'Amnesty week' could get drivers with suspended licenses back on the road

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If you've made mistakes that got your license suspended, this week is your opportunity to clear things up and get back behind the wheel.

Driver Suspension Eligibility Week, also known as amnesty week, kicks off Monday.

"This is a great opportunity for drivers to get back on the road," Executive Director Kevin Shwedo said.

During the amnesty week, drivers may be able to reduce or clear the remaining time of their suspension. It is the only time of the year the Department of Motor Vehicles will forgive the suspension period for qualifying suspensions.

The types of suspensions that qualify include:

  • Excessive points for someone under the age of 18.
  • Operating an unlicensed taxi.
  • Operating an uninsured vehicle that they did not own.
  • Operating or allowing someone else to operate an uninsured vehicle.
  • Driving under suspension, excluding alcohol or drug related convictions.

DMV locations in the area could experience longer wait times because of the anticipated increase in customers. But the process to get a suspended license back could take less than 15 minutes.

DMV officials urge people planning to take advantage of the opportunity should make sure they have all required documents when visiting an SCDMV branch to clear their suspension.

Drivers who may qualify must complete the Driver Suspension Eligibility Application (SCDMV form DL-601) and visit an SCDMV branch by Friday. Only drivers who clear all suspensions may apply for a license, the DMV site states. Depending on the type of suspension, drivers may be required to pass the vision, knowledge, and road skills tests before receiving a new license.

Qualified drivers must meet all conditions of their suspension and all fees must be paid and cannot be waived. If required, suspended drivers must get a Certificate of Insurance (SR-22) filed by their insurance company.

If a driver has more than one suspension, the SCDMV will recalculate the suspension time. Drivers with suspensions not covered by the program will need to continue serving those suspensions.

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