How to Get a South Carolina Driver’s License Reinstatement

A South Carolina driver’s license reinstatement usually costs $100, but you’ll need to pay all fines and fees before getting your license back.
Written by Macy Fouse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In South Carolina, having your driver’s license reinstated may be as easy as paying off your fines and the reinstatement fee—but for major offenses, you’ll need to take a required safety or driving course before getting your driving privileges back.
After losing your driver’s license, your top priority is probably getting it back. Sometimes all it takes is finishing your suspension period and paying a reinstatement fee, but these rules depend on the severity of the offense. Plus, the regulations are different in every state.
In South Carolina, a driver’s license reinstatement usually costs $100, but the requirements can be confusing. That’s why
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South Carolina car insurance
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Why you might need a license reinstatement in South Carolina

South Carolina DMV
suspends and revokes driver’s licenses for several reasons. You could have your license suspended for getting a
or accumulating too many
driver's license points
, and your license can be revoked for committing a felony with a vehicle or committing vehicular manslaughter. 
In South Carolina, you don’t automatically regain your driving privileges just because your suspension period is over. While the reinstatement requirements generally stay the same for each person, you can call (803) 896-5000 or visit an
SCDMV office
if you have specific questions about your case.

How to get a license reinstatement in South Carolina

While your route may differ depending on your specific charge, South Carolina typically requires the following before reinstating your license:
  • Fulfill your suspension period
  • Satisfy any court requirements
  • Pay any legal fines or fees
  • Pay the driver’s license reinstatement fee of $100
  • Complete an alcohol and drug safety program, if applicable
  • Install an ignition interlock device on your car, if applicable

Point suspensions

In South Carolina, your license can be suspended if you accumulate 12 or more points on your driving record—and the length of suspension goes up with the number of points on your record. If you aren’t sure where you stand, you can
check the points
on your record through the DMV website.
If your license got suspended due to point violations, you’ll be expected to follow the same route to reinstatement as any other suspension. However, you may be able to lower the number of points on your record by taking an SCDMV-approved defensive driving course. 


If your South Carolina license was revoked, you can begin the reinstatement process after your revocation period ends. Then you’ll follow the same procedure as a suspension reinstatement. The reinstatement fee for a revoked license reinstatement is also $100, though you may have other fees to pay depending on your specific case. 
Key Takeaway In many cases, you can get your license reinstated by paying any required fees, though alcohol-related cases require an alcohol and drug safety program to be reinstated. 
MORE: How to get car insurance with a bad driving record
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How to get a hardship license in South Carolina

Getting around without a license can be nearly impossible, so South Carolina allows some drivers with certain charges to apply for hardship or provisional licenses so they can get to work, school, or court-appointed programs.
South Carolina offers
three different types
of hardship licenses depending on your case: a provisional driver’s license, a route restricted driver’s license, and a temporary alcohol license. Each of these licenses costs $100.
The provisional driver’s license is a six-month license for first-time DUI offenders. The route restricted license is more like a traditional hardship license. You can apply for a route-restricted license by filling out
SCDMV Form DL-127
and mailing it to the following address: 
Driver Records
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0028
The temporary alcohol license (TAL) is given to DUI offenders who are awaiting the results of their hearing, and you can use it up until you receive the results. If your suspension continues as a result of the hearing, you’ll have to return the TAL to the DMV; then you can apply for a route restricted license if eligible. 

Who can you apply for a hardship license?

Drivers who have suspended licenses for first-time DUIs are eligible for a six-month provisional license if they meet the following requirements:
  • You have a valid SC driver’s license (before suspension)
  • You have met requirements for prior suspension or revocations
  • You had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 or less
  • You have no other suspensions on your record
  • You’re enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program
  • You pay the $100 fee for a provisional license
For a route-restricted license, you can apply if your charge meets their
and you have never had a route-restricted license before.

What is an SR-22 certificate?

If your South Carolina license has been suspended or revoked, you’ll need to file for an SR-22 with your insurance company. This certificate serves as legal proof that you meet South Carolina’s minimum insurance requirements. 
If you’ve had a DUI, a reckless driving charge, or are considered a high-risk driver, you’ll be required to have an
SR-22 in South Carolina
You’ll file for the certificate through your insurance company and pay a fee, usually less than $50. When you file for an SR-22, you can expect to see your insurance premiums increase significantly. 
MORE: How to fill out and file an SR-22

How to save money on car insurance in South Carolina

With a license suspension or SR-22 filing on your record, finding cheap
car insurance quotes online
will be more crucial than ever. Your increased rates may also be unpredictable since every insurance provider uses different methods to calculate premiums. That’s why it’s smartest to do a thorough comparison of all of your options—but that could take a while.
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