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South Carolina Motorcycle Helmet Law

This list of South Carolina motorcycle helmet laws is a reference only and you should always refer to the South Carolina D.O.T. for current requirements.  Please e-mail us if you believe our South Carolina motorcycle helmet law information is out of date or otherwise incorrect.

South Carolina has helmet laws that exempt adult riders, riders over the age of majority -- 21 years old and over!

STATUTE:

Title 56. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 5. uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways. Article 29. Motorcyclists; Rights and Duties Thereof. Section 56-5-3660. Helmets shall be worn by operators and passengers under age twenty-one; helmet design; list of approved helmets. :
"It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to operate or ride upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type approved by the department. . . ."

STANDARDS:

Title 56. Motor Vehicles. Chapter 5. uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways. Article 29. Motorcyclists; Rights and Duties Thereof. Section 56-5-3660. Helmets shall be worn by operators and passengers under age twenty-one; helmet design; list of approved helmets. :
" . . . a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap and be reflectorized on both sides thereof. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved helmets which meet the specifications as established hereunder."

Eye Protection
Required under age 21.
Required unless equipped with wind screen.

Daytime Use Of Headlight
Required by law.
Modulating headlight permitted.

Passenger Seat
Required if carrying a passenger.

Passenger Footrests
Required if carrying a passenger.

Mirror
Required by law.

Periodic Safety Inspection
Required by law.

65 MPH Speed Limit
In effect on designated rural interstate highways.

Handlebar Height Requirements
(b) No person shall operate any motorcycle with handlebars more than fifteen inches in height above that portion of the seat occupied by the operator.


SOUTH CAROLINA: DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF CLOTHING OR CLUB MEMBERSHIP IS ILLEGAL

South Carolina's Equal Enjoyment and Privileges to Public Accommodations Act; S.C Code Section 45-9-10, makes it a crime to deny the full and equal enjoyment of services, facilities privileges, accommodations and goods due to discrimination. The United States Supreme Court ruled (Cohen v. South Carolina 403 U.S.15, 1971), that individuals have the constitutional right under the first Amendment to wear clothing which displays writing or designs. Additionally the right of an individual to freedom of association has been recognized and protected by the Supreme Court A person's right to wear clothing of his choice, along with the right to belong to any club or organization of his choice is constitutionally protected, and persons or establishments who discriminate on the basis of clothing or club membership are subject to lawsuits.

South Carolina Motorcycle Laws
The following South Carolina Motorcycle Laws are provided here by ABATE of South Carolina.

ARTICLE 29.

MOTORCYCLISTS; RIGHTS AND DUTIES THEREOF

SECTION 56-5-3610. Rights and duties of operator of motorcycle generally.

Every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the drivers of motor vehicles, except as to special regulations or other provisions of law which by their nature would not apply.

SECTION 56-5-3630. Manner in which motorcycles shall be operated.

(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
(b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
(d) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
(e) No person riding upon a motorcycle shall attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on the roadway.

SECTION 56-5-3640. Motorcycle entitled to full use of lane; riding two or more abreast; overtaking and passing; operation in other instances.

(a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.
(b) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
(d) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.
(e) Items (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

SECTION 56-5-3650. Footrests; position of handlebars; rear view mirror.

(a) Any motorcycle carrying a passenger, other than in a sidecar or enclosed cab, shall be equipped with footrests for such passenger.
(b) No person shall operate any motorcycle with handlebars more than fifteen inches in height above that portion of the seat occupied by the operator.
(c) No person shall operate any motorcycle unless it is equipped with a rear view mirror which will afford the operator ample vision to the rear at all times.

SECTION 56-5-3660. Helmets shall be worn by operators and passengers under age twenty-one; helmet design; list of approved helmets.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to operate or ride upon a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears a protective helmet of a type approved by the department. Such a helmet must be equipped with either a neck or chin strap and be reflectorized on both sides thereof. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering the types of helmets and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved helmets which meet the specifications as established hereunder.

SECTION 56-5-3670. Goggles or face shields shall be worn by operators under age twenty-one; list of approved goggles and face shields.

It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of twenty-one to operate a two-wheeled motorized vehicle unless he wears goggles or a face shield of a type approved by the department. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering types of goggles and face shields and the specifications therefor and to establish and maintain a list of approved goggles and face shields which meet the specifications as established hereunder.

SECTION 56-5-3680. Wind screens.

The provisions of Section 56-5-3670 with respect to goggles and face shields shall not apply to the operator of a two-wheeled motorized vehicle equipped with a wind screen meeting specifications established by the department. The department is hereby authorized to adopt and amend regulations covering types of wind screens and specifications therefor.

SECTION 56-5-3690. Unlawful to sell or distribute helmets, goggles or face shields not approved by Department.

It shall be unlawful to sell, offer for sale or distribute any protective helmets, goggles or face shields for use by the operators of two-wheeled motorized vehicles, or protective helmets for the use of passengers thereon, unless they are of a type and specification approved by the department and appear on the list of approved devices maintained by the department.

SECTION 56-5-3700. Penalty for violation of Sections 56-5-3660 to 56-5-3690S.

Any person violating the provisions of Sections 56-5-3660 to 56-5-3690 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days.

ARTICLE 31.

MISCELLANEOUS TRAFFIC RULES

SECTION 56-5-3835. Driving upon sidewalk.

No person shall drive any vehicle upon a sidewalk or sidewalk area except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.

SECTION 56-5-3885. Unlawful to display obscene bumper sticker.

(A) No person may operate a motor vehicle in this State which has affixed or attached to any part of the motor vehicle which is visible to members of the public not occupying the vehicle any sticker, decal, emblem, or other device containing obscene or indecent words, photographs, or depictions.
(B) Obscene words, photographs, or depictions must be defined and interpreted as provided in Section 16-15-305(B), (C), (D), and (E).
(C) A sticker, decal, emblem, or device is indecent when:
(1) taken as a whole, it describes, in a patently offensive way, as determined by contemporary community standards, sexual acts, excretory functions, or parts of the human body; and
(2) taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.
(D) A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A) is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars