Skip to content

SC SECTION 56-9-470 and Bankruptcy There are different types of suspensions of licenses.
1. temporal suspensions. For example, if a bankruptcy debtor receives a DUI, points suspension or an implied consent suspension, the statute sets forth a specific period of time for the suspension to run. The debtor stands in the same shoes as anyone else with that kind of suspension and unless the debtor successfully challenges or appeals the suspension, must serve the statutory time. the statutory time.

2. Suspensions that are imposed but the debtor’s having owed a debt or fees to the Department or third parties such as judgment creditors or as yet not adjudicated claims arising from accidents in which the debtor was or may be at fault, or did not have insurance. As a general rule, if the debtor properly lists the debt in the schedules, if will be recognized that the debt or fee is subject to the stay and the DMV will lift the suspension at least until the Court determines the claim.
> Specific examples are insurance lapse suspensions that have a specific time for suspension but the statute provides for reinstatement fees or per diem fees for the period of time the registered vehicle remained uninsured. >> The suspension time may run but under ordinary circumstances there is a stop on the license or registration until those fees are paid. 
>> A specific exception to these suspensions is the  Uninsured Motorist suspension which carries a fine of $550. The auto insurance law requires all motorist owning registrable vehicles to maintain insurance. When they have an accident and are found not to have maintained insurance, the law deems that they owe $550 fee for having chosen not to have insurance.
>>> This particular charge was found by the 4th Circuit in the Williams v. Motley to be essentially a tax that was not dischargeable. Except for the UIM fee, the DMV will typically clear suspensions that depend only on owing a fee or debt at least for the time being.
>>> In some cases, the DMV may believe that a particular owed fee is in the nature of a police powers fine and file a proof of claim or seek to put it in the plan.

3. Finally, there are suspensions based on failure to pay child support, failure to pay traffic ticket, failure to pay taxes or the like.They are electronically placed on the debtor’s record by other government entities. The DMV has no way of evaluating whether they are police power fines or penalties, dischargeable, or not. In those cases the suspension may be subject to the stay, but the debtor or counsel need to approach the applicable government entity and either have them remove the suspension electronically or have the entity forward a letterhead letter saying the fee is cleared or otherwise held in abeyance for the Court.