Hearing Impaired Notation for Drivers

March 24, 2021

Beginning March 24, 2021, South Carolinians who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, or who have people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing drive their vehicles, will be able to add special notations linked to their license plates. This notation will only be available to law enforcement in the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) online database.

The notation will alert a law enforcement officer that a driver may be deaf or hard-of-hearing when a license plate check is performed. This allows the officer to adjust the way he or she communicates with the driver during a traffic stop.

An individual can add this notation to his or her license plate with the required paperwork at any SCDMV branch.

"We know there is a real fear of miscommunication during a traffic stop," said Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. "This notation will help those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing feel more understood in those situations. Anything we can do to help improve the safety of our customers and law enforcement officers, we are proud to do it.”

The "deaf/hard-of-hearing" notation may be applied to the license plate of any private passenger vehicle. Property-carrying vehicles and commercial motor vehicles are not eligible under the law.

To add the hearing impaired notation to a vehicle in the SCDMV database, the individual must complete an Application for the Hearing Impaired (SCDMV Form RG-004A). The application must include a medical statement from a physician or audiologist certifying the hearing loss. This application is available for download at www.scdmvonline.com.