Interviewer: Does South Carolina participate in the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, and if so, could you explain what that is?
Freddy: Yes. South Carolina does participate in the interstate compact. The interstate compact generally means that states such as South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, or multiple states, have decided to go by the same set of standards and to apply the same set of penalties for certain infractions.
If you’re in Georgia, and you get a six-point speeding ticket in Georgia, but you have a South Carolina license, then, South Carolina will impose the corresponding six-point suspension on you, or whatever suspension they have on the books. If Georgia had a six-point suspension for it, then South Carolina has a six-point suspension for it.
If you get a Georgia ticket, and you pay it or you get in trouble for it or plead guilty, then South Carolina will impose a corresponding six-month suspension or six-point ticket with that. Whatever you get in one state, because of the interstate compact, you can get it in another state or that state will impose its own corresponding suspension.
Interviewer: People who get an offense out-of-state and are hoping South Carolina won’t see it, that’s probably not a good hope. Right?
Freddy: This is very important. This is what I call “9/11 aftermath.” It used to be, in days gone by, that South Carolina had its own system, North Carolina maintained its own system, Georgia maintained its own system, and Tennessee maintained its own system. If you have a license in South Carolina but you ended up with traffic tickets or speeding tickets that would suspend your license in Tennessee, then you just paid the fines in Tennessee and South Carolina never knew.
After 9/11, they merged. As the Patriot Act, they merged the computer systems. The same thing that allows them to catch a terrorist, to have a South Carolina license and then goes to Georgia, or California, will allow them to catch a person who commits a traffic violation, has a traffic offense or violation in another state.
If you’re in Tennessee now, and you get a South Carolina ticket, South Carolina’s going to end up knowing about it eventually and they’re going to suspend your license or impose that point value that corresponds to their law.
By Freddy Woods