Amnesty for Suspended South Carolina Drivers
South Carolina’s driving laws may often seem harsh or even unfair to many who find themselves on the wrong end of a citation. Having one’s license suspended could cause all sorts of problems, depriving a motorist of freedom and convenience and often making it difficult to get to work and/or school. Fortunately, state legislators aren’t only interested in doling out punishments. The South Carolina Code of Laws provided for the creation of an annual event known as Driver Suspension Eligibility Week. During this time, certain suspensions may be shortened or eliminated altogether, offering a path back to the road for eligible drivers.
What it Is
For one week each year, as provided by law, South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles will accept applications for suspension consideration from motorists who meet the requirements of the statute. While fees will still have to be paid, suspension times may be eliminated or reduced.
Who Is Eligible
Not all suspensions may qualify for consideration under the statute. In order for a suspension to be eligible for termination or reduction during Driver Suspension Eligibility Week, it must have been received for one of the following reasons:
- Operating a vehicle that didn’t have insurance (if the driver wasn’t the owner)
- Driving while already suspended (unless drugs and alcohol were involved)
- Allowing a vehicle without insurance to be operated
- Operating an uninsured vehicle
- Operating an unlicensed taxi or other vehicle
- Having too many points (if the driver is underage)
Additionally, drivers must have done the following, if applicable:
- Paid any required fees
- Fulfilled all suspension conditions
- Successfully completed knowledge, vision, or road skills tests if they’ve been without a license for nine months or more or if required by suspension
- Filed a Certificate of Insurance (SR-22)
When it Is
State law only requires that Driver Suspension Eligibility Week be held once a year. The statute does not provide a specific week, month, or even season. However, since 2012, the program has run for one week in March. It’s highly recommended that any driver who may wish to take advantage of the possibility of having his or her suspensions reduced or ended regularly check as soon as a new year starts, just to be certain of catching the DMV’s announcement of the dates for that year’s Eligibility Week.
It’s important to remember that not all suspensions qualify for consideration under this program. Time will be recalculated for suspensions after DMV determines eligibility. Any remaining time must be served. The SR-22 doesn’t have to be obtained until a driver has served the remainder of his or her suspensions.