Suspended License in South Carolina
Twelve points accumulated against your driving record is enough for the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to suspend your license. The length of suspension depends on the number of points 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
After you've earned six points on your record, the DMV will send you a letter advising you to drive more carefully and warning you of the consequences should your license be suspended.
After 12 points, you will receive notice that your license is suspended and ordered to surrender it immediately to the DMV. If you do not respond within the given time frame, you will face hefty fines and possible jail time.
There are also certain driving offenses that cause your license to be suspended immediately. With these offenses, you will also have to meet other requirements.
Get your personal drivers´ license history instantly and online. Find out what information is on your driving record with a BackgroundChecks.com Instant Motor Vehicle Report. Keep in mind, you can only run an instant motor vehicle report on yourself.
Certain driving offenses cause your license to be suspended immediately. These include:
- First offense DUI: six-month suspension
- Second offense DUI: one-year suspension
- Third offense DUI: two-year suspension
- Car owner driving uninsured: indefinite suspension, plus a $550 reinstatement fee
- Failure to pay a traffic ticket: indefinite suspension
- Failure to maintain SR-22 insurance if required: indefinite suspension with reinstatement fees of up to $400
If you would like to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a copy of your driving record report. This report will advise you if your driver's license is currently valid. It will also show suspensions or revocations and, in some cases, any accidents you may have had. The report is based on information from the South Carolina DMV.
Reinstatement of your driver's license is costly and time consuming. Each suspension costs $100 in reinstatement fees, unless specified otherwise. If required due to the time frame or type of suspension, you may need to take driving tests. The fee for the written test is $20.
The state requires all DUI offenders to obtain SR-22 insurance―a special, costly insurance that you must maintain for 36 months. You will also be required to complete an Alcohol and Drug Safety Awareness Program in full before you can apply to have your license reinstated.
You can pay your reinstatement fees in person at your local DMV, or you can pay them online using the Pay Reinstatement Fees Web page. If you pay online, you'll need to provide your driver's license number, Social Security number, and a VISA, MasterCard, or Discover card number to make payment.
Reinstatement Payment Plan
The DMV offers a reinstatement payment plan for suspended licenses. You may qualify if:
- You're at least 18 years old
- You're a South Carolina resident
- Your South Carolina driver's license must be eligible for renewal once the reinstatement fees are paid
- You satisfied all reinstatement conditions except, obviously, for fee payments
- You have not participated in the reinstatement plan in the last three years
- You're free of any pending suspensions
- You must owe $300 or more in reinstatement fees and/or per diem fees for one of the following suspensions:
―Failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility
―Failure to pass re-examination
―False information on an application
―Minor signature withdrawal
―Driving under suspension
―Failure to pay property tax
―Driving an uninsured vehicle
―Excessive points for a minor
―Driving an unlicensed taxi or vehicle
―Cancellation of insurance
―Accident uninsured (FR 530)
―Uninsured motorist (UM 520)
―Failure to provide proof of insurance at time of stop
―No insurance at time of vehicle registration
―Accident judgement default
―Accident installment default
―Financial responsibility accident
―Failure to deposit insurance OOS accident
―Failure to pay traffic ticket
- If you have an additional suspension that's not listed above, you must meet all eligibility requirements for this suspension before you can qualify for the reinstatement plan
NOTE: You cannot use the reinstatement plan for a suspended CDL unless you downgrade to a regular Class D license. Then, after paying off your reinstatement plan arrangement, you can reapply for a CDL.
If you've had your license suspended for a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, unlawful alcohol concentration, or other types of suspension, you may be eligible for a provisional license. This license allows you to drive to work, school, medical appointments, and treatment programs.
If you're eligible, you must enroll in an alcohol treatment program, have no other suspensions, and purchase SR-22 insurance for your vehicle. A provisional license costs $100. To determine whether you're eligible, call (803) 896-5000.
For more information about license suspension and reinstatement, read Chapter 2 of the Driver License Manual.
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