What Is The Traffic Education Program (TEP)?
The Traffic Education Program (TEP) is a diversion program overseen by the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office. This program was established in South Carolina to educate the driver while giving him/her the opportunity to have eligible citations dismissed in order to maintain a clean driving record.
Who Is Eligible For The Traffic Education Program (TEP)?
To be eligible for TEP, the citation the defendant received must be associated with a violation carrying four (4) points or less. In addition, a defendant may not participate if the defendant already has more than four (4) points against his/her driving record. No one who has previously participated in any Traffic Education Program (TEP) will be accepted. TEP is a one-time opportunity. Prior Pretrial Intervention (PTI) and Alcohol Education Program (AEP) clients are eligible.
What Are The TEP Requirements?
Successful completion of the Traffic Education Program (TEP) requires completion of four (4) hours of community service for a non-profit agency as well as the completion of a four (4) hour defensive driving education course (additional cost).
How Do You Apply For TEP?
Any defendant issued a traffic citation must appear at his/her court date and request a referral, to the Traffic Education Program (TEP), from the Court. The Court will then forward the referral to the Solicitor’s Office. Once a TEP referral is received by the Solicitor’s Office, a letter will be mailed to the defendant providing a date, time, and location of his/her enrollment appointment. At the enrollment appointment, a fee of $280 is due to the Traffic Education Program. This enrollment fee must be paid in the form of two (2) Money Orders ($140 each) made payable to Traffic Education Program. This enrollment fee is non-refundable. Any defendant wanting to participate in TEP must also provide a picture ID, a Social Security card, and all paperwork relating to the charge at the time of their enrollment appointment.
What If I Reside Out-Of-State Or County?
Any defendant residing out-of-state or outside of the county that the citation was issued in may still participate in the Traffic Education Program (TEP). The TEP office will mail an application to the defendant to complete and return to the TEP office. It is the responsibility of the defendant to complete a defensive driving education course and find a non-profit agency, in their area, in order to complete community service. Out-of-state defendants must provide the Traffic Education Program with a copy of their current driving record.
Upon successful completion of the community service and the defensive driving education course, the Court will be notified to dismiss the referred citation. If a defendant fails to complete any required portion of the Traffic Education Program (TEP), the citation will be referred back to the court. The defendant will then be notified, by mail, of a new court date/time.
Things To Remember
A few things to keep in mind when considering the Traffic Education Program (TEP):
- The Traffic Education Program (TEP) law requires that the citation remain pending for six (6) months from the date of the citation and completion of the TEP requirements have been fulfilled.
- Defendants enrolled in TEP must not receive another traffic citation during the six (6) month period following the issuance of the citation for which he/she entered the Traffic Education Program (TEP). A new traffic citation would result in termination from the program and a return to court.
- Upon successful completion of TEP, the defendant is eligible to apply for an Order of Expungement.
Traffic Education Program (TEP) Office Locations