Driving a Squatted Truck in South Carolina Can Get Your License Pulled for a Year

Violators who “Carolina squat” face a maximum of $300 fine and a one-year license suspension in some states, soon to be including South Carolina.

byNico DeMattia|
Myrtle Beach Cam. YouTube
Myrtle Beach Cam. YouTube.


On November 12 2023, South Carolina issued a ban on the "Carolina Squat," the modification that lifts the front end of a vehicle higher than the rear. However, to give owners of "squatted" vehicles a chance to remedy them before getting in trouble, police were only dishing out warnings for the first six months. Well, that six-month grace period comes to an end on May 10 and drivers caught with squatted vehicles will face fines and potential loss of license.

Traditionally speaking, a Carolina Squat is when any vehicle—usually a pickup truck—is lifted significantly higher in the front than it is at the back. South Carolina law accounts for the inverse too, though. "'Squatted' vehicles include those with a front or rear fender raised four or more inches higher than the other," said the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (DOPS).

To make sure owners don't just eat the fines to keep their trucks the way they'd like, the penalties ascend for each continued offense. First offenders will get a $100 fine and second-time offenders receive a $200 fine. However, anyone who's pulled over for a Carolina Squat three times will not only get a $300 fine but they'll also lose their driver's license for a year.

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South Carolina isn't the only state to ban such squatting. North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee also banned it, though the latter's first offense fine is $250, higher than South Carolina's.

Why are states banning this modification? Safety. Forward visibility becomes compromised once you aim the driver's point-of-view skyward and headlights become even more blinding. You're also introducing some very wonky steering geometry.

Maybe I'm just an old man yelling at clouds but don't see the visual appeal of the Carolina Squat. It reminds me of a dog doing a gross butt-scoot across a carpet. So I won't be sad to see the squat go, especially since it can be a safety hazard.

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