a tax bill for my car?

     

    Answer:

     

    If you have moved and not informed the Lexington County Auditor's Office, your bill was sent to your previous address. If you did not change your address with the SC Department of Motor Vehicles that information was not forwarded to the Auditor’s Office which then sent your bill to your previous address.

    If the SC Department of Motor Vehicles did not send the Lexington County Auditor’s Office information that your automobile was still registered in Lexington County, you would also have not received a bill.

    You can contact the Auditor's Office at (803) 785-8181 (Prompt #2, Prompt #8) to obtain a current bill.

     

    Question: How do I change the address on my vehicle?

     

    Answer:

     

    For temporary address changes, you need to call the Auditor's Office at (803) 785-8181 (Prompt #2, Prompt #8). For permanent address changes, please contact the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles at (803) 896-5000.

     

    Question: How do I receive my renewal sticker for my vehicle?

     

    Answer:

     

    If you pay your vehicle taxes by mail or via the Internet, the sticker comes from SCDMV. That sticker is sent to your mailing address within 7 business days. Please make sure that your address is correct and that your insurance certification is provided when required.  If you do not receive your sticker within this time period, contact the SC Department of Motor Vehicles by clicking on this link or by phone at (803) 896-5000.

     

    Question: Is there a late fee for late payment of vehicle taxes?

     

    Answer:

     

    The County does not charge a late fee for late payment of vehicle taxes.  However, the registration renewal fee charged by the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) appears on your tax bill every other year. When you have a DMV tag fee due and the taxes are paid after the expiration of your license tag, you will need to go to any S.C. DMV to show your paid tax receipt, pay the late fee, and obtain your decal and registration.

     

    Question: Why did I get a tax bill on a car I sold?

     

    Answer:

     

    For your automobile, if the SCDMV did not recognize the car sale transaction within 90 days of sending your bill, they have already transmitted ownership data to the Auditor's Office that still reflects you as the owner of the vehicle even though you no longer are liable for the taxes. Contact the Auditor's Office at (803) 785-8181 (Prompt #2, Prompt #8).

     

    Question: Why am I getting a tax bill on a car I just bought from a dealer? Were the taxes and tags not included?

     

    Answer:

     

    When you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, their personnel are allowed to pick up your registration and license tags without paying the local property taxes. The tax you paid to the dealership at the time of purchase was the South Carolina state sales tax. The bill that you received is for county property taxes and you were given a 120-day grace period from the date of purchase of your new vehicle in which to pay the property tax due on your vehicle.  If this bill is not paid, it will still be due and payable the following year when your tag must be renewed.

     

    Question: Why did I receive a notice that my vehicle registration and/or driver’s license may be suspended?

     

    Answer:

     

    If you purchased your vehicle from a dealer and the dealer obtained a tag for you, property taxes on that vehicle are due within 120 days after the purchase. If this bill is not paid, state law requires the Treasurer's Office to send a suspension on your vehicle and/or driver’s license for non-payment of taxes to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This suspension is lifted when the tax obligation on the vehicle is satisfied, however, the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles may charge reinstatement fees. If your driver’s license is suspended for non-payment of property taxes and you also hold a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), it will also be affected by the suspension.

     

    Question: What property is included in the Active Duty Military Exemption and how do I apply?

     

    Answer:

     

    If your home of record is not South Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes on property which you own while permanently stationed in this state. This exemption does not include county taxes on real property. The exemption covers motor vehicles (including trucks), campers, motor homes, boats and outboard motors, personal recreational watercraft (like wave-runners and jet-skis), aircraft and mobile homes (occupied by the owner). The property must be singularly titled in the name of the military service member in order to qualify for a 100% exemption. If there is a non military co-owner, only 50% of the exemption will be applied. In order for your mobile home to be qualified, it must be the service member's primary residence. To obtain the exemption, the service member must submit their latest Leave & Earnings Statement and a copy of their Military ID to the County Auditor’s Office. The exemption is valid for only one year, so you will need to reapply every year.

     

    Real Property Tax Questions

     

    Question: My real estate taxes are too high.  Why, and how can I get them reduced?

     

    Answer:

     

    All residential and commercial property in Lexington County is assessed at 6%, except an owner-occupied legal residence.  If the property is your residence, it may qualify for the 4% assessment instead of the 6% assessment.  Tax amounts are based also on the appraised value of the property.  If you have questions about your assessment ratio or your property value, contact the Tax Assessor’s Office at (803) 785-8190.

     

    Question: My mortgage company paid my taxes on my residence at the 6% assessment when it should have been 4%.  How do I get a refund?

     

    Answer:

     

    Please contact the Tax Assessor's office to be sure that you have completed your 4% application with their office. After the 4% application has been accepted, the Auditor’s Office will issue a new tax notice at the 4% assessment. Should your mortgage company send a check for the 6% amount, the difference will be refunded. It may take several weeks to process this refund.

     

    Question: I bought my property this year, but the tax bill has the name of the person I bought the property from instead of my name.  What should I do?

     

    Answer:

     

    Tax notices are mailed according to the owner of record as of January 1 of each year.  The tax notice will be in the new owner's name the following year.

     

    Question: How do I qualify for the Homestead Exemption?

     

    Answer:

     

    You may qualify for the Homestead Exemption if you:

  • ARE at least 65 years of age on or before December 31, preceding the tax year in which you wish to claim the exemption; OR
  • ARE certified totally and permanently disabled by a state or federal agency; OR
  • ARE legally blind; OR
  • ARE a legal resident of South Carolina for at least one year on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption; AND
  • HOLD fee simple title or partial title to your house, mobile home, or life estate on or before December 31 of the year prior to the exemption, and have been approved to receive the 4% legal residence tax assessment ratio, AND
  • WERE a legal residence of South Carolina for one year
    For this exemption, the qualifying homeowner must apply through the County Auditor’s Office 803-785-8181.
  • Question: What property is included in the Active Duty Military Exemption and how do I apply?

     

    Answer:

     

    If your home of record is not South Carolina, you do not have to pay personal property taxes on property which you own while permanently stationed in this state. This exemption does not include county taxes on real property. The exemption covers motor vehicles (including trucks), campers, motor homes, boats and outboard motors, personal recreational watercraft (like wave-runners and jet-skis), aircraft and mobile homes (occupied by the owner). The property must be singularly titled in the name of the military service member in order to qualify for a 100% exemption. If there is a non military co-owner, only 50% of the exemption will be applied. In order for your mobile home to be qualified, it must be the service member's primary residence. To obtain the exemption, the service member must submit their latest Leave & Earnings Statement and a copy of their Military ID to the County Auditor’s Office. The exemption is valid for only one year, so you will need to reapply every year.

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    Unemployment office

    Question:  How do I search and apply for job opportunities with Lexington County? 

     

    Answer:

    Job listings are published on a daily basis. You can access information regarding job vacancies and apply online in one of the following manners:
  • Search for Lexington County jobs and volunteer opportunities online by selecting "County Job Listings." 
    Visit the Lexington Job Service Office: 
    S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce
    201 Duffie Drive
    Lexington, S.C. 29072
    Phone: (803) 359-6131
    Fax: (803) 356-5839
    Web Address: www.dew.sc.gov  or www.midlandsonestop.org
    (online access to apply online available at office)
    Hours of Operation: 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday 
  • Use a computer at a Lexington County Library. (Ask a staff member to assist you with submitting your online job application.)
  • Search for Lexington County Sheriff Department job listings online by selecting "Sheriff Department Job Listings.
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    Veterans Affairs

    Question: How do I get an ID card stating that I am a Veteran?
    Answer:   A VA Health Benefits ID card can be obtained through enrollment in the VA Healthcare System.  If you are a 100% Permanent and Total service connected Veteran or are retired from the military you will be able to get a military ID card issued from a local military base.  

     

    The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on September 7, 2012, the availability of a “VETERAN” designation on driver licenses, identification cards and beginner permits for individuals who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces.  To apply, Veterans must present their Form DD214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), which indicates an honorable discharge.  No other proof of service will be accepted.  Military dependents, spouses, or civilian employees on military bases are not eligible.  The cost to add VETERAN designation to a driver license, identification card or beginner permit is $1.00.

     

    Question: Who qualifies as a Veteran?
    Answer: A person who served in the active military of the armed forces of the United States and who was released or discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. 

     

    Question: What is a DD214?
    Answer: A military separation or discharge paper issued to Veterans after 1949.

     

    Question: How can I get a copy of my DD214 (military discharge papers)?
    Answer: Our office can assist you in obtaining a copy of your DD214 or you can request a copy online from the National Personnel Records Center at www.archives.gov/index.html.

     

    Question: How do I enroll in the VA healthcare system?
    Answer: To apply, complete VA Form 10-10EZ, Application for Health Benefits, which may be obtained from any VA health care facility by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387) or regional benefits office, by calling 1-800-827-1000, or on line at www.1010ez.med.va.gov/sec/vha/1010ez . Our office will be glad to assist you in completing this form. 
     
    Question: Do I need an appointment?
    Answer: Appointments are strongly encouraged. This is so the counselors can allot the appropriate time to help you with your issue.  

     

    Question: How long will it take to process my claim?
    Answer: The average processing time takes from 9 to 12 months.

     

    Question: How do I get a letter showing what benefit I receive from the VA?
    Answer: You will need to call the VARO at 1-800-827-1000 and ask for this or enroll in ebenefits at www.ebenefits.va.gov.

     

    Question: Do I qualify for property tax exemption?
    Answer: Only Veterans that are rated as 100% Permanent and Total are eligible for this benefit.


    Question: Am I entitled to surviving spouse benefits if I am divorced from the Veteran?
    Answer:  No, once you divorce a Veteran, the VA no longer considers you to be the surviving spouse.

     

    Question: What are the qualifications for pension benefits?
    Answer: Generally, you may be eligible if:   You were discharged from service under conditions other than dishonorable, and you served at least 90 days of active military service and at least one day was during a war time period.   If you entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally you must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty and at least one day was during a war time period. (There are exceptions to this rule), if your income for VA purposes is below the maximum annual pension rate. The yearly maximum annual pension rate is set by Congress, AND you are age 65 or older, OR, you are permanently and totally disabled, not due to your own willful misconduct, OR, you are a patient in a nursing home, OR, you are receiving Social Security disability benefits.

     

    Question: What are the qualifications for aid & attendance benefits?
    Answer: An individual may be eligible for A&A when:
    1. The individual requires the aid of another person in order to perform his or her activities of daily living, such as bathing, feeding, dressing, attending to the wants of nature, adjusting prosthetic devices, or protecting himself/herself from the hazards of his/her daily environment, OR,
    2. The individual is bedridden, in that his/her disability or disabilities requires that he/she remain in bed apart from any prescribed course of convalescence or treatment, OR,
    3. The  individual is a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity, OR,
    4. The individual has corrected visual acuity of 5/200 or less, in both eyes, or concentric contraction of the visual field to 5 degrees or less.

     

    Question: Where can I get my discharge certified?
    Answer: You can stop by our office and we can certify the discharge for you.

     

    Question: Do I need Medicare benefits if I have VA medical?
    Answer: The VA does not recommend that Veterans cancel or decline coverage in Medicare (or other health care or insurance programs) solely because they are enrolled in VA health care.  Unlike Medicare, which offers the same benefits for all enrollees, VA assigns enrollees to priority levels based on a variety of eligibility factors, such as service-connection and income.  There is no guarantee that in subsequent years Congress will appropriate sufficient medical care funds for VA to provide care for all enrollment Priority groups.  This could leave Veterans, especially those enrolled in one of the lower priority groups, with no access to VA health care coverage.  For this reason, having a secondary source of coverage may be in a Veteran’s best interest. Also, Veterans could be subject to a penalty for enrolling “late” for Medicare Part B, even if they are enrolled in VA health care.  In addition, “late” enrollment in Medicare may only be allowed at a certain time, like the beginning or end of the year.  Individuals, who choose not to enroll when they are first eligible, may be left without access to health care until they can enroll in Medicare.

     

    Question: Can I receive Aid and Attendance benefits it I live at home?
    A: Yes, but only if you are paying private caregivers or an outside company to help you with your activities of daily living.

     

    Question: What VA benefits are my spouse entitled to once I pass away?
    A: Spousal benefits are not automatic at the time of a Veteran’s death.  It is possible that the surviving spouse would be eligible for either DIC or pension benefits depending on the circumstances.  Our office would be glad to go over these.

     

    Question: What are the Qualifying Wartime Service dates?
    Answer: Under the law, VA recognizes these war periods:
    Mexican Border Period:  May 9, 1916 through April 5, 1917, for Veterans who served in Mexico, on its borders or in adjacent water.

    World War I:  April 6, 1917 through November 11, 1918
    World War II:  December 7, 1941 through December 31, 1946
    Korean War:  June 27, 1950 through January 31, 1955
    Vietnam War:  August 5, 1964 through May 7, 1975
    Gulf War:  August 2, 1990 through a date to be set by law or Presidential Proclamation.

     

    Question: I served in the National Guard, am I eligible for VA benefits or medical benefits?
    Answer:  Reservists who serve on active duty establish Veteran status and may be eligible for the full-range of VA benefits, depending on the length of active military service and a discharge or release from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable. In addition, reservists not activated may qualify for some VA benefits.
    National Guard members can establish eligibility for VA benefits if activated for federal service during a period of war or domestic emergency. Activation for other than federal service does not qualify guard members for all VA benefits. Claims for VA benefits based on federal service filed by members of the National Guard should include a copy of the military orders, presidential proclamation or executive order that clearly demonstrates the federal nature of the service.

     

    Question: I’m a Veteran, are there any benefits for my child to attend school?
    Answer: SC provides for free tuition to the children of certain war Veterans attending South Carolina state supported colleges and universities as well as state supported post high school technical education institutions. Certain residency requirements apply. For questions or to apply contact (803) 647-2434 or for the form visit www.govoepp.state.sc.us/va/ftapp.pdf

     

    Question: How can I transfer education benefits to a family member?
    A: The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows uniformed service members (officer or enlisted, active duty or Selected Reserve), on or after August 1, 2009, to transfer unused education benefits to immediate family members (spouse and children). The service member must have at least six years of service, and commit to an additional four years of service in order to transfer benefits to a spouse or child. Because of the potential impact of this benefit on recruiting and retention, transferability policy is determined by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the military services.  For information on policy and rules for transferability of Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits, visit the DoD GI Bill website at www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2009/0409_gibill/

     

    Question: If I get VA medical benefits, am I also eligible for dental benefits?
    Answer: Yes, but only if you fall in one of the following five categories:
    1. Rated at 100% Permanent and Total
    2. Are service connected for a dental condition
    3. Enrolled in Vocational Rehabilitation
    4. Medal of Honor recipient
    5. Former prisoner of war

     

    Question: What is net worth?
    Answer: Net worth means the net value of the assets of the Veteran and his or her dependents.   It includes such assets as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, some annuities and trust funds and any property other than the Veteran's residence and a reasonable lot area.    There is no set limit on how much net worth a Veteran and his or her dependents can have, but net worth cannot be excessive.    The decision as to whether a Veteran's net worth is excessive depends on the facts of each individual case.

     

    Question: How do I request replacement awards and medals?

    Answer: The Veteran or next of kin can request replacement awards or medals.  You can do so by visiting the National Personnel Records Center atwww.archives.gov/veterans/replace-medals. The request needs to be mailed to the correct branch of service.  Awards and medals are usually replaced one time free of charge.

     

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    Voter Registration

    Question: How do I register to Vote? 

     

    Answer:

     

    A citizen who wishes to register to vote may:

  • Register in person at their county board of voter registration, or
    Download a form, complete it, and mail it to their county board of voter registration, or
    Download a form, complete it, and fax it to their county board of voter registration, or
    Download a form, complete it, scan it, and email it as a file attachment to their county voter registration office.
  • Register online at www.scvotes.org
  • Registration is closed for thirty days prior to any election.  The last day to register to vote in any election is the 31st day prior to the election.
     
  • Question: Who can register to Vote? 

     

    Answer:

    In order to vote, South Carolina law requires one must first register to vote at least 30 days prior to the election. To be eligible to register in South Carolina you MUST:
  • be a United States citizen -be at least eighteen years old on or before the next election
    be a resident of South Carolina, this county and precinct
  •  not be under a court order declaring you mentally incompetent
  • not be confined in any public prison resulting from a conviction of a crime
  • have never been convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws OR if previously convicted, have served the entire sentence, including probation or parole, or have received a pardon for the conviction.
  • There is no length of residency requirement in South Carolina in order to register to vote. You can register at any time.
    You must be registered at least 30 days prior to any election in order to vote in that election. Registration by mail applications must be postmarked at least 30 days prior to that particular election to be eligible.
     
    Question: When is the Registrations and Elections office open for absentee voting? 

     

    Answer:

    Weekdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
     
    Question: Where is the Registrations and Elections office? 

    Answer:

    605 West Main Street, Lexington, SC 29072. The office is located inside the Lexington
    County Auxiliary Building.
     
    Question: I have to work on Election Day. Am I eligible to vote absentee? 

    Answer:

     

    Yes, if you are working between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7p.m. The following qualifications
    also allow people to vote absentee:

  • Are 65 years old or older
  • Will be on vacation on Election Day
  • Are disabled or caring for someone who is sick or disabled
  • Are a student or are a spouse or dependent residing with the student outside of your
    county of residence
  • Are serving in the Armed Forces, Merchant Marines, or are a spouse or dependent
    residing with a serviceperson outside of your county of residence
  • Are serving with the American Red Cross or with the United Service Organizations who
    are attached to and serving with the Armed Forces
  • Will be serving as a juror on Election Day
  • Are a certified poll watcher, County Registration Board member or staff, or County
  • Election Commission member or staff who will be working on Election Day
  • Are an overseas citizen
  • Have a death in the family, or will be attending a funeral within a three day period before
    the election
  • Are admitted to the hospital as an emergency patient on the day of the election or within
    a four-day period before an election
  • Are confined to a jail or pre-trial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial
     
  • Question: What is the procedure for requesting and absentee ballot? 

     

    Answer:

    For Military there is a Federal Post Card or FPC application that can be e-mailed, faxed,
    or mailed to the office.
    For all others, there is a required application that must be issued by election central,
    signed by the voter and returned to the office. A ballot can then be mailed to the voter.
     
    Question: Is there sufficient time to complete the mail-in application process? 

    Answer:

     

    Currently there is NOT sufficient time for a ballot-by-mail application. It takes
    approximately 4 days for the entire process.
     
    Question: What are the required documents needed to vote absentee? 

     

    Answer:

     

    You must present ONE of the following:
            1. Lexington County Voter Registration card (signed)
            2. South Carolina Drivers License
            3. Identification card issued by the South Carolina DMV
    These are also the required documents needed to vote at the precincts on Election Day.
    Military ID’s and passports are NOT acceptable Identification.
    **Additional identification may be required if proof of residency was not provided at the
    time of registration. Voters who register by mail, without providing proof of residence,
    are given instructions to bring proof of residence on Election Day, such as a current &
    valid photo ID, current utility bill, current bank statement, current government check, or
    other current government document (other than your registration card). You will still need
    to bring one of the other 3 acceptable forms of identification.
     
    Question: I recently moved from another county. Can I still vote in Lexington County? 

     

    Answer:

     

    If you were registered in another county and moved within 30 days of the election, you
    may go to your previous county and vote a fail-safe ballot. Otherwise, you may come to
    election central on Election Day with proof that you moved within the last 30 days, (i.e.
    lease agreement, utility application) and your voter registration will be updated.
     
    Question: I am currently registered in Lexington County but recently moved to another address in Lexington County. Can I Vote?

     

    Answer:

     

    Yes, you have two options.

    1. You may go to your previous precinct (where you are currently registered) and vote a fail-safe ballot, which is a limited ballot (includes voting for countywide, statewide and national offices).
    2. Otherwise, you may go to election central to have your registration updated. You will be able to vote a full ballot at your new precinct.
       

    Question: I completed a voter registration form, but have not received a voter 
    registration card. What should I do?

     

    Answer:

     

    You may search HERE to see if you are a registered voter.

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    Lexington County Seal