Review our Accepted Forms of Identification for obtaining an initial driver license or identification card.
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The graduated driver license program is
designed for minors 15 to 17 years of age. It allows them the opportunity to
develop their skills of operating a motor vehicle. It restricts nighttime
and unsupervised driving during the initial stages, but lifts these
restrictions over time.
Conditional License for 15
Year Old Drivers
you are at least 15 ½ years old and less than 16
years of age and held a
beginner's permit for at least 180 days, you are eligible for a conditional
license. Application may be made on the 181st day for a
You will obtain full driving privileges if
you have had your license for one year and have no traffic offenses or been
involved in any at-fault accidents. At age 16 you may apply for a special
restricted driving waiver before you are granted full driving privileges (see
below). 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
you are 16 years old and less than 17 years of
age and have held your beginner's
permit for at least 180 days and passed the vision and skills tests, or
have a conditional license, you are eligible for a special restricted license.
You will obtain full driving privileges after
keeping your special restricted license (or a combination of a conditional
license and 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.
RESTRICTIONS for CONDITIONAL and
Conditional and Special
Restricted License holders are allowed to drive as follows
6:00 PM (8:00 PM during DST)
You may drive alone during daylight hours only
6 PM (8 PM during DST)
You may drive only if accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21
years of age or older
You may only drive if accompanied by your licensed parent or
legally appointed guardian
Daylight Savings Time (summer time)
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.
Restricted Waiver of Time Restrictions:
If the time limitations for a special restricted
driver license cause problems for you at your job, school, church
or sports activity they can be waived. You must prove to the department that
they interfere with your job, education, church, sports or travel between
home, school, vocational training, church, sports or employment
opportunities by submitting two separate statements:
statement from your parent or legally appointed guardian requesting the
time restrictions be waived and providing the purpose for the waiver.
statement on letterhead from your employer, school official, church
official or sports official providing the purpose for the waiver.
Both statements must give the reason for the
waiver. The fee for the waiver is $12.50.
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You must hold a beginner’s
permit for 180 days. On the 181st day or later, you must pass the
vision and skills test (on the road).
If you fail the
skills test on your first or second attempt, you must wait two weeks before you
are eligible to be re-tested.
If you fail on the third attempt or any after, you must wait 60 days before you are eligible to be re-tested.
you are less than 17 years of age and applying for a conditional or
special restricted license, you must submit the Certification of School
Attendance, Driver’s Education and Driving Practice (SCDMV form PDLA) that
certifies you met all three of these requirements:
Completed a driver's
education course (eight hours classroom and six hours behind the wheel);
Are currently enrolled
in school (not suspended or expelled) and have satisfactory school
Practiced driving with your licensed parent or
legally appointed guardian for 40 hours, including ten hours of driving
practice at night. Parents/guardians may use a driving log as a tool when supervising your
high school or driver training school instructor will provide you with this
form once you’ve successfully completed a driver’s education course.
you are under 18, you must
bring your parent or legally appointed guardian with you to sign your
are eligible for a regular driver’s license if you are 17 or older and have held a beginner's permit for 180
more information reference SCDMV brochure "Ready for the Road?" (DMVB-35) and Driver
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you are 15 years old and have held another class beginner permit for 180 days,
you are eligible for a motorcycle beginner's permit by taking the vision test
and motorcycle knowledge test. If you have a conditional driver's license, you
can get a motorcycle conditional license by taking the vision test, the
motorcycle knowledge test and the motorcycle skills test.
you are at least 15 years old and have never had a license or beginner's
permit, you must have your motorcycle beginner's permit for at least 180 days
before you can apply for a motorcycle license.
South Carolina laws require persons who are under the age of 21 to wear a
motorcycle helmet and eye protection while operating a motorcycle.
Class M motorcycle license allows an individual, 15 years of age or older, to
operate any type of motorcycle, including: a two-wheel motorcycle, a motorcycle
with a side car and a three-wheel motorcycle.
Two-Wheel Motorcycles with Side Cars
who only want to operate a motorcycle with a side car permanently attached will
need a special S3 restriction with their Class M motorcycle license. Operation
of a two-wheel motorcycle without a side car attached is prohibited with this
restriction. DMV’s Master Examiner will administer the test. Contact a
DMV office for a test to be scheduled and coordinated with DMV’s Master
Three-wheel motorcycles and automotive
three-wheel vehicles may be operated with any class license except a Class G
moped license. Special endorsements are no longer required to operate these
types of vehicles.
the list of requirements above to get a license for the first time.
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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 SC.
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 SC 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. For more information about documents you will need to get a SC license, see Accepted Forms of Identification. If your driver's license from your home state has expired more than nine months, you must also pass the knowledge and road tests in addition to the vision test. 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 SC 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 care professional. 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 SC. A copy of the Sex Offender Registry Law is available upon request.
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If you plan to operate a motor home that has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) that exceeds 26,0000 lbs., you must obtain a Class E license. If you operate any combination of vehicles exclusively used for recreation (example: a motor home and tow a trailer or other vehicle that has a Gross Combination Weight (GCW) that exceeds 26,000 lbs., you must have a Class F license. You may take the Class E and F knowledge tests at any SCDMV field office which provides full driver license services. Due to the space required for a non-commercial Class E or F skills test, these tests must be taken at one of the designated SCDMV field offices that offer this type of skills test. Click here to schedule an appointment for a Class E or F skills test.
During the basic skills portion of the Class F test, motor home operators will be allowed to disconnect the towed vehicle. However, the towed vehicle must be reconnected for the road test portion of the skills test.
For more information about Class E and F driver licenses, click here.
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