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How to Reinstate a Suspended Driver License in South Carolina

A drivers license suspension in South Carolina is a reality that some residents may face during their time as motorists. A suspended drivers license may result from various traffic violations in a short amount of time. The state reserves the right to enact a suspension if a motorist disobeys the rules of the road and vehicle ownership regulations. However, residents may reinstate drivers license credentials if they follow the Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) requirements for such action. SC drivers license restoration is an important process that state motorists should understand in case of a license suspension.

Reasons for Driver’s License Suspension in South Carolina

A South Carolina driver license suspension is a result of irresponsible vehicle operation. Drivers can receive a revoked drivers license notice for a variety of traffic violations, including reckless driving or driving while intoxicated. An SC driving license suspension may also be a result of point accumulation on the motorist’s license. Each traffic violation is worth a different point value, depending on its severity. A suspended driver’s license is issued if motorists accumulate 12 or more traffic violation points on their records. Other violations include: disobeying the posted speed limit, reckless driving and running a red traffic light. Some drivers license suspensions are immediate for certain traffic violations, including DUIs and refusing to take a sobriety test when asked by law enforcement.

Revoked Drivers License

A revoked driver’s license is not the same as a license suspension. Suspended drivers licenses are eligible for reinstatement after the suspension period. Revoked drivers licenses are withdrawn by the South Carolina DMV and drivers must reapply for new driving documentation after the revocation period. A revoked South Carolina drivers license is one consequence that drivers can face in certain traffic violations. Reckless driving that results in a death or supplying false vehicle insurance information are some offenses that result in drivers license revocation. Drivers may also receive a revoked drivers license order if they are no longer capable of driving due to physical or mental conditions.

Reinstating Drivers License in South Carolina

Drivers may apply for drivers license reinstatement after a suspension. South Carolina driver’s license restoration requirements vary based on the reason for suspension, so drivers should contact their local DMV branch for a comprehensive look at their suspension and requirements. Some driver license restoration requirements ask that motorists provide proof of financial responsibility, depending on the conditions of the suspension. With any driver license reinstatement, applicants must pay a reinstatement fee online or in person at their local DMV office. Depending on how much the drivers license reinstatement fees are and the type of traffic violation recorded, motorists may qualify for a six-month payment plan.

Provisional Drivers License in South Carolina

The South Carolina DMV offers a few provisional drivers license options for motorists with a license suspension. Provisional drivers licenses have certain restrictions for eligibility, so motorists should check with the DMV regarding individual suspensions. Provisional driver licenses offered by the DMV include a six-month license, a Route Restricted license and a Temporary Alcohol License.

Six-Month Provisional Driver’s License

A six-month provisional drivers license in South Carolina allows state motorists to operate with full driving privileges. With the provisional driving license, motorists do not have restrictions on when or where they may drive. Motorists may not renew the provisional driver’s license after the six-month period ends. These licenses are subject to drivers license suspension regulations, although reinstatement is not an option if the provisional license is suspended.

Motorists with a driving license suspension due to a DUI may apply for a six-month license if they are enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Program, had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.14 or less upon arrest and have met all other suspension requirements. Each motorist should check drivers license suspension rules with his or her DMV office to see provisional license eligibility for his or her specific DUI violation.

Route Restricted Driver’s License

Some provisional SC drivers licenses have more restrictions on driving privileges. The route restricted provisional drivers license allows motorists to operate their vehicles to and from the following locations:

  • Work
  • School
  • An Alcohol and Drug Safety Action program (ADSAP)
  • A drug program ordered by a court

This type of provisional driving license is in effect for the duration of the motorist’s suspension. Certain driver’s license suspensions are eligible for a provisional license, including sobriety test refusal, failure to stop when indicated by police or failure to pay child support. Typically, South Carolina motorists may only receive one route restricted driver license during their lifetime, although some exceptions exist. Driving with a suspended license can lead to extended or additional suspensions. Failure to pay child support may also lead to a suspended driving license. In such cases, additional route restricted licenses may be granted.

Temporary Alcohol License

This type of provisional drivers license is based on alcohol traffic violations. A driver license suspension after any refusals to submit to a sobriety test or a high BAC level are some suspensions eligible for a Temporary Alcohol license (TAL). Motorists applying for a TAL provisional drivers license must file an administrative hearing to determine the status of their standard driving license. Motorists must return the TAL provisional driver’s license after the results of the administrative hearing. Based on the hearing results, motorists may attempt to apply for a route restricted provisional driving license or apply to reinstate their current license.

Driving with a Suspended License in South Carolina

Driving with a suspended South Carolina license is a risk no motorist should take. Driving with a suspended license increases the suspension period and the driver will incur hefty fines and even time in prison. Motorists should check driver’s license suspension terms with a local DMV office if they are unsure of the regulations in place.

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