South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

Map of USA with South Carolina highlighted in light blueLearn the easiest way to obtain a driver’s license in South Carolina by reading this article. It includes all of the most relevant South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles links, as well as the most crucial information about the process of getting a driver’s license for teen drivers. Either this article will answer your questions, or it will give you a link to the resource you need to find the answer yourself.

The basics of licensure in South Carolina start with the 15-year-old age requirement for Beginner Permits. You can prepare to obtain the permit as soon as you turn 15 by studying for the knowledge test ahead of time. There are plenty of driver’s education classes that you can enroll in prior to your fifteenth birthday, which will help guide your preparation. In order to receive a license before you turn 17, you will need to finish a driver’s education course anyway.

Alternately, you can study the South Carolina Driver’s Manual on your own. There is an online version of the Manual at the DMV Forms and Manuals page. Simply scroll down to the Driver’s License Manual section and select the chapter you are interested in reading. Reviewing the material is also recommended prior to taking the knowledge test at a DMV office location.

Once you are prepared for the knowledge test, you will need only to gather a few documents, such as your birth certificate, social security card, insurance information, and proof of residency. There is an entire page devoted to this topic on the South Carolina DMV Accepted Forms of Documentation Page to help you understand exactly what you will need to bring. In addition, you may also need to refer to the MV-93, which is available at the address hyperlinked above.

After you have everything you need, find the most convenient South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles locations for your tests and permit/license applications.

You may also want to calculate your licensing fees ahead of time. DMV locations in South Carolina allow residents to pay by cash, check, credit, or debit: Drive’s License Fees.With a Beginner Permit, you will be allowed to drive under supervision. More specifically, you will require the supervision of a parent from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. but will be allowed to drive with any licensed individual over 21 at all other times.

Once you have held the Beginner Permit for 180 days or more and you have finished a driver’s education course, you will be ready to apply for a Conditional License. Be sure to take a Form PDLA, which certifies that you are going to school, have practiced the requisite number of hours, and completed your driver’s education requirement.

Word to the Wise: Be sure that you are prepared for the road test, as you cannot re-take it within two weeks of your first and second attempts. For more information about the components of the road test or for general information on the safe operation of a vehicle, read Chapter 3 of the South Carolina Driver’s Manual: Driver’s Manual.

If successful with the road test, you will be issued a Conditional License. The Conditional License comes with restrictions of its own. For example, you may drive without the supervision of another licensed driver who is over 21 years old only during the day. Between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., parental supervision is required. Additionally, you will be limited to two passengers at most until you receive full licensure, one year after being issued the Conditional License.

Interested in more details regarding the application process? Administrative information, such as test fees, laws, processes, age requirements, etc., can be found in the Introduction of the South Carolina Driver’s Manual: Driver’s Manual.