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Employment Disqualifiers & Tattoo Policy

**See below updated policy regarding tattoos (8-1-17) **

Please read the following information carefully before applying. The list below includes the SCHP automatic disqualifiers. If you meet any of these, you are disqualified from employment.

  • Under 21 years of age at the time when recruits report to training academy
  • Not a United States Citizen
  • No High School Diploma or G.E.D.
  • Dishonorable Discharge from the military
  • Convicted of any crime punishable by imprisonment in a federal or a state prison
  • Convicted of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and/or Drugs within the past 5 years
  • Any conviction of Criminal Domestic Violence
  • Driver’s license currently suspended, revoked, or Six (6) or more points currently assessed against your license
  • Cannot meet minimum vision standards: (20/20 vision OR no more than 20/100 corrected to 20/20)
  • Any felony conviction (whether convicted as a juvenile or an adult)


Body Piercings which are visible anytime while on duty and/or in uniform are prohibited. This does not apply to piercing of the ear lobes on female troopers.


Please read excerpts from the new policy regarding tattoo regulations:

  • Content
    • The display of any offensive image, phrase, or other expression contained within a Visible Tattoo/Body Art shall be prohibited. Offensive images, phrases, or other expressions shall include but not be limited to:
      • Depictions of nudity, violence, or criminal activity;
      • Sexually explicit/vulgar art, words, or profane language;
      • Symbols likely to incite a strong negative reaction in any group; or
      • Initials, symbolism, or acronyms that represent criminal or historically oppressive organizations, gangs, or activities.
    • Visible Tattoos/Body Art may not contain any unapproved reference to SCDPS or any of its divisions or any political affiliation or message.
  • Location
    • Tattoos/Body Art are not permitted on the neck, face, head, or the area of the chest that would be visible while an SCDPS officer is wearing official attire or in uniform wearing a properly-fitting crew neck t-shirt.
    • Tattoos/Body Art are not permitted on the hands with the exception of a single band tattoo on one finger of either the right or left hand that cannot exceed 3/8 of an inch in width.
  • Appearance While in Uniform
    • Except as specified in Section (IV)( B)(2)(b), under no circumstances shall a Tattoo/Body Art be seen by another while the officer is in any SCDPS uniform or off duty in a position to be recognized as an SCDPS officer (i.e., working special assignments or off duty assignments while considered to be representing the department in uniform or approved civilian attire). Officers with approved and previously-defined Visible Tattoos have the following options to cover the Tattoo(s)/Body Art:
      • The Tattoo(s)/Body Art shall be covered by a Tattoo/Body Art cover-up sleeve without any design or logo that most closely matches the skin tone of the officer and completely covers the Tattoo(s)/Body Art. Cover-up sleeves shall be approved by the appropriate Division Director or his/her designee and provided by the officer. The officer shall ensure the cover-up sleeve remains clean, in good working condition, and professionally presentable to the public at all times.
      • During the optional periods and the period in which summer uniforms are permitted, officers having Visible Tattoos shall be required to cover the Tattoo(s)/Body Art with either the department-approved cover-up sleeve or with the department-approved duty-specific long-sleeved uniform shirt.
  • View Full Policy (PDF)


Troopers swearing in on graduation day.

Have a Question?

Contact a recruiter who can help answer any questions you may have about applying to be a trooper or the benefits and rewards of joining SCHP.

*An Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer 

Operation Palmetto Employment