Could your driver’s license be suspended without you being aware of it? It’s very possible. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your license if you accumulate enough points on your record or commit certain other violations.
The DMV handles your record and suspension apart from any criminal process. One result of that is many people don’t realize when the DMV has decided to suspend their South Carolina driver’s license.
However, you will face even more consequences if you are caught driving after your license has been suspended, even if you haven’t seen any official notification of your suspension.
Checking Your License Status
If there’s any chance that your license might be suspended, you should stop driving until you’re certain. You can check the status of your license at any DMV, but that would require transportation.
Fortunately, you can also check your driving record online through the South Carolina DMV’s website. This way you don’t have to drive and wait in line at the DMV or sit on hold on the phone. All you have to do is enter your driver’s license number, date of birth and social security number, and the website will return with a simple report on the status of your license.
This report should tell you how many points are on your license and, more importantly, whether or not your license is currently suspended.
Why is My License Suspended?
If you know enough to check your license status online instead of finding out about your suspension when you get pulled over, you already know that something has gone wrong.
Your license can be suspended for any number of reasons, usually related to driving-related crimes or violations that made their way onto your record at the DMV. Any alcohol-related driving offense will get you a suspension, and failing to meet the minimum requirements of auto insurance can also get you in trouble.
You may also find yourself with a suspended license for forgetting to pay a traffic ticket or for getting too many points on your license over time from smaller violations or tickets. Getting caught driving anytime you’re not legally authorized will usually result in a longer suspension as well.
Getting Your License Reinstated
The good news about any license suspension is that it’s only temporary. If you comply with all of the requirements of your punishment and avoid driving while your license is suspended, you can simply apply to have your license reinstated after enough time has passed.
The amount of time you have to wait will depend on the reason for your suspension. It could be as short as a few months or as long as several years. Then you can turn in any necessary paperwork, pay a reinstatement fee, and get back your driving privileges.
If you or your family will suffer hardships from your not being able to drive, you may be able to apply for a restricted license. After a DUI/DWI suspension, you may be able to pay for a temporary restricted license if you are complying with all the other educational requirements of your sentence and you file the proper paperwork.
There are often alternative options like this to help avoid damage to your family or loss of income. It’s never a bad idea to ask an official or speak to an attorney to see what you can do.