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Conway Criminal Law Blog

South Carolina tourists and the Driver’s License Compact

South Carolina is a great place to take a vacation and many people take advantage of its attractions every year. But what happens if you get a traffic citation, or a more serious vehicle-related charge, while you’re here? Will it impact your license back home?

Agreement between states

Back in the 1960s, the idea began to form that drivers should have one license and one record, regardless of the state in which they live. This idea led to the Driver’s License Compact (DLC). The Compact is an agreement between the various states to share information about individual drivers and the information of any vehicle-related convictions or infractions they receive.

South Carolina is a member of the DLC, which is codified in Section 56-1-610 of its Code. With this law, South Carolina agreed to report every conviction a non-resident receives to the licensing authority of their home state, so long as the home state is also a member of the DLC. Most states are DLC members but a few are not, such as Georgia, Massachusetts and Wisconsin.

Even if your state is not a DLC member, there are other ways information can be shared. But assuming your state is a party, South Carolina will report any traffic violation as well as more serious offenses, such as crimes committed involving a vehicle. What your home state will do with the information, once it receives it, will depend upon its specific laws.

Once you’re home and the citation or conviction is completed in South Carolina, there’s not much you can do about its impact. So if you have a problem while you’re here on vacation, get the help of a South Carolina attorney – they can help you understand your options for stopping the problem at its source, so that it doesn’t follow you home.