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  • DMV Point System in South Carolina

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    How it Works

    Dangerous drivers are tracked through a points system within the state of South Carolina. You can accumulate points on your driving record for a variety of driving offenses.

    If you have a point accumulation of 6 or more points on your record, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send a letter asking you to drive more responsibly and pointing out the consequences of continued bad driving.

    Points against your driving record are costly in numerous ways. Your auto insurance rates will increase with each offense; reinstatement fees are hefty. Since your driving record is accessible to employers, a bad record could cost you work.

    Drivers who keep their records clean and do not accumulate points are rewarded with discounts on their auto insurance premiums.

    Point System

    In South Carolina the following offenses will lead to points:

    • Failure to dim lights.
    • Improper backing.
    • Speeding.
    • Improperly changing lanes.
    • Dangerous parking.
    • Improper lights.
    • Driving in the wrong lane.
    • Having a defective tail light.
    • Driving in unsafe conditions.
    • Failing to yield right-of-way.
    • Failing to give a signal for stopping, turning or suddenly decreasing speed.
    • Following too closely.
    • Illegal turning.
    • Illegal passing.
    • Improper brakes.
    • Improper or no signal.
    • Operating on the wrong side of the road.
    • Driving within or through a safety zone.
    • Ignoring approaching train signal.
    • Ignoring railroad signal/sign.
    • Ignoring traffic director.
    • Ignoring any traffic device.
    • Reckless driving.
    • Passing a stopped school bus.

    Don't worry, South Carolina has a point removal system. 1 year after a violation, the number of points assigned to a particular violation will be reduced by 1/2.

    License Suspension

    When your point total reaches more than 12, your driver's license will be suspended. The state requires you to surrender your license to the DMV within a certain time period, or you will face hefty fines and possible jail time.

    If your license has been suspended, you must wait the mandatory time given, then you can apply to have your license reinstated. Refer to our Suspended License section for information about license suspensions and reinstatements.

    Check Your Driver's License Status

    If you need or want to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a driving record report. This report will tell you if your driver's license is currently valid. It will also show suspensions or revocations and, in some cases, accidents you may have had based on information from the South Carolina DMV.

    More Information

    For more information about driving defensively and avoiding the accumulation of points, refer South Carolina's Driver License Manual.

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