This is my second blog post in a series dedicated to reviewing South Carolina laws pertaining to the rights and duties of bikers.

SECTION 56-5-3640. Motorcycle entitled to full use of lane; riding two or more abreast; overtaking and passing; operation in other instances.

(a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This shall not apply to motorcycles operated two abreast in a single lane.

**Many drivers fail to understand that a motorcycle is entitled to the same full use of a lane as if it were a car or truck.

(b) The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.

**The same concept as if you were driving a car.

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic, or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.

**Also known as “lane splitting,” this is not legal in South Carolina.

(Image below was taken from Motorcycle Cruiser)

Lane Splitting image taken from Motorcycle Cruiser

(d) Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two abreast in a single lane.

**As long as it’s only two bikes riding side by side, you are ok:

(Image below was taken from Diamondback Bobbers)

Image taken from Diamondback Bobbers

(e) Items (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.

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There are sections in the South Carolina Code of Laws that specifically address the rights and duties of bikers. While you can access these code sections by clicking here, over the next few weeks I will be tackling individual sections of these South Carolina laws here on my blog.

It’s important as a South Carolina biker to take into account motorcycle laws for your safety and for others on the road.

The first section of South Carolina law I am going to discuss is:

SECTION 56-5-3630. Manner in which motorcycles shall be operated.

(a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto and the operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle unless the motorcycle is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.

Important: If your bike is NOT made to seat 2 people, your only other option to lawfully transport a passenger is to have a side-car.

(b) A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.

Let’s leave the stunts to the stuntmen.

Image taken from

(c) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle or other article which prevents him from keeping both hands on the handlebars.

There are those unfortunate times when you have no choice but to drive a car.

(d) No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.

(e) No person riding upon a motorcycle shall attach himself or the motorcycle to any other vehicle on the roadway.

From personal experience, I think that when this happens it is NOT done on purpose!

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