From the low country to its forested interior, South Carolina boasts many enchanting roadways. They aren’t scenic, however, when you can’t take your eyes off the flashing lights in your rearview mirror.
If you have ever incurred a ticket in South Carolina or experienced a fender bender or serious crash, your driving history likely contains a record of the event.
It’s important to access your South Carolina driving record from time to time in order to make sure that all of the information on it is correct.
Your driving record also contains personal information. By checking your driving record, you can also ward off identity theft. Identity theft is on the rise in many states, and accessing your driving record is a good way to guard against it.
Why Access Driving Records in South Carolina?
It’s important to access your South Carolina driving record so you can see what’s on it. The information contained on your record can impact your insurance rates. If you are currently paying more than you think you should, check your driving record for mistakes that may be costing you a higher premium. Your employer may also be checking into your South Carolina driving record in order to make sure you are a responsible driver. In some cases, employers will also access or request a prospective employee’s driving history.
What Information Does a South Carolina Driving Record Contain?
Your South Carolina driving record contains personal information such as your full name, current address, driver’s license number, and birth date. Your record will also contain a history of your driving–if you’ve been issued citations for moving violations, traffic tickets, and accidents. Your record will also note drug and alcohol violations association with driving. Driving records in South Carolina also list demerit points. Drivers receive demerit points for violations. These records also list any license suspensions or cancellations.
Driving Records in South Carolina: Types
In South Carolina, drivers can access a 3-year and 10-year driving record. These records may be certified or uncertified. Each of these records costs $6 to access. Many drivers require a certified copy of their driving history to present at court or for some other official purpose. An uncertified copy may suffice for keeping tabs on your driving record and its accumulated points.
How to Obtain Your South Carolina Driving Record
Drivers can access their South Carolina driving record (certified and uncertified) online, by mail, or in person.
If you order your certified copy online, you will receive it by mail. To order your South Carolina driving record online, you must visit the South Carolina DMV website.
You’ll be asked to provide information like your name, social security number, driver’s license number, birth date, and address. You will also need to pay the $6 fee by credit or debit card.
To obtain your South Carolina driving record by mail, fill out form MV-70 (Request for Driver Information) and mail it to the address notated on the form. Be sure to include a check or money order for the driving record fee.
To obtain your driving record in person, you may visit any South Carolina DMV. You can fill out the form and pay your fee in person. Again, you can order a certified or uncertified copy of your driving history when you visit your nearby DMV.
Check Your South Carolina Driving Record for Accuracy
While mistakes on driving records are not especially common, they do occur. When you receive your driving record, be sure you check it for accuracy.
Be sure that demerit points, for example, match your infractions. If you believe that your driving record contains errors, you should contact the DMV right away at 803-896-5000.
Remember that points are added to your driving record each time you commit violations, traffic citations, and cause accidents. But the good news is that the South Carolina DMV will decrease your driving record points by half after a year.
This is a good thing, right? But since points keep diminishing, there’s a higher likelihood that there might be errors on your driving record compared to other states. Mistakes on your record can lead to higher insurance rates and can also negatively impact your job. So really, just make sure you check every single point in there.
Once the errors on your driving record have been corrected, be sure to get in touch with your insurance provider to make sure that their records are updated as well.
Improve your Record by Completing a Defensive Driving Course
Meanwhile, you can improve your driving record in SC by completing the National Safety Council’s 8-Hour Defensive Driving Course or an equivalent.
There are some defensive driving courses offered at SCDMV-certified driving schools. But if you’re considering taking a course from a school that’s not on the list like iDriveSafely, search for ones that are certified for a four-point reduction.
Keep in mind though that you cannot complete the course unless it is the virtual classroom program provided by the National Safety Council. You can only take this after the points have already been assessed, yes, after the violation date. And points can only be reduced once within three years.
Meanwhile, if you are taking the course because your license is about to be suspended, you should take it before the suspension begins. If you take the course after the suspension begins, the point reduction won’t be credited and it won’t help in canceling your license suspension.
Order Your South Carolina Driving Record Today
The sooner you obtain your South Carolina driving record, the sooner you can check it for accuracy. Obtaining this record online is easy. In fact, you can access your uncertified copy while waiting for your certified driving record to arrive by mail. If you notice a plethora of errors and there are considerable points on your record, you may be the victim of identity theft. Again, it’s essential to contact the DMV right away to straighten out your record and prevent further damage to your identity. If you have further questions about obtaining your South Carolina driving record, be sure to call the DMV at the number listed above.