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    Driving Record Points & Penalties in South Carolina

    If you commit traffic violations, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will add points to your driving record and possibly take action against your driving privileges. If you accumulate too many driving record points or commit serious traffic offenses, you may face:

    • A driver's license suspension, revocation, or cancelation.
    • Reinstatement fees.
    • Driver improvement/defensive driving course requirements.
    • Court fines and penalties.

    On this page you'll find a basic overview of the South Carolina point system.

    If you need specific details about your SC driver's license or the information on your driving record, please contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.

    How the South Carolina Point System 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 points or more on your record, the SC 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 and reinstatement fees are hefty. Since your driving record is accessible to employers, a bad record could also cost you work.

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

    South Carolina Point System

    In South Carolina the following offenses will lead to points:

    • Failure to dim lights.
    • Improper reversing.
    • 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 an approaching train signal.
    • Ignoring a railroad signal/sign.
    • Ignoring a 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 half.

    South Carolina License Suspension

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

    If your driver's license has been suspended, you must wait out the mandatory time given, then you can apply to have it reinstated. Refer to our Suspended License in South Carolina page for information about driver's license suspensions and reinstatements.

    Check Your SC Driver's License Status

    If you need or want to check the status of your driver's license in South Carolina, you can order a driving record report. This report will tell you if your driver's license is currently valid. It will also show any 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 to South Carolina's Driver's License Manual.

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