Are SC Speeding Tickets Different for Out of State Drivers?

by | Mar 7, 2018 | Traffic Tickets |

Absolutely.

Depending on your home state’s traffic laws, a speeding ticket in Myrtle Beach or anywhere in SC could be more serious than it would be for a local. Or, it could be easier for you to walk away with no points.

The answer depends not just on your home state, but also on where the ticket was written and what agency wrote the ticket.

Your SC speeding ticket attorney will need to be familiar with how traffic violations transfer across the state lines and how the ticket will impact your license in your home state, and whether you call a traffic violation lawyer could make the difference between a conviction or dismissal, a license suspension, higher insurance premiums, or unnecessary points on your license.

How Will My Home State’s DMV Find Out, Anyway?

Most U.S. states and even some provinces in Canada are members of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact which requires each state to report traffic violations (including DUI offenses) to the driver’s home state.

States that are not members of the Driver’s License Compact include:

  • Georgia;
  • Wisconsin;
  • Massachusetts;
  • Michigan;
  • Tennessee; and
  • Nevada (Nevada repealed the legislation in 2007).

But, that does not mean they will not report a violation to your home state.

Each state that is not a member of the Compact has their own laws and regulations that govern when and how they report out of state driver violations and how they handle reports of violations from other states.

How Will a SC Speeding Ticket Affect My License in My Home State?

It can depend on:

  • What the violation was;
  • What the speed was if it is a speeding ticket;
  • Whether the agency or officer that wrote the ticket is willing to work with you to avoid home state penalties; and
  • What the penalties are for comparable violations in your home state.

There are exceptions and special rules that apply for each state’s DMV, some of which are not written and that we only know through experience handling hundreds of out-of-state tickets over the years. Some common issues that arise include:

Speeding tickets in SC when you have a NC driver’s license:

If you receive a four-point violation in South Carolina it may transfer to NC as a four-point violation if it not reduced. If you receive a four-point violation that is greater than 70 mph, your NC license may be suspended even though SC would not have suspended your license.

On the other hand, if your four-point violation is reduced to a two-point violation at less than 70 mph, it will transfer as no points on your NC license…

If you are from Florida and you receive a speeding ticket in SC:

You are not going to get much relief from a two-point reduction, and your ticket will need to be rewritten to a non-moving violation (which usually carries a higher fine) to get any benefit from hiring an attorney. If you have a four-point violation in SC that is reduced to a two-point violation, it will usually transfer to Florida as a three-point violation which is not much benefit to you.

Careless operation or reckless driving?

Another common issue is SC’s municipal offense of careless operation. Many officers or prosecutors will offer careless operation as a reduced plea because, although it carries a steep fine, it is a no-point violation in SC that has no effect on your license.

Many other states do not have careless operation offenses, which means that, when the DMV transfers your conviction for careless operation, your home state will treat it as their only comparable offense which is reckless driving. In most states, reckless driving carries a high point penalty (six points in SC), and many states will suspend your license for a reckless driving conviction.

SC Speeding Ticket and Traffic Violation Attorneys in Myrtle Beach

To competently handle out-of-state tickets, your attorney will need to know how your ticket will transfer to your home state’s DMV, whether a two-point reduction or a re-write to a non-moving violation is needed to preserve your license, and what the agency or officer who wrote the ticket will be willing to agree to in order to help you avoid home-state penalties.

Call your Myrtle Beach speeding ticket lawyer at Coastal Law today to find out how we can help you save your license and keep insurance costs down – in most cases, we are able to handle your ticket for you over the phone and you will not be required to appear in court. Call us at (843) 488-5000 or fill out our online form to find out how we can help.

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1104 North Oak Street
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

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Conway, SC 29526

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231 King Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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1201 Main Street, Suite 1913
Columbia, SC 29201

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