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.
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:
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.
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.
A person must be 15 years old in South Carolina to apply for their Beginner's Permit to begin driving. They must also:
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:
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.
The state offers two types of reports. The first is simply a quick summary, and it is free to the individual user online.
The summary report will contain only basic driver information along with the total license points.
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):
This report is available in a 3-year or 10-year version.
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:
Commercial drivers may face even harsher penalties such as mandatory attendance at a safe driving course.
Civil driving offenses are far less serious and usually result in just a fine (traffic ticket). Some examples of these crimes might be:
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:
The top reasons for crashes in SC are:
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%).
Below are some frequently asked questions about state driving records.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.