Defensive Driving in South Carolina

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What is a South Carolina Defensive Driving Course?

If you've received a traffic ticket, have accumulated too many driving record points, or have high car insurance premiums, you may be able to complete a defensive driving course that has been approved by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

On this page you'll find an overview of SC defensive driving courses (including the reasons to take a course) and details of what a defensive driving course will cover.

Defensive driving courses, which are also known as traffic school courses, are designed to make you a better driver. Upon completing the course, you'll have had a good refresher on South Carolina traffic laws and have gained new knowledge about defensive driving and accident avoidance techniques.

South Carolina Defensive Driving Options

South Carolina defensive driving courses may allow you to:

  • Deduct points from your driving record.
  • Dismiss a traffic ticket or satisfy a court requirement.
  • Earn a car insurance discount.

Typically, you'll be able to choose between classroom and online defensive driving courses. Online traffic school allows you to learn about the same topics, but you'll be able to move through the lessons at your own pace on your own schedule.

For a complete list of South Carolina DMV-approved traffic schools, please visit the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Reduce Driving Record Points with South Carolina Defensive Driving

When you violate traffic laws, the South Carolina DMV will add points to your driving record. If you accumulate too many driving record points, your driver's license may be suspended.

  • When you receive 6 points, the South Carolina DMV will mail you a warning notice.
  • If you accumulate 12 points or more, your driver's license will likely be suspended.

You can enroll in and complete a South Carolina defensive driving course once every 3 years to deduct points from your driving record.

For more information, please contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

If you need more information about suspended driver's license or checking your driving record, please visit our pages on:

Your Course Options

Approved courses may vary by your county and court.

Make sure to check with your court to see which options you have for your defensive driving classes, including whether you may take a condensed 4-hour online course.

Dismiss a Traffic Ticket with Traffic School

Depending on the nature of your traffic violation and the discretion of your court, you may be able to complete a defensive driving course in South Carolina to either dismiss a traffic ticket or satisfy a traffic conviction.

If you are required to complete traffic school or are given the option to take a course to dismiss a ticket, you'll likely receive information about:

  • Which courses are available for you to take.
  • Your deadline for completing the course.
  • Any other fees and clearance documents you'll need to submit.

For more information, please contact your court.

Earn a Traffic School Car Insurance Discount in South Carolina

If you take a South Carolina defensive driving course voluntarily, you may be eligible to receive a discount on your car insurance.

While many car insurance companies award traffic school discounts to teens and older drivers, drivers of all ages may be able to earn a discount.

Contact your car insurance provider for more information.

If you are not eligible to take traffic school to earn a discount and find your car insurance rates have become too expensive, you should consider shopping around for a new provider.

South Carolina Defensive Driving Course Details

South Carolina traffic school courses may vary depending on your course provide and cover topics, such as:

  • South Carolina traffic laws.
  • Defensive driving techniques.
  • Practicing responsible driving behaviors.
  • Alcohol/drug-related offenses and violations.

Depending on your reason for taking a defensive driving course, you may need to complete a final exam before receiving a completion certificate.

You may need to submit your completion documents to your court, your insurance company, or the South Carolina DMV.

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