Drivers who have lost their driving privileges may be able to reduce the time of or clear their suspensions this week through the Aiken office of the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.Every SCDMV office statewide is participating in the Driver Suspension Eligibility Week 2012. The program runs through Saturday in Aiken.Drivers with qualifying suspensions on their licenses but with an otherwise clear record must complete an application and visit the DMV office to apply for a license.Qualifying suspensions are drivers under 18 years of age suspended for excessive points, those suspended for operating an unlicensed taxi or vehicle, drivers suspended for operating an uninsured vehicle they did not own, those suspended for operating or allowing operating of an uninsured vehicle and drivers suspended for driving under suspension, excluding alcohol or drug-related convictions.This is the second year the SCDMV has offered the program. Last year, only 16 offices participated. This year, the program is statewide.Last year, 233 people participated in Driver Suspension Eligibility Week, and 371 suspensions were cleared, according to SCDMV Communications Director Beth Parks."Some people had more than one suspension," she said of the difference in the numbers.To be eligible for the program, drivers must meet all of the conditions of their suspensions. All fees must be paid and any required insurance must be filed. If a driver has more than one suspension, DMV will recalculate the suspension time. Drivers with suspensions not covered by the program will still need to serve that suspension.Depending on the type of suspension, they may be required to take the vision, knowledge and road skills tests before getting a new driver's license.The SCDMV Aiken office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Wednesday when all offices are closed for training. The office is also open on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.The office is located at 1755 Richland Ave. E.For more information, visit www.scdmvonline.com.Haley Hughes has spent five years as the Aiken County government reporter with the Aiken Standard. Hughes, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, hails from Knoxville, Tenn.
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