When riding your motorcycle in South Carolina, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the laws you and other motorists are expected to follow. While motorcycle regulations do tend to differ from state to state, you will usually be on the right side of the law so long as you are doing everything you can to protect yourself and your fellow motorists. Check out our page on motorcycle safety tips for some basic suggestions.

Helmet Laws in South Carolina

South Carolina state law requires drivers under 21 to wear a state-approved helmet with goggles or face shields. While drivers over 21 are not legally required to wear helmets, it’s a good idea from the perspective of safety and civil law. South Carolina has a policy of “shared fault” in accident lawsuits, splitting damages between all the responsible parties.

In practice, this means that you may find it difficult to recover damages after a motorcycle accident if you were not wearing a helmet. Even if the accident was entirely the fault of the other driver, they can argue that you contributed to your own injuries by not wearing a helmet. You will end up paying for more of your medical care, rehabilitation, and repairs to your motorcycle than if you had taken all reasonable safety precautions.

South Carolina License and Lane Laws

To get a motorcycle license in South Carolina, you must be at least 15 years old and have held a permit for a minimum of 180 days. A written test is required for a permit. A written and practical test are both required for a motorcycle license.

Motorcycles have the right to occupy a full lane of traffic by themselves. Two motorcycles can also ride side-by-side, but a motorcycle and a car cannot share a lane. “Lane-splitting,” or riding between two lanes of traffic, is not allowed, nor is passing a car while in the same lane as the car.

Motorcycle Law Resources

For more information on motorcycle laws in South Carolina, read the laws from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety’s website. Remember, obeying the laws and practicing safe driving isn’t just a good way to avoid a ticket–it’s a good way to prevent a potentially fatal crash.