How to Get a Driver’s License in South Carolina

For many first-time drivers, obtaining a license marks a unique level of independence. Many mark this as the first significant step toward adulthood. Regardless of the interpretation, the process for successfully achieving this milestone is rather simple and can be implemented with a few, easy steps.

The Drivers License Requirement

In the state of South Carolina, a driver must be at least 15 years of age to apply and test for a standard, drivers permit. He or she must be able to successfully pass a vision test along with other tests that will be mentioned later. The applicant must also produce a social security number, acceptable identification, proof of insurance as well as proof of citizenship and South Carolina residency. Driver education is required for all drivers under the age of 18. There are several educational resources to aid in this process. They will also be mentioned at a later time.

Driver License Fees

Knowledge Test $2.00
Beginner’s Permit $2.50
CDL Application $15.00
Driver’s License (5 year – Online Only) $12.50
Driver’s License (10 year – Field Office Only) $25.00
Duplicate Driver’s License $10.00
ID Cards
Ages 5-16 –  $5.00
Age 17 and older – No charge
Copy of Driving Record $6
SC Driver’s Manual – $5.00 +Tax
SC Commercial Driver’s Manual – $5.00 +Tax

The Drivers License Process

There are several license classifications available for new drivers. The “D” license is the most common and is a standard license to operate a motor vehicle. Licenses for all other driver classifications follow the same process with slight differences regarding age and training requirements. Once the appropriate license classification has been selected, the applicant should obtain a drivers manual.

The DMV manual is a valuable resource from which the test is derived. Applicants can download this resource for free or can purchase it at their local DMV office for $5.00. Applicants may also elect to choose the South Carolina Drivers Prep Course for an additional cost. The prep course is $14.95. It can also be purchased in combination with a 100 question prep test for $24.95. This course provides an accelerated learning program that covers the required material in approximately 1 hour.

Applicants may take the written test at their local Department of Motor Vehicles without a scheduled appointment. The written test is $2.00 and consists of 50 questions. Applicants must pass with an 80% efficiency. If an applicant fails the written exam, he or she must wait at least one day prior to retaking the exam. There is no limit regarding attempts to this test. Successful applicants may continue the process with the practical driving test.

Experienced drivers, who are new to the state of South Carolina, are not required to take the road test as long as their drivers’ license is current or has not been expired over 9 months. All vehicles used for the road test must be insured, registered and in good working condition. Failure to complete the road test will result in a two-week wait prior to retaking the test. Three unsuccessful attempts will result in a 60 wait before another road test can be taken. However, successful drivers will pay an additional $2.50 for a beginners permit to be issued on the same day. This permit must be maintained for 180 days. A 5-year, renewable drivers license is $12.50.

The Drivers Test

The road test consists of the basic rules and maneuvers of driving. Many driver training programs provide students with practical time behind the wheel as well as practice for the road test. Therefore, additional training is encouraged. During the provisional time, new drivers are required to log 40 hours of training. Law requires 10 of these hours to be logged at night. Driving is a privilege that can be easily revoked in a moment of indiscretion. All drivers are encouraged to act responsibly at all times.

Take Free Practice Test Now

South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 1 (Signs)
South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 2 (Signs)
South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 3 (Rules)
South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 4 (Rules)
South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 5 (Rules)
South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 6 (Rules)
South Carolina DMV Practice Test – Quiz 7 (Rules)