• Any lighted lamp or illuminating device on a motor vehicle (other than headlamps, spot lamps, auxiliary lamps, flashing turn signals and emergency vehicle warning lamps) which projects a beam of light of an intensity greater than 3770 lumens must be so directed that the beam will not strike the level of the road at a distance of more than 75 feet from the vehicle.
  • A person may not drive any vehicle on a highway with any lamp or device on it that displays a red or blue light visible from directly in front of its center. Blue lights are generally prohibited.
  • A flashing light or rotating lights other than turn signals are generally prohibited. In addition to headlights and tail lights, vehicles in South Carolina are allowed to have additional lighting including at least two fog lights (see below).
  • South Carolina headlights laws

    Lighting laws in South Carolina

    2012 South Carolina Code of Laws

    Title 56 - Motor Vehicles

    Chapter 5 - UNIFORM ACT REGULATING TRAFFIC ON HIGHWAYS

    Department of Transportation Department of Transportation


    Section 56-5-4450 - Times when vehicles must be equipped with lights.

    Every vehicle upon a street or highway within this State shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices, excluding parking lights, from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise, and at any other time when windshield wipers are in use as a result of rain, sleet, or snow, or when inclement weather or environmental factors severely reduce the ability to clearly discern persons and vehicles on the street or highway at a distance of five hundred feet ahead as required in this article for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles as provided in this article; provided, however, the provisions of this section requiring use of lights in conjunction with the use of windshield wipers shall not apply to instances when windshield wipers are used intermittently in misting rain, sleet, or snow. Until January 1, 1989, any person who fails to display the lights of a vehicle he is operating when lights are required by this section due to inclement weather or environmental factors may be issued only a warning ticket.

    Any person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, may be fined up to twenty-five dollars.

    Section 56-5-4490 - Head lamps required on motor vehicles and motorcycles.

    Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle or motor-driven cycle shall be equipped with at least two head lamps with at least one on each side of the front of the motor vehicle. Such head lamps shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in this article. 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.

    Colors Restrictions Colors Restrictions


    SECTION 56-5-4590. Color of clearance lamps, side-marker lamps, reflectors, stop lights and back-up lamps.

    Front clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color. Rear clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall display or reflect a red color. All lighting devices and reflectors mounted on the rear of any vehicle shall display or reflect a red color, except the stop light or other signal device, which may be red, amber or yellow and except that the light illuminating the license plate or the light emitted by a back-up lamp shall be white.

    Equipment Restricted Equipment Restricted


    Section 56-5-4830 - Special restrictions on lamps; degree of intensity; red, blue and flashing lights.

    Any lighted lamp or illuminating device upon a motor vehicle, other than head lamps, spot lamps, auxiliary lamps, flashing turn signals, emergency vehicle warning lamps, and school bus warning lamps, which project a beam of light of an intensity greater than three hundred candlepower shall be so directed that no part of the high intensity portion of the beam will strike the level of the roadway on which the vehicle stands at a distance of more than seventy-five feet from the vehicle.

    A person shall not drive, move, or park any vehicle or equipment upon a highway with a lamp or device on it displaying a red or blue light visible from directly in front of the center of it. This section shall not apply to a vehicle upon which a red or blue light visible from the front is expressly authorized or required by this chapter.

    Flashing lights are prohibited except on an authorized emergency vehicle, school bus, snow-removal equipment, or on any vehicle as a means of indicating a right or left turn or the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring unusual care in approaching, overtaking, or passing.

    Other Rules Other Rules


    Headlights: 2 minimum

    • minimum height: 24 inches
    • maximum height: 54 inches

    Tail lights: 1 minimum

    • minimum height: 20 inches
    • maximum height: 60 inches

    Spot lights: 1 maximum

    • minimum height: n/a
    • maximum height: n/a

    Fog lights: 2 maximum

    • minimum height: 12 inches
    • maximum height: 30 inches

    Auxiliary passing lights: 1 maximum

    • minimum height: 24 inches
    • maximum height: 42 inches

    Auxiliary driving lights: 1 maximum

    • minimum height: 16 inches
    • maximum height: 42 inches

    Notice! This page contains only a list of recommendations. Kensun does not give any LEGAL advice. Please be sure to refer to a lawyer, local DOT or Police Department for further assistance.