Pay Traffic Ticket in South Carolina

SUMMARY: How to Pay a South Carolina Traffic Ticket

Depending on the county court handling your case, you may be able to pay your SC traffic ticket fines online, by mail, or in person. To find out exactly how to pay your traffic ticket, refer to your citation or contact the appropriate traffic court.

Keep reading for information about paying your South Carolina traffic ticket.

Pay Ticket
(Plead Guilty or No Contest)

Fight Ticket
(Plead Not Guilty or Nolo Contendere)

  • Contest ticket during your hearing.
  • Possibly have a traffic ticket attorney represent you.
  • Gain no penalties if found not guilty (except applicable court/attorney fees).
  • Appeal the guilty verdict (if applicable).

Learn more about
Fighting Your Traffic Ticket »

What It Means to Pay Your Traffic Ticket

Paying your SC traffic ticket means pleading "guilty" or "no contest" (some courts refer to this as nolo contendere) and paying the ticket fine along with related court costs and surcharges.

Generally, choosing this option means:

  • You can pay your traffic ticket costs online. Most counties and some municipalities allow online payments (see below).
  • You'll accumulate driving record points.
  • You can later remove points with a state-approved defensive driving course (if eligible).
  • You face a driver's license suspension or revocation depending on the traffic violation.
  • Your auto insurance company might increase your rates.

Note that if:

  • You're charged with a DUI, you face much stiffer penalties and higher fines for pleading to or being found guilty. Refer to SC DUI.
  • Your traffic violation required you to post bail with the ticketing officer, pleading "guilty" or "nolo contendere" results in forfeiture of that bail.

How long you have to pay your SC traffic ticket fine depends on how the citation was signed off. Find this hearing date on your traffic ticket.

Failing to pay your traffic ticket on time could lead to a driver's license suspension, so be sure to contact your court with any questions.

Plead Guilty as a CDL Driver

In South Carolina, CDL drivers can plead "guilty" and pay their fines much like regular drivers; however, guilty pleas and convictions bring harsher penalties for CDL holders.

Also, CDL drivers must notify their employers within 30 days of pleading "guilty."

Learn more at Ticket Fines and Penalties.

Plead Not Guilty

Think you're innocent? Pretty sure you or an attorney can prove it?

You can plead "not guilty" and have a hearing in South Carolina. Most courts conduct hearings during the same date and time printed on the SC traffic ticket (meaning, you shouldn't have to plead "not guilty" and have another hearing scheduled).

Learn more about this option at Fighting Your Traffic Ticket.

Pay Your South Carolina Traffic Ticket Online

South Carolina allows drivers to pay their traffic tickets online―as long as the applicable county or municipality allows it.

Visit the state's page titled Pay Traffic Tickets and Fines. The website adds a portal fee and a convenience fee to your total ticket costs.

NOTE: You must provide your last name and case number. Visit Lost SC Traffic Tickets if you've misplaced your SC traffic citation and don't have the information.

Keep reading for additional ways to pay your SC traffic ticket fine.

Additional SC Traffic Ticket Payment Options

Most courts allow drivers to pay their fines by mail or in person.

Check the back of your SC traffic ticket for information about these options. You should find the court's mailing address and acceptable payment methods like personal checks, money orders, credit cards, cashier's checks, and cash.

You can contact your court directly if you need assistance.

Get Points Removed from Your Driving Record

You'll lose your SC driver's license if you accumulate 12 points or more on your driving record. A single guilty plea won't cost you 12 points, but it can put you closer to suspension (or even push you over the edge, depending on how many points you already have).

You can enroll in the South Carolina Defensive Driving Course (SC DDC) once every 3 years to remove points from your SC driving record and ward off suspension.

Check Your SC Driving Record

Be sure to check your South Carolina driving record after you:

  • Plead "guilty," "no contest," or "nolo contendere." Make sure the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) only added points applicable to your traffic violation.
  • Complete a SC defensive driving course. Make sure the SC DMV removed the applicable number of points.

Shop for Better Auto Insurance Rates

Insurance companies are notorious for increasing policyholders' rates once SC traffic violations go on their driving records.

Talk with your provider about whether you can expect an increase the next time you renew your policy; if so, consider comparing insurance quotes online to find more affordable coverage.

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