The Driver's License Point System in South Carolina

How Many Points Before Your License is Suspended?

South Carolina uses a point system to manage problem drivers. Under that system each point serves as a demerit, and if you accumulate 12 or more points, you will have your license suspended. Although these infractions are reported to your insurer, the accrued points may not have much significance because, when deciding on rate increases, most insurers apply their own point system. 

Suspensions

When a driver is assessed 12 or more points, the driver's license will automatically be suspended. Certain traffic law violations, such as driving under the influence, require mandatory license suspension under the law and are not under the point system. 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 

How Many Points for Each Infraction

Violation

Points

Reckless Driving

6 points

Passing Stopped School Bus

6 points

Hit & Run, property damages only

6 points

Driving Too Fast for Conditions or Speeding less than 10mph

2 points

Driving 10-25 mph over the posted speed limit

4 points

Driving 25 mph or more over the posted speed limit

6 points

Disobedience of any traffic control device

4 points

Disobedience to officer directing traffic

4 points

Failure to Yield Right of Way

4 points

Driving on Wrong side of road

4 points

Passing Unlawfully

4 points

Turning Unlawfully

4 points

Driving through or within a safety zone

4 points

Failing to give signal or giving improper signal for stopping,turning 

4 points

Shifting lanes without safety precaution

2 points

Improper dangerous parking

2 points

Following too closely

4 points

Failing to dim lights

2 points

Operating with improper lights

2 points

Operating with improper brakes

4 points

Operating a vehicle in unsafe conditions

2 points

Driving in improper lane

2 points

Improper backing

2 points

Getting Rid of Points

Any driver who has accumulated points may have the points reduced by four if he or she completes the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course or its equivalent. However, the eight-hour course must be taken in South Carolina and points may only be reduced once in a three-year period. Points have a “half-life” as follows: points posted to your driving record will be reduced by half after one year. For example, if six points were posted to your record in December, the points would be reduced to three points in December of the following year. If you have multiple convictions, the points will be reduced according to the date each conviction was posted to your record.

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