Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the age requirements for seatbelt use for young children?
A: The Driver is responsible for anyone seventeen (17) years of age or younger if the occupant does not have a driver's license, special restricted license, or a beginner's permit.  The following chart explains the seat belt law for young children:

Rear Seat:

  • All children under six (6) years of age must be in the REAR SEAT of a motor vehicle.
  • Birth to one (1) year or less than twenty (20) pounds must be in a rear facing seat.
  • At least age one (1) to age six (6), or twenty to forty (20 - 40) pounds must be secured by a forward facing child safety seat.
  • At least age one (1) to age six (6) or forty to eighty (40 - 80) pounds must be secured by a belt-positioning  booster seat.
  • At least age one (1) to age six (6) and more than eighty (80) pounds, the child may be restrained in an adult safety belt.

Front Seat:

  • Child must be at least six (6) years of age and have a lap and shoulder restraints in place.

Q: Is it okay for children to ride in the back of a pickup or open trailer?
A: It is unlawful to transport a person under 15 years of age in the open bed or cargo area of a pickup truck or trailer; an open bed or open cargo area is a bed or area without permanent overhead restraining construction except if the following conditions exist:

  • An adult is in the bed or the cargo area of the vehicle and is supervising the child.
  • The child is secured or restrained by a seat belt manufactured in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standard 208 installed to support a load of not less than 500 pounds for each belt and of a type approved by the SC Department of Public Safety.
  • Emergency situation exists.
  • The vehicle is being operated in an organized hayride or in parade pursuant to a valid permit.
  • The vehicle is being operated while hunting or in an agricultural enterprise.
  • The vehicle is being operated in a county which has no incorporated area with a population of more than 2,500.
  • The vehicle has a closed metal tailgate and is being operated less than 36 miles per hour.

     A violation of this law carries a fine of $25.00.  There are no points assessed for this violation.


Q: My neighbor discharges a firearm on his property. What are the laws relating to the discharge of a firearm?
A: There is no law or Pickens County ordinance prohibiting the discharging of a weapon in the county. There is a law prohibiting the discharge of a weapon into or toward a dwelling.  Also, under the Public Disorderly Conduct statute, it is unlawful to discharge a weapon within fifty feet of a roadway. A person may discharge a weapon while on his own property, in a safe manner with no danger to persons or property nearby.


Q: I am a victim of Criminal Domestic Violence. How may I obtain an Order of Protection?
A: All victims seeking an Order of Protection must go through the Victim's Service Office located at the Pickens County Sheriff's Office. They will assist the victim in this process. This procedure is followed regardless of the issuance of an arrest warrant for Criminal Domestic Violence.


Q: What is a Trespass Notice?  How do I obtain one?  How long is it in effect once it has been issued?
A: A Trespass Notice is a legal document issued by an officer of the Pickens County Sheriff's Office. The purpose of this document is to place a person on notice that it is unlawful for him/her to return to the premises or other designated location as stated on the notice owned/occupied by the person signing the notice. Once the notice has been personally served, either by the Sheriff's Office or by Certified Mail, the person named on the notice is subject to arrest for Trespassing if the notice is violated. Trespassing carries a maximum penalty of $425.00 or 30 days in jail or both. All Trespass Notices are in effect until the person who signed it comes to the Sheriff's Office and has the notice removed.


Q: How do I obtain a concealed weapon permit?
A: A concealed weapon permit is issued by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.  There are a number of requirements and associated costs.