Updated: May, 2023Summary of common traffic laws in South Carolina – Speed limits, License Renewals, Learners Permits, Drunk Driving Laws, and more. For more information, visit the South Carolina Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs website.
In South Carolina, the maximum speed limit for cars is 70 mph. The maximum highway speed for trucks is also 70 mph. Speed limits vary by state and, in some cases, county-by-county. Always observe posted traffic laws and drive safely for the weather and road conditions.
South Carolina allows new drivers to get their learners permit at the age of 15. You must have your provisional license for a minimum of 6 months. Drivers can then get their intermediate license at 15 years and 6 months. An Intermediate License imposes restricts on when you are allowed to drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car, but allows you to drive yourself without an instructor in the car.
In South Carolina, drivers can obtain their full drivers license at the age of 16 years and 6 months.
South Carolina requires you to renew your license every 10 years. If you are over a certain age, additional license renewal rules apply:
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The state of South Carolina enforces increased penalties for speeding violations within work zones. These increased penalties are known as Work Zone Enhancements. Work Zone Enhancements can be enforced even if workers are not present as long as road work signs are posted. In South Carolina, Work Zone Enhacements are:
The legal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08%. Most states impose increased mandatory penalties for driving above a specific BAC. In South Carolina, driving with a BAC above 0.15% will trigger automatic enhanced minimum penalties.
Cellphones and other handheld devices are banned while driving in most states. In South Carolina, hand-held devices such as phones and mp3 player are banned to novice drivers only. Handheld devices bans prohibit talking on the phone without a hands-free system.
Texting while driving is banned in South Carolina. Texting while driving is concidered a primary offense. This means that you can be pulled over with texting as the only offense. In South Carolina, distracted driving is listed as a category on police crash report forms.
South Carolina requires seabelt use. Seatbelt enforcement is concidered primary, meaning you can be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt. The fine for a seatbelt law violation in South Carolina is $25.00. Seatbelt use laws depend on the driving experience of the driver and which seat of the car a passenger is sitting in.