Point System

How the Point System Works

South Carolina has a point system for traffic law violators. The purpose of the point system is to make problem drivers improve their driving habits and protect innocent persons from careless and reckless drivers.


By law, each traffic violation is assigned a certain number of points. If you are convicted of a traffic violation, that information will be sent to SCDMV to be posted to your driver record. Points are also charged to your record for violations you commit in other states and for military court-martial traffic convictions. Your record contains all the convictions and the number of points charged against you under the point system.


Points posted to your driving record will be reduced by half after one year. For example, if four points were posted to your record in June, the points would be reduced to two points in June of the following year. If you have multiple convictions, the points will be reduced according to the date each conviction was posted to your record.

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Driver License Suspension for Excessive Points

If six or more points are posted to your driver record, SCDMV will send you a letter urging you to drive more carefully. If you continue to violate traffic laws, or if you already have additional convictions the department has not yet received, you are in danger of losing your driver license. If your point total reaches 12 or more, your driver’s license will be suspended.


Certain traffic law violations, such as driving under the influence, require mandatory license suspension under the law and are not under the point system.

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Defensive Driving Course

Any driver who has accumulated points may have the points reduced by four if he or she completes the National Safety Council’s Defensive Driving Course or its equivalent.

  1. The course cannot be completed online.

  2. The course must be taken in South Carolina. Click here to view the Driver Training Schools that offer the “4-Point Reduction” course which is also known as the Defensive Driving Course.

  3. The course must be 8 hours of classroom training.

  4. The course must be taken after the points have been assessed (violation date).

  5. A reduction in points may only be made one time in a three-year period.

  6. If you take the Defensive Driving Course because your license is in danger of being suspended, you must complete the course before the suspension begins. Once the suspension begins, the point reduction will not cancel the suspension.

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