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South Carolina Public Driving Records

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the government agency in charge of driving records. They issue them to government agencies, employers, insurance companies, and other businesses that follow strict Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws.

The state offers a free summary to individuals to check their own driver record and license points. Users can also purchase a full copy through the mail, online or in-person at the DMV office. Employers or companies can request multiple reports at one time. Insurance companies often use these reports to insure motorists and decide on insurance rates. Some employers use them for background checks.

These reports do contain personally identifiable information (PII) such as the driver's name, driver's license number, address, social security number, date of birth, physical description, and CDL medical information. They will also include accident history, driving convictions (things like DUI and reckless driving), moving violations, traffic citations, license suspensions, revocations, and license status, as well as license points.

How to Request a Copy of Your South Carolina Driving History

The state has an online portal where users can enter their information (name, driver's license number, date of birth, etc., and see an instant summary of their DMV driving record, including points.

Individuals can also use the online system to purchase a full report online through the mail by sending in an application along with payment to:

SCDMV
Alternative Media
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0035

Companies can also request records online, through the mail, or in person. The South Carolina DMV does honor bulk requests.

Motor Vehicle Records Cost

The cost for a full report is $6 regardless of how it is purchased.

When paying by mail, users can send a check or money order payable to SCDMV.

When paying online, requestors can use a debit card or credit card to pay the fee.

Driving Laws in the State

A person must be 15 years old in South Carolina to apply for their Beginner's Permit to begin driving. They must also:

  • You must pass the vision and knowledge test
  • You may drive from 6 a.m. to midnight if a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has at least one year of driving experience is in the front seat with you
  • You may drive after midnight, but any licensed individual listed in SC Code Section 56-1-100(A) (1-7) must supervise you
  • You must hold your beginner's permit for at least
  • 180 days, regardless of your age, before you 1-4 may apply for any type of license. You may apply on the 181st day or anytime thereafter

After having a Beginner's Permit for 180 days, and after a person turns 17, they can apply for their First-Time Driver's License. They must also:

If you are 15 or 16 and applying for your first driver's license, all of the following must be true:

  • You have held your beginner's permit for more than 180 days
  • You completed a driver's education course (eight hours in the classroom and six hours driving)
  • You are enrolled in school (not suspended or expelled), and you have satisfactory school attendance
  • You have practiced driving for at least 40 hours, including ten hours of night driving with one of the individuals listed below:
  • 1) Your father
  • 2) Your mother
  • 3) Your legal guardian
  • 4) An individual who has custody, care, and control of you
  • 5) A person with written approval by the Department of Social Services. You must provide SCDMV with a copy of approval.
  • 6) A person who has been standing in loco parentis (place of a parent) for a continuous period of not less than sixty days
  • 7) A responsible adult who is willing to assume the obligation imposed under SC Code Section 56-1-110 and who has written permission, from a person listed in items 1 – 6 above, signed and verified before a person authorized to administer oaths (notary). You must provide SCDMV with a copy of the notarized permission.
  • You must complete the Certification of School Attendance, Driver's Education, and Driving Practice (SCDMV form PDLA). You will receive the PDLA form from your driver's education program once you successfully complete the course

Some other driving laws in the state include:

If you have a valid driver's license or identification (ID) card from another state and permanently move to SC, you must apply for an SC license or ID within ninety days of moving to SC. You must turn in your out-of-state license or ID in order to receive a new one in SC. If your out-of-state license is expired by nine months or more, you must pass the knowledge, skills, and vision tests before you can get an SC license. You must register your vehicles in SC within forty-five days of moving to SC.

If you hold a beginner's permit, conditional or special restricted driver's license, and you accumulate six or more points, your driving privileges will be suspended for having excessive points. If you are suspended for having excessive points, completing the National Safety Defensive Drive Course, or its equivalent, will not reinstate the suspension.

Do not use cell phones. It is unlawful in SC to use a wireless electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle if it requires the use of either hand.

Aggressive driving occurs when an individual intentionally commits an action that endangers other persons or property. Some behaviors typically associated with aggressive driving include speeding, following too closely, unsafe lane changes, improperly (or not) signaling, and failing to obey traffic control devices (stop signs, yield signs, traffic signals, railroad grade cross signals, etc.).

If you are under the age of 21, it is illegal to purchase, possess, or drink alcoholic beverages. Alcohol and other impairing drugs affect a person's ability to perceive his or her surroundings, react to emergencies, and skillfully operate a motor vehicle. For new drivers learning complex skills, the effects of alcohol and other impairing drugs is greater. All states have "zero tolerance" laws (no alcohol in the circulatory system) or similar laws for drivers under the age of 21.

Different Types of Driving Reports in the State

The state offers two types of reports. The first is simply a quick summary, and it is free to the individual user online.

Summary Record

The summary report will contain only basic driver information along with the total license points.

Full Report (certified copy)

The full report will contain all personal details plus driving infractions and convictions, along with license points and court-related details.

Some purposes for these reports include (but are not limited to):

  • Government agencies
  • Businesses to verify information
  • Court proceedings
  • Investigations
  • Insurance companies
  • Commercial driver's licenses

This report is available in a 3-year or 10-year version.

Criminal Driving Offenses

Criminal driving offenses in the state are very serious, usually resulting in the loss of a driver's license along with paying a big fine and time spent in jail or prison. Some examples of criminal driving offenses in the state include:

  • Reckless driving
  • DUI/DWI
  • Failure to stop for an officer
  • Vehicular manslaughter
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Excessive speeding
  • Passing a school bus

Commercial drivers may face even harsher penalties such as mandatory attendance at a safe driving course.

Civil Driving Offenses

Civil driving offenses are far less serious and usually result in just a fine (traffic ticket). Some examples of these crimes might be:

  • Parking in a no-parking zone
  • Running a red light
  • Failure to yield
  • Failure to stop at a stop sign
  • Broken taillight
  • Driving without insurance
  • Expired registration
  • Distracted driving

State Department of Motor Vehicles Driving Records Statistics

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety keeps track of all driving statistics for the state so they can improve driver programs and keep roadways and highways safer. Some interesting driving statistics in the state include:

The following are some notable characteristics of traffic collisions for 2019:

  • Traffic fatalities decreased from 1,036 in 2018 to 1,006
  • Pedestrian fatalities decreased from 168 in 2018 to 165
  • Bicyclist fatalities increased from 22 in 2018 to 27
  • 650 traffic fatalities with access to seatbelts
  • 308 of 650 were not wearing seatbelts (47.4%)
  • Mileage death rate (MDR) decreased from 1.82 in 2018 to 1.74
  • Traffic collision injuries increased from 58,053 in 2018 to 58,410
  • One traffic collision took place every 3.7 minutes
  • One fatal collision took place every 9.4 hours
  • One injured collision took place every 13.6 minutes
  • One property damage collision took place every 5.2 minutes
  • One person was killed every 8.7 hours
  • One person killed in a DUI collision took place every 30.8 hours
  • One motorcyclist was killed every 3 days
  • One bicyclist was killed every 13.5 days
  • One pedestrian was killed every 2.2 days
  • One unrestrained motor vehicle occupant was killed every 28.4 hours

The top reasons for crashes in SC are:

  • Driving too fast
  • DUI/DWI
  • Failure to yield
  • Aggressive driving
  • Wrong side/wrong way
  • Disregarding signs

Other statistics include:

The first harmful event (FHE) in a traffic collision is defined as the first occurrence of injury or property damage in a collision. In 2019, the FHE in 116,503 (82.6%) of the 141,096 reported traffic collisions involved some type of collision between a motor vehicle in transport and an object not fixed. The top two first harmful events, both involving a collision with an object not fixed, were ‘Motor Vehicle (In Transport),' 78,371 (67.3% of collisions with an object not fixed) and ‘Motor Vehicle (Stopped),' 29,981 (25.7% of collisions with an object not fixed). The third top FHE was ‘Ditch' in the ‘Collision: Object Fixed' group, with 5,812 collisions (4.1% of all collisions). Combined, these three accounted for 80.9% of all reported collisions.

Collisions with an object not fixed accounted for a smaller percentage of the fatal collisions (59.5%) than the property damage only collisions (84.5%). Collisions involving a collision with a fixed object accounted for a greater percentage of the fatal collisions (34.4%) than for property damage only (14.0%). The leading FHE in fatal collisions was ‘Motor Vehicle (In Transport)' with 345 (37.2%). The second leading FHE in fatal collisions was ‘Pedestrian' with 134 (14.5%).

Driver License Record Search Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.

Who Can Get a Copy of Your South Carolina Driving Record?

The state takes DPPA laws very seriously, and only someone with your consent and valid legal reason can get a copy of your driving record. Some examples might be:

  • Government agencies
  • Businesses to verify information
  • Court proceedings
  • Investigations
  • Insurance companies
  • Commercial driver's licenses

Can I Use the Online Systems to Get MVR (Motor Vehicle Records)?

Yes. The state has set up an online system where you can view your summary points or purchase a full 3-year or 10-year report with all the details. You can also order it by mail or in person.

What Information Do I Need to an SC Driving Record?

When ordering a report, you will need your full name, date of birth, driver's license information, license plate, and social security number. If you are ordering for another person, you will need their signed consent.

Does the State Use a Points System?

Yes. The state uses a strict points system, and you accumulate more than six points, you will lose your license for six months. Additionally, more points equal more time without a driver's license.

Helpful State Driving Record Links

Below are some helpful state driving record links.

Disclaimer: The materials presented here are for informational purposes only. The information is taken from state and local resources, and is current as of the most recent site update. Changes made by state and local departments and agencies after our latest update may render some information and fees outdated, and may cause links to break and forms to be unavailable. Infotracer strongly encourages you to visit the relevant state and local resources to ensure you have the most recent information.