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Traffic Tickets in South Carolina and New York

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Traffic Tickets in South Carolina and New York

Whether vacationing this summer in Myrtle Beach or visiting the Statue of Liberty, there are a few things that drivers ought to know about getting traffic tickets in South Carolina and New York. Both New York and South Carolina have a point system for traffic offenses. However, the waypoints are assigned is quite different. The following article will explain these differences while hoping to give motorists a better idea of the penalties they can expect to receive if ticketed in NY or SC.

South Carolina's Point System

In South Carolina, traffic offenses are worth two, four, or six points. Generally, points will stay on a SC license for two years. However, the violation will not be erased from driving record. In other words, the points will no longer count toward suspension or revocation of driving privileges after two years, but the driving record will still contain the offenses committed (and auto insurance carriers will still know about them). Drivers who receive 12 or more points on a South Carolina license can have their driving privileges automatically suspended. The duration of the suspension will depend on the number of points accumulated:

  • 12 to 15 points can result in suspension for three months.
  • 16 or 17 points can result in suspension for four months.
  • 18 or 19 points can result in suspension for five months.
  • 20 or more points can result in suspension for six months.

Common SC Traffic Offenses (A-Z)

Disobedience of any official traffic control device 4
Disobedience to officer directing traffic 4
Driving 10 mph too fast for conditions 2
Driving in improper lane 2
Driving on wrong side of road 4
Driving through or within safety zone 4
Failing to dim lights 2
Failing to yield right of way 4
Following too closely 4
Hit-and-run, property damages only 6
Improper dangerous parking 2
Operating a vehicle in unsafe condition 2
Operating with improper brakes 4
Operating with improper lights 2
Passing stopped school bus 6
Passing unlawfully 4
Reckless driving 6
Shifting lanes without safety precaution 2
Speeding 11 to 24 m.p.h. above the posted limit 4
Speeding 25+ m.p.h. above the posted limit 6
Speeding up to 10 m.p.h. above the posted limit 2
Turning unlawfully 4

New York's Point System

Unlike SC’s Point System, NY does not set a fixed rate for points or divide them into only three categories. A traffic ticket in New York can range from zero points to 11 points. New York drivers who receive 11 or more points within 18 months can have their license suspended for six months. Likewise, if a driver is convicted of driving without insurance, he/she can have their license suspended for one year.

Common NY Traffic Offenses (A-Z) Points
Failure to Obey Stop Sign  3
Failure to Stop for School Bus  5
Failure to Yield Right of Way  3
Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle  2
Following Too Closely  4
Inadequate Breaks (if Employer's Vehicle)  2
Inadequate Breaks (if Your Vehicle)  4
Leaving the Scene of an Accident  3
Mobile Phone Violation  3
Non-Moving Violations  0
Passed Red Light  3
Railroad Crossing Violation  3
Reckless Driving (Criminal Traffic Violation)  5
Seatbelt Violation or Child Restraint Violation (if Under 16)  3
Speeding (MPH Not Indicated on Ticket)  3
Speeding 1-10 MPH Over Speed Limit  3
Speeding 11-20 MPH Over Speed Limit  4
Speeding 21-30 MPH Over Speed Limit  6
Speeding 31-40 MPH Over Speed Limit  8
Speeding 41 or More MPH Over Speed Limit  11
Unsafe Lane Change, Improper Passing, Driving in Wrong Direction  3
Using a Portable Electronic Device (Texting, using iPod, etc.)  6

Out-of-State Traffic Tickets

Both NY and SC signed the Driver's License Compact, so they freely share driver information with one another. A South Carolina driver who receives a NY traffic ticket (or vice versa), contrary to popular belief, cannot just ignore it hoping it will not affect them. Out-of-state drivers who refuse to respond to or pay a New York or South Carolina traffic ticket can have their right to drive in that state suspended. Worse, as per the Compact, whenever a participant state suspends driving privileges for a driver licensed in another member state, the licensing state may also choose to suspended the license in kind. So SC drivers who don’t pay (or fight) their New York traffic tickets can have their license suspended.

As a general rule, South Carolina will record tickets received in New York and other states on driving records. Moreover, the SCDMV will assess points on the license as though the ticket were issued in South Carolina.

That’s not all. While New York State cannot assess points against South Carolina licenses, New York’s point value still matters. As such, SC drivers who commit 11 points worth of traffic offenses while in New York can have their right to drive in the Empire State (and at home) suspended.

By contrast, the New York State DMV does not record out-of-state violations committed by New York drivers in other jurisdictions unless they were alcohol- or drug-related or a moving violation committed in Quebec or Ontario.

This means that NY drivers ticketed for speeding in SC will only bear the cost of the SC fine and an insurance hike (i.e. no points). Still, this can be quite costly, and drivers who recently received a traffic ticket should contact an experienced traffic ticket attorney right away to mitigate those costs. If you received a ticket in South Carolina, contact the Lord Law Firm for a free consultation.

Author Bio Adam H. Rosenblum of is a traffic ticket lawyer licensed to practice in both New York and New Jersey.

Categories: Traffic Law in South Carolina