South Carolina Motorcycle Inspection Requirements

South Carolina required vehicle safety inspections, including motorcycle inspections, until 1995, when South Carolina ceased to require vehicle inspections.

The state abandoned inspections mainly due to complaints by service centers that performed the inspections. Out of the $3 inspection fee, $2.50 went to the inspection station, but this small amount was insufficient to cover the cost of performing the 20-minute inspection. Proposals to increase the inspection fee were not successful.

Still, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles advises riders to “Keep Your Motorcycle in Good Condition,” with the following recommendations:

  • Carry your owner’s manual at all times.
  • Follow all scheduled maintenance recommendations.
  • Keep a tool kit with spare parts including spark plugs, fuses, and tire repair material.
  • Before riding, always check your motorcycle’s brakes and steering, tires, oil and fuel levels, chains, sprockets, cables, and lights.

Additionally, South Carolina motorcycle laws set forth requirements for motorcycle components that are similar to aspects of motorcycle inspections in other states.

Below are excerpts from those materials, emphasis added:

Turn signals (Section 56-5-2180)

Any motor vehicle in use on a highway shall be equipped with, and required signal shall be given by, signal lamps when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the left outside limit of the body, cab or load of such motor vehicle exceeds twenty-four inches or when the distance from the center of the top of the steering post to the rear limit of the body or load thereof exceeds fourteen feet. The latter measurement shall apply to any single vehicle or to any combination of vehicles.

Rear view mirrors (Section 56-5-3650)

A person shall not 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.

Headlights (Sections 56-5-4490, 56-5-4500, 56-5-4830)

Every motorcycle and every motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with at least one and not more than two head lamps which shall comply with the requirements and limitations of this article.

Complete, up-to-date details on South Carolina motorcycle laws and statutes are available here.