How the Point System Works
If you break traffic laws, you may earn points against your South Carolina driver's license. The purpose of the point system is to make problem drivers improve their driving habits and protect innocent people from careless and reckless drivers.
By law, certain traffic violations are assigned points. If you are convicted of a traffic violation in this state or any other state, that information will be sent to the SCDMV and be posted to your record.
You may receive points on your driving record if you do any of the following:
- Break the law in this state or other states
- Receive a military court-martial traffic convictions.
Your record contains all the convictions and the number of points charged against you under the point system.
If you earn points on your record, they're reduced by half after one year from the violation date on the ticket. For example, if you received four points on your record in June, the points would be reduced to two points in June of the next year.
If you hold a beginner's permit, provisional or special restricted driver's license and you accumulated six or more points, your driving privileges will be suspended for six months for Excessive Points. If you are suspended for Excessive Points, completing the National Safety Defensive Driver Course, or it's equivalent, will not reinstate the suspension. The points that resulted in the Excessive Points suspension can also be used in a Point System suspension. Certain violations, such as driving under the influence, require mandatory license suspension and are not under the point system.
Defensive Driving Course
If you have points, you may have them reduced if you complete the National Safety Council’s 8-Hour Defensive Driving Course or an equivalent. Some defensive driving courses are offered at SCDMV-certified driving schools. To find schools that offer this course, search for ones that are certified for four-point reduction.
- The course cannot be completed online unless it is the virtual classroom program provided by the National Safety Council.
- The course must be taken in South Carolina.
- The course must be eight hours of classroom training.
- The course must be taken after the points have been assessed (violation date).
- A reduction in points may only be made one time in a three-year period.
- If you take the Defensive Driving Course because your license is in danger of being suspended, you must complete the course before the suspension begins. Once the suspension begins, the point reduction will not cancel the suspension.