Out of State Drivers

If I get a speeding ticket in Myrtle Beach, SC, but I am licensed in another state, how will it affect my license?

If you are an out-of-state driver who got a traffic ticket in South Carolina, it will affect your license in your home state – your Columbia, SC speeding ticket lawyer must be able to determine:

  1. How the SC ticket – as written - will affect your license in your home state; and
  2. What options are available to avoid or minimize the effect on your license in your home state.
Will SC Report My Speeding Ticket to My State’s DMV?


South Carolina and most other states report are members of the “Interstate Driver’s License Compact,” which means that SC will report speeding tickets and other traffic offense convictions – including DUI (driving under the influence) and DUS (driving under suspension) - to your home state.

How Will a SC Traffic Ticket Affect My Driver’s License?

The effect of your speeding ticket on your license in your home state will depend on:

  • How fast you were going;
  • Your driving record;
  • Which state you are licensed in; and
  • The penalties in your home state for a comparable violation.

When SC reports the violation to your home state’s DMV, your DMV will then impose penalties (points or suspension) based on your home state’s traffic laws. To complicate things, there may be exceptions that are specific to your state.

For example, if you are a North Carolina resident who received a 4-point SC traffic ticket for speeding faster than 70 mph, your NC license could be suspended for thirty days under some circumstances.

But, obtaining a reduction in points or a re-write of the ticket to a no-point violation could result in your South Carolina ticket having no effect on your North Carolina license. The effect of a South Carolina speeding ticket on your license will be different from state to state and depending on the facts of your case.

What do Out-of-State Drivers Need to Know About Reckless Driving and Careless Operation?

Another common issue with out-of-state drivers is the distinction between reckless driving and careless operation.

South Carolina’s municipal (city) courts often have a traffic offense called “careless operation” that is not available under state law. Careless operation is often offered by the court as an alternative to a speeding ticket or other traffic violation for out-of-state drivers, because careless operation is a no-point violation under SC law.

The fine is higher, but you avoid all points, and everyone is happy, right?

Unless your home state treats “careless operation” as a “reckless driving” – and many states do, including North Carolina. North Carolina does not recognize careless operation as a traffic offense, and reckless driving is the only comparable offense under NC law.

If you accept a rewrite of your ticket to “careless operation” with the court’s assurances that it has no effect on your license, NC may suspend your license when it is notified…

SC Out-of-State Traffic Ticket Attorney in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Lexington

Lacey Thompson limits her law practice to criminal defense, including speeding tickets and other traffic violations, to better serve her clients. She will determine the possible impact of your ticket on your out of state license and how to avoid or minimize any negative effects.

In most cases, there is no need to return to the area once you have retained a speeding ticket lawyer. Your attorney will appear in court for you and keep you informed at each stage of the proceedings. Call the Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm now at 843-444-6122 or contact us online for a free consultation.