South Carolina Drivers License Hardship Law


Drivers Hardship License Law – General – South Carolina

1. Does the agency (motor vehicle/DOT) law provide for hardship licenses?

§ 56-5-2951 allows a special restricted driver’s license if he is employed or enrolled in a college or university. The special restricted license shall permit him to drive only to and from work and his place of education and in the course of his employment or education during the period of suspension. The special restricted license also shall permit him to drive to and from the Alcohol Drug Safety Action Program classes or to a court-ordered drug program.

Also, a provisional driver’s license is available under § 56-1-1320. Individuals suspended for first offense driving under the influence or unlawful alcohol concentration will be eligible for a provisional license if they meet the following criteria:

1. They must have or have had a South Carolina driver’s license or be exempt under South Carolina Code of Laws 56-1-30.
2. They must have no other suspensions following the driving under the influence or unlawful alcohol concentration suspension except implied consent, implied consent under 21, BAC of .02 or greater, BAC of .15 or greater deriving from the same incident.
3. They must have enrolled in the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program.
4. They must have a certificate of SR-22 insurance on file with the Department of Public Safety.
5. The cost for a provisional driver’s license is $100.00.

2. Is an agency hearing required before a hardship license is issued?

If a person does not request an administrative hearing within the ten-day period as authorized pursuant to§ 56-5-2951, the person may file with the department a form after enrolling in an approved Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program to apply for a special restricted driver’s license.

3. Do prior offenses prevent me from obtaining a hardship license?

§ 56-1-1320 allows only first offenders of DUI related offenses to receive a provisional license.

4. What are the requirements for getting a hardship license?

The department may issue the special restricted driver’s license only upon showing by the individual that he is employed or enrolled in a college or university, that he lives further than one mile from his place of employment, place of education, or location of his Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program classes, or the location of his court-ordered drug program, and that there is no adequate public transportation between his residence and his place of employment, his place of education, the location of his Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program classes, or the location of his court-ordered drug program. § 56-5-2951.

A fee is required to be paid for issuing the special restricted driving license.

5.  Can minors receive limited driving privileges?

There is no restriction against minors receiving a special restricted driving license under § 56-5-2951.