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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in South Carolina

You can apply for a new driver's license at yur local Department of Motor Vehicles, South Carolina. Obtain a South Carolina Driver's License Manual to familiarize with the driving rules and regulations.

NEW DRIVERS AND FIRST TIME APPLICANTS

Following are the basic requirements for applying for a South Carolina driver's license:

  1. Applicants must be 15 years or older.
  2. Any individual under 18 should provide parental consent and must be accompanied by parents or legal guardians. For additional details, see Beginner Drivers and/or Learner's Permits for Beginner Drivers.
  3. Everyone must pass the vision, written, and driving tests. See Practice Tests and Driver's Handbook for more information on the written examination. Driver education programs can help individuals prepare for their road test.
  4. Applicants must carry the Social Security Number.
  5. Applicants must provide acceptable proof of identification.
  6. Applicants must provide valid proof of insurance.
  7. Applicants must provide proof of South Carolina residency.

NEW RESIDENTS

For new residents who have relocated to SC a provision of 90 days driving privilege is granted by the State DMV, after which one has to apply for a SC driver's license. New residents with expired driver's license of other states will have to appear for a road skill test along with a written knowledge test at the local office of DMV. Non-US citizens residing in South Carolina may apply for a South Carolina driver's license, as long as they can provide proof that they are legally authorized to be in the United States, and meet all the other requirements. Till they receive the driver's license, they are permitted driving privileges in the State for 3 months, provided they carry an International Driver's Permit. Note that a South Carolina driver's license issued to a foreign national will expire no later than the last date on which they are authorized to be in the United States by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

FEES

For the written knowledge test a fee of $2 is levied. For a Beginner's Permit it is $2.50. Incase of Driver's License for a 5 year online renewal a fee of $12.50 is levied while incase of the issuance of a Driver's License for 10 years $25.00 is levied for the Field office only. For a Commercial Driver's License it is $15.

VALIDITY

The validity of a South Carolina driver's license is based on the driver's age at the time the license was issued.
  • For drivers below 65 years of age a 10 year license is issued.
  • Driver's licenses for those who are 65 and above are valid for five years.

LEARNER'S LICENSE

With certain restrictions, an individual can legally drive in South Carolina with a learner's license. See more information on learner's licenses here.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

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