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What are South Carolina Traffic Tickets?

South Carolina law enforcement issue traffic tickets as evidence of traffic law violations. Traffic offenses are categorized as either moving or non-moving violations. Moving violations deal with vehicles in motion, such as exceeding the speed limit, driving under the influence, and hitting and running. Non-moving violations involve a stationary form of the vehicle, which includes parking tickets or parking citations. Traffic tickets have various penalties depending on the offense. Such penalties include paying fines, but if the misdeed is of higher degree, the offender may be charged for a criminal offense. Failure to pay the fines may also constitute prosecution in the court of law, which can lead to cancellation or suspension of driver’s license. A decision to pay a traffic ticket means an admission of guilt. If an individual is issued a traffic ticket, it is best to pay the fine as soon as possible.

South Carolina employs a point system to access driving records and determine if the traffic law violator is worthy of operating motor vehicles. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles is the central repository for driving records in South Carolina.

Records that are considered public may be accessible from some third-party websites. These websites often make searching simpler, as they are not limited by geographic location, and search engines on these sites may help when starting a search for a specific or multiple records. To begin using such a search engine on a third-party or government website, interested parties usually must provide:

  • The name of the person involved in the record, unless said person is a juvenile
  • The location or assumed location of the record or person involved. This includes information such as the city, county, or state that person resides in or was accused in.

Third-party sites are independent from government sources, and are not sponsored by these government agencies. Because of this, record availability on third-party sites may vary.

What Does a Traffic Citation Mean?

A traffic citation is a summons issued to a traffic law offender by an officer. Citations in South Carolina are mostly issued for not obeying traffic control devices or for speeding, and the receiver of such a citation must pay the fine or contest the charge. The Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways guides South Carolina traffic citations.

How Do I Pay a Traffic Ticket in South Carolina?

Persons who do not wish to contest a traffic ticket must pay the fine stated on the ticket before the court date. Tickets issued anywhere in South Carolina can be paid online through a MasterCard, Visa, or credit card. The Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways in South Carolina permits direct payment of traffic tickets to the Department of Public Safety in full. The traffic offender may also discuss other arrangements with the department.

Can You Pay South Carolina Traffic Tickets Online?

Traffic tickets in South Carolina can be paid online through the South Carolina court payment. Information on how to pay online is usually written at the back of the South Carolina traffic ticket. However, not all counties and municipalities allow online payments, and traffic tickets may have to be paid at the traffic court in person.

How do I Pay a Ticket online in South Carolina?

Using the online South Carolina court payment system, violators should choose the county or municipality where the ticket was given, type in the case number or ticket number, and proceed to payment. Online deposits are available across all counties in South Carolina except for Clarendon county. Also, Greenville is the only municipality that does not accept online payments for traffic tickets.

What is the South Carolina Traffic Ticketing System?

South Carolina adopts the use of a point system in which drivers incur some points on the driving records once a traffic offense is committed. The consequences of accumulating points are increased insurance rates, suspension, or cancellation of license. Following South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56 - Motor Vehicles, points issued on driving records are relative to the offense committed. Nevertheless, no point is assigned if a person receives a warning ticket. The most common traffic offenses in South Carolina include speeding, driving without a license, passing a stopped bus, driving without insurance, failing to obey a traffic device, and driving under suspension.

In South Carolina, an increase in points also extends the driver’s license suspension and other privileges. A traffic offender with 12 to 15 points on the driving record will have three months of license suspension. 16 to 17 points equals four months of suspension. Drivers with 18 to 19 points will not be able to use driver’s license for five months while points of 20 and over, attract a 6-month driver’s license suspension. However, an offender may request a review of points on request.

For first time offenders, most traffic violations will be convicted as a misdemeanor unless it results in injury or loss of life. An offender charged with a DUI (Driving Under Influence) may be incarcerated. Also, DUI influences driver’s license suspension, but it is judged based on the first, second or third-time offender;

  • First: 6-month suspension
  • Second: Indefinite suspension
  • Third: Indefinite suspension

After being issued a traffic citation, a trial may commence later in a traffic court if the accused decides to contest or is charged with a serious offense. It is unnecessary to employ the services of a traffic ticket attorney, but it is advised to do so.

How Do I Know if I Have a Traffic Ticket in South Carolina?

A resident of South Carolina must know if there are any outstanding traffic tickets to avoid significant fines and license suspension. The best way to do this is to visit the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) to request a driver’s history record for $6. Additionally, interested individuals can apply for driving records online and by mail. Mail requests involve completing the driving history request form, which should be mailed to the agency along with money order or check to;


PO Box 1498

Blythewood, SC 29016

How Can I Find a Lost Traffic Ticket in South Carolina?

Interested persons will have to contact the traffic court in the locality where the ticket was issued to recover a lost traffic ticket in South Carolina. Generally, the Municipal or Magistrate Court in South Carolina presides over cases generated from traffic violations. Also, the Police Traffic Patrol Department in the County or Municipal the ticket was received, may be visited to make inquiries.

How Long Does a Traffic Ticket Stay on Your Record in South Carolina?

If an individual is convicted of a traffic violation, the traffic ticket can stay on the record for up to three to five years. However, if the traffic offense is a felony, it may last longer on a driving record. Persons caught for traffic violations in South Carolina can also check into a driver improvement clinic to remove some points on the driving history record.

Is a Summons Worse Than a Ticket in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, there are two types of tickets: regular traffic tickets and ordinance summons. Uniform traffic tickets are used exclusively by the law enforcement officers of South Carolina for traffic offenses. Ordinance summons, on the other hand, is issued by law enforcement agents to enforce local ordinances relating to traffic. An ordinance summons is a notice requiring the presence of the offender to present his or her case in a municipal court. Uniform traffic tickets are worse in South Carolina because tickets can initiate an arrest. At the same time, ordinance summons can neither be used to perform an arrest nor regulate motor vehicle operations on the road.

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