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DMV - New driver license in South Carolina

Application for a driverís license in South Carolina

 

 

 

Beginner Permits

 

Types of Beginner Permits 

Beginnerís permits are issued in five classes according to the type of vehicle.

 

 

 

Class D - Regular Passenger Vehicle

Class E - Single Unit Non-Commercial Vehicles more than 26,000 GVW

Class F - Combination Unit Non-Commercial Vehicles more than 26,000 GVW

Class G - Moped

Class M - Motorcycle

 

Refer to Commercial Driverís Licenses for information on CDL beginnerís permits. Review our Accepted Forms of Identification for obtaining an initial driver license or identification card.

 

Class D - Passenger Vehicle Beginner Permit 

A regular passenger vehicle beginner's permit allows you to practice driving a vehicle while you are accompanied by an experienced licensed driver.

 

To get a Class D Beginner's Permit:

 

You must be at least 15 years old.

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information.

If you are under 18 years of age, you must bring your parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application.

You must pass the vision and knowledge tests.

Restrictions:

 

You may drive from 6 a.m. to midnight if a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and has at least one year of driving experience accompanies you in the front seat.

From midnight to 6 a.m., you may drive if a licensed parent or guardian accompanies you in the front seat.

You must have your beginner's permit for 180 days before you can apply for a driver's license.

If you are under 18 years of age, you must practice driving with your licensed parent or legal guardian for at least 40 hours, including 10 hours during darkness, before you can apply for your driver's license.

 

Class E - Single Unit Non-Commercial Vehicles Over 26,000 GVW Beginner Permit 

A Class E beginner's permit allows you to practice driving non-commercial, single unit vehicles that exceeds 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class E vehicles include trucks and  motor homes. When you practice driving, you must be accompanied by an experienced licensed driver.

 

To get a Class E Beginner's Permit:

 

You must be at least 18 years old.

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information.

You must pass the vision and knowledge tests.

 

Class F - Combination Unit Non-Commercial Vehicles Over 26,000 GVW Beginner Permit 

A Class F beginner's permit allows you to practice driving non-commercial, combination vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class F vehicles include the same type vehicles that require a Class E license plus a towed trailer or vehicle. When you practice driving, you must be accompanied by an experienced licensed driver.

 

To get a Class F Beginner's Permit:

 

You must be at least 18 years old.

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information.

You must pass the vision and knowledge tests.

 

Class G - Moped Beginner Permit 

If you are 14 years old, you may apply for a license to operate a moped by taking the vision and knowledge test. If you are at least 15 years old and have a driver's license, you do not have to have a moped license to operate a moped.

 

If You are Under 18 Years of Age:

 

You must bring your parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application.

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information.

You must pass the vision and road skills tests.

If You are 18 Years of Age or Older:

 

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information.

You must pass the vision and road skills tests.

 

Class M - Motorcycle Beginner Permit 

A motorcycle beginner's permit allows you to practice driving a motorcycle or motor scooter while an experienced licensed driver supervises you.

 

To get a Class M Beginner's Permit:

 

You must be at least 15 years old.

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, proof of residency and insurance information.

If you are under 18 years of age, you must bring your parent or legal guardian with to sign your application.

You must pass the vision and knowledge tests.

Restrictions:

 

You may drive a motorcycle or motor scooter from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m. during daylight savings time).

You may not operate a motorcycle or motor scooter at any other time unless a licensed parent or guardian supervises you.

You must have your beginner's permit for 180 days before you can apply for a motorcycle license.

If you are under 18 years of age, you must practice driving with your licensed parent or legal guardian for at least 40 hours, including 10 hours during darkness, before you can apply for your motorcycle license.

 

Exchanging a Beginner Permit from Another State 

You may exchange your out-of-state beginnerís permit for a South Carolina beginnerís permit. However, if there is an exchange, you must have the permit for 180 days before you can apply for a license. The time that you held the out-of-state beginnerís permit will count toward the 180 day period. If your beginnerís permit has expired, you must take the vision and knowledge tests to obtain a South Carolina beginnerís permit.

 

The fee is $2.00 for the knowledge test and $2.50 for the beginnerís permit.

 

Note that Section 23-3-460 of the SC Code of Laws states that a person who has been convicted anywhere of an offense listed in 23-3-430 must register with the county sheriff within 10 days of establishing residency in South Carolina.  A copy of the Sex Offender Registry Law is available upon request.

 

 

 

 

For New Residents Licensed in Another State 

 

Military Personnel (and their dependents) and students temporarily in South Carolina are not required to obtain a South Carolina Driver's license. However, you must have a driver's license from your home state to operate in South Carolina.

 

If you are a new resident, you may use a valid driver's license from your former state for up to 90 days. However, you must convert to a South Carolina driver's license before the end of the 90-day period. If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present. If your driver's license from your home state has expired, you must also pass the knowledge and road tests. To schedule a road test, you should call the DMV office where you would like to take the skills test.

 

Each qualified driver can have only one driver's license. You may not have a valid license from South Carolina and another state. To qualify for a SC driver's license, you must pass the eye exam given at all DMV offices or submit a statement of visual acuity from an eye specialist. A South Carolina license is valid for ten years and must be renewed by your birthday in the tenth year.

 

Note that Section 23-3-460 of the SC Code of Laws states that a person who has been convicted anywhere of an offense listed in 23-3-430 must register with the county sheriff within 10 days of establishing residency in South Carolina.  A copy of the Sex Offender Registry Law is available upon request. 

 

 

 

Waiver of Time Restrictions:

 

If the time limitations for a special restricted driver's license cause problems for you at your job or school, they can be waived. You must prove to the department that they interfere with your job, education or travel between home, school, vocational training or employment opportunities by submitting two separate statements:

 

A statement from your parent or legal guardian

A statement on letterhead from your employer or school official.

Both statements must give the reason for the waiver.  The fee for the waiver is $12.50.

 

Regular Driver License for Drivers 17 Years Old and Older 

If you are at least 17 years old and have held a beginner's permit for 180 days, you are eligible for a regular SC Driver's License.  To get a Regular Driver's License:

 

If you are under 18 years of age and have never been licensed, you must bring your parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application.

If you are 18 years old or older, you do not need the signature of your parent or legal guardian.

You must bring your beginner's permit.

You must pass the vision and road skills tests. To schedule a road test, you should call the DMV office where you would like to take the skills test.

 

         You may drive alone during daylight hours from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m. during daylight savings time).

         From 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m. during daylight savings time) until midnight, you may drive if a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age accompanies you.

         Between midnight and 6 a.m., you may drive if your licensed parent or legal guardian accompanies you.

         You cannot transport more than two passengers under the age of 21 unless you are accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old. The only exception is if you are transporting family members or students to and from school.

You may obtain full driving privileges when you are 16 if you have had your license for one year and have no traffic offenses or been involved in any at-fault accidents. If you are under the age of 17 and accrue six or more points on your record before you have held your license for one year, your license will be suspended for six months.

 

Special Restricted License for 16 Year Old Drivers 

If you are 16 years old and have held your beginner's permit for at least 180 days or have a conditional license, you are eligible for a special restricted license.

 

To get a Special Restricted License:

 

To get a special restricted driver's license, you must bring your parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application.

You must bring your beginner's permit.

You must submit Form PDLA that certifies you have:

Completed a driver's education course

Had satisfactory school attendance

Practiced driving with your licensed parent or guardian for 40 hours, including 10 hours of driving practice at night.

Form PDLA allows you to submit all of these certifications and is available at your school and this website.

 

You must pass the vision and road skills tests.

Driving Restrictions:

 

         You may drive alone during daylight hours from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m. during daylight savings time).

         From 6 p.m. (or 8 p.m. during daylight savings time) until midnight, you may drive if a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age accompanies.

         Between midnight and 6 a.m., you may drive if your licensed parent or legal guardian accompanies you.

         You cannot transport more than two passengers under the age of 21 unless you are accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old. The only exception is if you are transporting family members or students to and from school.

         You will obtain full driving privileges when you are 17 if you have had your special restricted license for one year and have no traffic offenses or been involved in any at-fault accidents. If you are under the age of 17 and accrue six or more points on your record before you have held your license for one year, your license will be suspended for six months.

 

 

 

Waiver of Time Restrictions:

 

 

 

If the time limitations for a special restricted driver's license cause problems for you at your job or school, they can be waived. You must prove to the department that they interfere with your job, education or travel between home, school, vocational training or employment opportunities by submitting two separate statements:

 

A statement from your parent or legal guardian

A statement on letterhead from your employer or school official.

Both statements must give the reason for the waiver.  The fee for the waiver is $12.50.

 

Regular Driver License for Drivers 17 Years Old and Older 

 

If you are at least 17 years old and have held a beginner's permit for 180 days, you are eligible for a regular SC Driver's License.  To get a Regular Driver's License:

 

         If you are under 18 years of age and have never been licensed, you must bring your parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application.

         If you are 18 years old or older, you do not need the signature of your parent or legal guardian.

         You must bring your beginner's permit.

         You must pass the vision and road skills tests. To schedule a road test, you should call the DMV office where you would like to take the skills test.

 

 

Source: DMV

 

 

 


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