Practice Beginner's Permit Knowledge Test
To practice for the beginner's permit test, you may download the free app to your smartphone. Search for the app under “SC DMV Driver Exam.” The practice test offers a series of randomly selected questions. Each question is based on the information found in the South Carolina Driver’s Manual.
- Study South Carolina Driver's Manual before taking the Regular Driver's License Road Test
- Study Commercial Driver's License Manual before taking the Commercial License Testing
- Study Motorcycle and Moped Operator's Manual before taking the Motorcycle Road Test
- Study Large Non-commercial and Recreational Vehicles Driver's Manual before taking the Class E or F Test
Where to Take Tests
You must take a vision, knowledge, and road test when you apply for an original driver's license or upgrade to a different class. When upgrading to any type of license, you will be required to pass a vision, knowledge, and road test, except for a moped license. The SCDMV does not require a skills test for a moped license.
You may take vision and knowledge tests at any SCDMV branch.
There are One Stop Driver Training and Testing Programs where SCDMV authorized trainers/testers give the knowledge and/or road tests if you’re applying for a first-time regular (Class D) beginner’s permit, driver’s license, or motorcycle (Class M) license.
Taking a Knowledge Test
Any of the manuals or other testing aids cannot be used while you take the knowledge test. You will fail the test if you do any of the following:
- Leave the test room/area before the test is completed
- Talk to anyone, whether in person or with an electronic device (cell phone, calculator, tablet reader, laptop, etc.)
- Take anything into the test area that may assist you with the answers like written material or electronic device
You will not be able to take knowledge tests after 4 p.m.
Taking the Road Test
You may hear a road test called a skills test.
You need to take a road test if you do not hold a valid driver’s license.
You must provide a vehicle for the test. The vehicle must be safe and have all of the following in working condition:
- Headlights and Brakes
- Windshield wipers
- Safety belts
- Turn signals
The vehicle must have a valid license plate, registration card, and insurance card. The skills test must be postponed if it is not safe. You will automatically fail if you do not use your seat belt.
An SCDMV employee will test you. You and the employee are the only people allowed in or around the vehicle. Your test includes all of the following:
- Vision test - If you wear glasses, bring them.
- Knowledge test of traffic laws, road signs, and driving safety rules
- Driving test, if required
You should bring all of the following items to your test:
- Old license or beginner’s permit (if you have one)
- A licensed driver
- Vehicle liability insurance information from a company licensed to do business in SC
During the test, you will:
- Turn on your headlights and windshield wipers
- Turn on your turn signals (including four-way flashers)
- Test your brake lights
- Make lane changes
- Make right and left turns
- Identify road signs
- Parallel park
- 100 feet backing
- Park on a hill
- Perform a three point turnabout
- Straight line backing
You must show the car is properly insured. If you're using a rental car, your name on the contract must show as insured.
Please note that all branches accept walk-in customers for these non-commercial license skills tests from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. everyday besides Wednesday. On Wednesdays, branch offices do not open until 9:30 a.m. and accept walk-in customers until 1:30 p.m.
You must make an appointment to take a non-commercial skills tests between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
If you do not have driving experience and you fail the skills test on your first or second attempt, you must wait two weeks before you can be re-tested regardless of age.
If you’ve held a driver’s license and fail the test on your first or second attempt, you must wait one week before you can be re-tested regardless of age. A beginner’s permit does not count as driving experience.
If you fail the test on your third attempt or more, you must wait 60 days before you can be re-tested regardless of whether or not you have previous driving experience.