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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, each traffic violation is assigned a certain number of points. If you are convicted of a traffic violation, that information will be sent to the SCDMV and be posted to your record.
You will receive points on your driving record if you do any of the following:
- Break the law in this state
- Break the law in 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. For example, if you had four points on your record in June, the points would be reduced to two points in June of the next year. If you have a lot of conviction, the points will be reduced according to the date each conviction posted to your record.
If you have six or more points on your driving record, the SCDMV will send you a letter to drive more carefully. If you continue to break the law or if you already have additional convictions the department has not received, you could lose your driver’s license. If your point total reaches 12 or more, your license will be suspended. 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 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.
- 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.