Beginner Permits

Types of Beginner Permits

Beginner’s permits are issued in four classes according to the type of vehicle. Refer to Commercial Driver’s Licenses for information on commercial learner permits.

Class D - Regular Passenger Vehicle. A regular passenger vehicle beginner's permit allows you to practice driving a vehicle while you are accompanied by an experienced licensed driver.

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

 

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

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

Beginner’s Permit Requirements

Minimum Age for this type of Beginner’s Permit

Documentation

Tests

At least 15 years old.

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

At least 18 years old

You must bring your birth certificate, social security card, and proof of residency. Review our Accepted Forms of Identification for more information.

You must pass the vision test, and the knowledge test for this type of license

Class D

YES

 

YES

YES

Class M

YES

 

YES

YES

Class E

 

YES

YES

YES

Class F

 

YES

YES

YES

 

Driving Restrictions

Class D Beginner Permit 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 legally appointed guardian accompanies you in the front seat.

Class M Beginner Permit 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 legally appointed guardian supervises you.

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Adult Consent for Minors Applying for Beginner's Permit or Driver's License

If you are under the age of 18, there is a form that must be completed by an adult to give consent for you to make application for a beginner’s permit or driver’s license. This same adult must also sign the second page of your Application for a Non-Commercial Credential (SCDMV form 447-NC) and present a picture ID. If the adult does not have a picture ID, the adult cannot sign consent. In all cases, the application and Consent for Minor form must be signed in the presence of an SCDMV employee. An SCDMV employees MAY ONLY accept an application that is not signed in the presence of an SCDMV employee if it is submitted by a driver training school along with the Consent for Minor form.

 

The adult will be required to select the option that describes their relationship to the minor and completes this sentence.

 

Under penalty of perjury, I am signing for this minor as:

 

Unemancipated Minors


(1) the father of the minor

(2) the mother of the minor

(3) the guardian of the minor

(4) an individual who has custody, care, and control of the minor

(5) a person with written approval by the Department of Social Services. Must attach copy of approval.

(6) a person who has been standing in loco parentis (place of a parent) of the minor for a continuous period of not less than sixty days; or

(7) a responsible adult who is willing to assume the obligation and who has written permission, from a person listed in items (1) - (6) above, signed and verified before a person authorized to administer oaths (notary). Must attach copy of notarized permission.

 

Emancipated Minors

“All other minors” means emancipated minors. An emancipated minor is someone who is under the age of 18 and is freed from control by his parents or legal guardians, and the parents or guardians are also freed from any and all responsibility toward the minor. Emancipated minors must submit proof of emancipation (only the original or certified copies will be accepted): Court Order; or Certificate of Marriage; or Active Military orders.


(8) I am a responsible adult who is not the minor’s parent or guardian. I am 18 years of age or older and am willing to assume the obligation of this emancipated minor and be liable for any damages the minor may cause.

 

SC Code Sections 56-1-100, 110

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Applicants with a Valid Beginner Permit from Another State

Beginner's permits issued in other states may be used to drive in SC. 


If you are a South Carolina resident you may exchange your out-of-state beginner's permit for a South Carolina credential.

  • If your beginner's permit has expired, you must take the vision and knowledge tests to obtain a South Carolina beginner's permit.
  • If your beginner's permit is valid and you have had your out-of-state beginner's permit for at least 180 days, you may take the vision and skills test top apply for your SC driver's license. Application can be made on the 181st day or anytime thereafter. The time that you held the out-of-state beginner's permit will count toward the 180 day period.
  • If you fail the skills test on your first attempt, you must wait two weeks to re-test regardless of your age. If you are issued a SC beginner's permit, the time that you held an out-of-state beginner's permit count toward the 180-day period.

The fee is $2.00 for the knowledge test and $2.50 for the beginner's 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.

 

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