DMV Point System in South Carolina
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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 six 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.
South Carolina has established the following point assignments:
- Two Points
- Failure to dim lights
- Improper backing
- Speeding no more than 10 mph above the limit
- Improperly changing lanes
- Dangerous parking
- Improper lights
- Driving in the wrong lane
- Having a defective tail light
- Driving at least 10 mph too fast for conditions
- Driving in unsafe conditions
- Four Points
- Failing to yield right-of-way
- Speeding more than 10 mph above the limit but less than 25 mph above
- 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
- Six Points
- Reckless driving
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Speeding more than 25 mph above the limit
Don't worry, South Carolina has a point removal system. The number of points assigned to a particular violation is cut in half one year after that violation; after two years, the points disappear altogether.
NOTE: The violation remains on your record for three years.
When your point total reaches more than 12, your driver's license will be automatically 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.
The length of time your license will be suspended depends on the number of points you've accumulated:
- 12 to 15 points: suspended for three months
- 16 or 17 points: suspended for four months
- 18 or 19 points: suspended for five months
- 20 or more points: suspended for six months
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.
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.
Other Topics in This Section
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- DMV Point System Basics: What Are Points and How Do I Get Rid of Them?
- The Perils of Accumulating Driving Record Points
- How Long Points Stay on Your Driving Record
- Actions That Lead to the Loss of Driving Privileges
- How to Check Your DMV Points
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