Defensive Driving in South Carolina
A defensive driving course in South Carolina can benefit motorists in various ways, from reducing points on a driving record to potentially lowering auto insurance costs. Moreover, attending traffic school is a great way to reinforce state laws and regulations and gain new knowledge regarding safe driving practices. While not always mandatory, undergoing these classes can be beneficial regardless of your driving record circumstances.
The available offerings for a defensive driving school in SC include nationally-recognized programs as well as local classes with approved point reduction training. Because taking a defensive driving course online might not be applicable for every motorist, you may benefit from understanding the advantages, costs and potential options available for these classes.
Who can attend traffic school in South Carolina?
A South Carolina DMV traffic school can be beneficial to licensed motorists who have accumulated points on their driving records. Taking and completing a defensive driver course can reduce your total number of points, which lowers your risk of a license suspension.
If you take a defensive driving course when you have accumulated enough points that your license could be suspended, you have to complete the course before the suspension actually begins. Reducing your points after the suspension begins does nothing to cancel or reverse the suspended driving credential.
Types of Defensive Driving Courses in South Carolina
The official defensive driving course in SC must be done in person at an approved location. The course requires eight hours of classroom training and can only be taken after points have been added to your driving record in order to then reduce them. This is the only authorized course that is accepted by the DMV for reducing your total of points. If you want to lower your insurance costs, you will have to discuss your options with your insurer directly.
Classroom vs. Online Traffic School in South Carolina
There is no online traffic school in SC for reducing points on your driving record. Instead, those classes must be completed in person in South Carolina. However, you might be able to take a defensive driving class online in order to obtain a discount on your car insurance. While older motorists often qualify to benefit from this option, it is important to reach out to an insurance provider before registering for any classes.
How to Enroll in a South Carolina Defensive Driving School
You can enroll in a National Safety Council (NSC) Defensive Driving Course online or in an equivalent course at a local driving school. Generally, a South Carolina DMV approved traffic school will indicate whether it is specifically certified to teach the four-point reduction course. In any case, you may find an approved course on the DMV’s annual list of auto schools and then contact the school directly for enrollment details.
Benefits of Completing Traffic School in South Carolina
Completing a driver improvement course in South Carolina could help you in a few different ways. The following are the potential benefits:
- Remove points from your driving record
- Avoid increases on your auto insurance premiums
- Obtain a car insurance discount
- Learn safe driving knowledge and skills
Remove Points From Your Driving Record
Successfully completing a defensive driving course in SC can remove four points from your driving record. However, note that a point reduction class can only be taken once in a three-year period and will only remove four points. Therefore, you must still be careful not to accrue too many points to reach the level of a license suspension.
Avoid Increases on Your Auto Insurance Premiums
A driver improvement program might also help you to lower your auto insurance premium or to avoid an increase altogether. This will be based upon the rules of your insurance provider and has no connection to the point reduction course organized by the SC DMV. In any case, you must contact your insurance company to discuss your options.
Obtain a Car Insurance Discount
You could benefit from a driver safety course insurance discount if your insurer approves these types of courses. Nonetheless, be sure to contact your auto insurance provider to discuss your options before registering for any classes.
Learn Safe Driving Knowledge and Skills
A driving safety course is a good idea for all drivers, regardless of point accumulation. Reviewing safe driving practices and state traffic regulations can help ensure that all motorists are safe on the road. A refresher course can be especially helpful for drivers who may have finished driver’s education many decades ago when rules were quite different.
South Carolina Defensive Driving Class Curriculum Details
A South Carolina defensive driving class typically lasts eight hours and requires participants to attend in person for the entirety of the session. The class format includes videos, animated graphics and illustrations that help instructors in reviewing hazard perception, vehicle maintenance and more. Once you complete the full session to the satisfaction of the course coordinator, you can request the four-point reduction on your driving record.
South Carolina Defensive Driving Certificates
A defensive driving certificate of completion proves that you have done the required coursework for a four-point reduction on your driving record. Be sure to confirm with the school where you take the course as to whether you need to submit this certificate to the DMV or if the school will do it on your behalf.
South Carolina Traffic School Versus Drivers Education
It is important for motorists to be mindful that a SC traffic school is different from a driver’s education program. Defensive driver school is for fully-licensed drivers to review driving laws and regulations, while driver’s ed is for those who are learning how to drive and are not yet licensed motorists.
South Carolina Defensive Driving Course Fees
Fees for defensive driving courses in SC can vary since each local school will set its own rates. However, as a general rule, you can expect to pay between $75 and $100 for these classes, with schedules varying depending on necessity and availability of instructors.