Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to take a motorcycle training course?
You may have the option to complete a motorcycle training program to facilitate the application process. In order to learn more, contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles at 803-896-5000. Their customer service representatives are ready to assist you Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also reach them on Wednesdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

Am I required to wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle?
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles makes it mandatory for motorcycle riders with a motorcycle endorsement who are under 21 to wear a helmet at all times. Plus, you must also wear eye gear when operating a motorcycle. Failure to do so may result in penalties and fines. If you are over 21, it is to your discretion whether or not you wear a helmet. However, for safety purposes, it is highly advised that you equip yourself with full protective gear.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

Can I renew my commercial drivers license online?
No, South Carolina does not offer the option to complete drivers license renewal for your CDL online. Instead, you must visit a local Department of Motor Vehicles office and present the proper documentation, including but not limited to the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of SC residency
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship
  • Provide proof of DOT Medical Certificate, if applicable

When renewing your CDL license, be ready to present necessary payment for any applicable fees.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

Can I take the DMV written test online?
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles does not provide the option to take a written knowledge exam online. Instead, you must stop by your nearest DMV branch and complete the testing in person. You are not permitted to have your cell phone out during the exam, nor are you allowed to consult with other exam takers about the questions and answers. If you are doing any of the above, you will not receive a passing grade for the test.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

Can I use my state CDL anywhere in the United States?
You are authorized to drive state-to-state with a commercial driving license for interstate commerce purposes. In order to obtain this type of license, you must be at least 21. You can use your interstate CDL license to drive across the country, as long as you adhere to the road rules and regulations of the states you are driving through. When applying for your CDL drivers, you will need to self-certify the type of commerce you would like to operate by filling out the CDL Medical Certifications Requirements form.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride a scooter or moped?
An applicant interested in operating a scooter or moped must apply for a valid drivers license/motorcycle drivers license or a moped license. You will be required to take a vision exam and pass a written knowledge exam as well. The state of South Carolina does not allow moped users to operate at a speed that is more than 25 miles per hour. Additionally, the moped must have operating lights and a permanent seat. A light on the front of the moped and on the back must be on when operating at night.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

Do I need to take a drivers ed course?
You are not required to complete drivers ed to obtain an SC learners permit. However, it is required to get a driver s license. In South Carolina, a drivers ed class consists of the following:

  • Six hours of behind the wheel instruction
  • Eight hours in a classroom setting

In order to get a learner s permit, you will need to present certain documentation at your nearby DMV office, pass both the written and vision exams and pay any applicable fees.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

How can I get a veteran designation on my ID card?
If you would like to add a veteran designation to your SC ID card application, you must show proof that you served in the United States Armed Forces at your local DMV office. Acceptable documentation will depend on the date of your discharge.

  • If your military discharge took place after Jan. 1, 1950, you will need to present a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty Form DD-14.
  • If your military discharge took place before 1950, you will need to present either a Certificate of Discharge or Enlisted Separation Paper.

There is a simple $1 fee to add a veteran designation to your ID card.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

How do I apply for a commercial drivers license?
If you re wondering how to get a CDL license, you will be required to complete these steps below at your local DMV office:

  • Pass any required written knowledge test
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a road skills tests
  • Self-certify the type of commerce you would like to use your CDL license for by filling out the Form DL-405A
  • Provide proof of DOT Medical Certificate, if applicable
  • Provide proof of identity
  • Provide proof of car insurance
  • Have payment ready for any fees ($12.50, subject to vary)
  • Complete the Application for a Commercial Driver s License

While in the process of applying for a CDL license, the South Carolina DMV will check any driving history you may have in another state.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

How do I apply for a learner’s permit?
In order to apply for a learners permit in South Carolina, you must be at least 15 years old. You will be required to visit your local DMV office and complete the following:

  • Present proof of residency
  • Present proof of identity/date of birth
  • Present proof of citizenship
  • Present proof of Social Security Number
  • Fill out the Application for a Non-Commercial Credential
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Pass a written knowledge exam
  • Have payment ready for applicable fees

Once you reach the age of 15 and have held your permit for at least 180 days, you will then be able to apply for a conditional license, or you have the option to apply for a special restricted license. The difference is that a special restricted license allows you to waive the nighttime driving restrictions.

Drivers under the age of 18 will need a parent or legal guardian physically present to sign the application and give consent.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

How do I apply for a motorcycle license?
If you are wondering how to get a motorcycle license, you must apply at your nearest DMV office and complete the following requirements:

  • Bring your learners permit
  • Pass the vision test
  • Pass the road skills test

If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to have a parent or legal guardian present at the DMV office to sign your license application and provide consent.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

How do I get a duplicate ID card?
In order to obtain an SC identification card replacement, you are required to visit your closest DMV office and present an Application for a Non-Commercial Credential. You are also encouraged to make your way to a local police station beforehand and report your lost ID card or stolen ID card.

If it is your second time obtaining an identification card within a 12-month period, you may be asked to show proof of residency and identity.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

How do I renew my driving permit?
To renew your drivers permit, visit a SC Department of Motor Vehicles branch in your area with proper documentation. If you have had your learner s permit for 180 days or more, you can then apply for a conditional license (provisional license). If you are under the age of 18, you will be required to complete the application process with a parent or legal guardian present.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

How do I renew my ID card?
You can renew ID cards visiting your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. No option is currently available to renew your ID card online or by mail. Upon the time of your visit, you will need to show a completed Application for a Non-Commercial Credential. To find out more, call the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles at 803-896-5000.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

How do I renew my medical report for a commercial license?
When your Medical Certificate is about to expire, you will need to visit a licensed medical professional to have your report renewed. Your Medical Certificate must be issued by a certified medical examiner that is nationally registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulation. To find a list of certified professionals, visit the FMSCA website.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

How do I renew my motorcycle license?
South Carolina allows drivers to renew motorcycle licenses either by mail or at a local DMV branch. To renew by mail, send a completed drivers license application to the address below:

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles PO Box 1498 Blythewood, SC 29016-0035

Payment in the form of a check or money order will be required. Make it payable to SCDMV in the amount of $12.50. This fee is subject to change.

A vision screening report from the past year must also be attached. Your report must be issued from a licensed ophthalmologist.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

How does a military member obtain a motorcycle license?
Any driver interested in applying for a SC motorcycle license endorsement will have to complete the step-by-step process in person. First visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office with the proper documentation, and pass the necessary testing. You will also need to pay select fees before a motorcycle license can be issued to you.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

How long do I need my learners permit before I can get my drivers license?
After you have had your SC driving permit for 180 days, you can then apply for a conditional license (also known as a provisional license). You can also apply for a Special Restricted License, which will allow you to waive certain nighttime driving restrictions.

You can apply for a standard SC drivers license when you reach 16 and have maintained your conditional or special restricted license for at least a year.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

How long will it take to get my new ID card?
The length of time it will take to get ID card may vary. Speak to a DMV Customer Service representative by calling 803-896-5000. Their hours of business are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you would like to get in touch with them on a Wednesday, their hours of operation on that day is from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can also reach them by email when you write to help@scdmvonline.com

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

How often do I need to renew my CDL license?
The state of South Carolina requires commercial drivers to renew their driving licenses every five years before the expiration date. You do not have the option to renew by mail and must complete the renewal process in person. When renewing your South Carolina CDL license, you must show proof of your Medical Certificate according to FMCSA s qualifications. Take note that your Medical Certificate will not be accepted by the DMV if it is set to expire within 30 days.
If I’m out of state and lost my ID, how can I get a new one?
In the event that you lost your South Carolina identification card while outside the state, you will need to wait until you ve returned to replace ID card. Once you are back in South Carolina, visit your regional DMV office to fill out any necessary paperwork for a replacement ID. You should also report your lost identification card at your nearest police station to file a proper police report.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

Is there a minimum age I have to be to get a commercial drivers license?
To engage in intrastate commerce in the state of South Carolina, you must be at least 18 years old. If you would like to drive a CDL vehicle across state lines, you will need to be at least 21 for interstate driving. To begin the application process, you must visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office with any necessary paperwork, documentation and proper forms of payment.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

What are the age restrictions to ride a motorcycle?
You are considered eligible to apply for a motorcycle beginner s permit if you are 15 and have maintained another class permit for at least 180 days. If you have never held a learner s permit, or had a drivers license before and are at least 15, you can still apply for a motorcycle permit. In order to advance to a regular, full motorcycle license, you must have held your motorcycle permit for at least 180 days.

When applying for your license, you will be asked to present certain documentation, such as proof of identity, and payment for any fees.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

What are the available commercial license endorsements?
In South Carolina, CDL drivers can apply for the following types of CDL endorsements:

  • N endorsement Tanker Vehicle
  • P endorsement Passenger Vehicle to transport 16 or more people
  • T endorsement Double/Triple Trailers
  • X endorsement Combination Hazmat and Tanker
  • S endorsement School Bus
  • H endorsement Hazardous Material (Hazmat)

Depending on the type of CDL endorsement you would like to obtain, you may be required to complete further testing. Testing can consist of a written knowledge exam and/or a road skills test.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

What are the fees associated with an ID card?
If you are younger than 17, you are required to submit payment for a $5 fee. However, if you are 17 or older and a United States citizen, there is no cost to obtaining an identification card. To find out more, contact the SC Department of Motor Vehicles at 803-896-5000.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

What are the learners permit restrictions during my first year?
Your first year of driving with a permit for driving will require you to abide by the following restrictions:

  • You are only permitted to drive between the hours of 6 a.m. to midnight with a licensed driver who is at least 21. Said driver must have held a drivers license for at least one year and must be seated with you in the front of the vehicle.
  • You are also permitted to drive during the aforementioned hours if there is a licensed driver with you in the front of the vehicle, who is either your parent or legal guardian.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

What are the medical certifications required to obtain a CDL?
The South Carolina DMV requires you to present a DOT Medical Certificate or card, certifying that you have met the necessary medical requirements as stated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Regulation. In order to apply for an SC commercial drivers license, you will be required to submit this type of documentation.

You will also be required to complete a CDL Medical Certification Requirements form to self-certify the type of commerce you intend to operate.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

What are the penalties for getting a traffic ticket with a driver’s permit?
In order to find out what types of consequences you will face, contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or the county that issued your citation. You will be required to pay traffic ticket, and if you have additional violations on your driving record, you may also run the risk of an SC drivers license suspension. A suspended drivers license carries serious penalties, and will require you to abide by the rules of your suspension notice.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

What are the requirements to operate a three-wheel motorcycle?
In South Carolina, you are allowed to operate a three-wheel motorcycle with any type of class license, as long as it is not a Class G moped license. There is no special type of endorsement that is required for the operation of a three-wheel motorcycle license. However, SC law requires a motorcycle rider who is under the age of 21 to wear a helmet at all times. You must also have on eye protective wear.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

What documents do I need to get a learner’s permit?
In South Carolina, you must present the following types of documents to get a learning permit:

  • Proof of name and date of birth, such as a birth certificate
  • Proof of citizenship, such as a United States passport
  • Proof of Social Security Number, such as your Social Security card

For other acceptable documents, visit the South Carolina DMV website.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

What documents do I need to get a motorcycle license?
When getting your motorcycle drivers license, a visit to the local DMV office will be required. During your appointment, present the following items:

  • Proof of South Carolina residency
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of identity
  • Payment for any applicable fees

If you would like to get a five-year motorcycle license, the fee is $12.50. For a 10-year license, it is $25. These fees may vary and change without notice.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

What exams do I need to pass to get a motorcycle license?
The state of South Carolina requires drivers who would like to get a motorcycle driving license to pass a few exams, such as the ones listed below:

  • A written knowledge exam
  • A motorcycle road skills test
  • A vision test

If you do not pass any of the aforementioned exams, you will be required to re-apply for your motorcycle license at a later date. You can be prepared for the written knowledge exam by taking a practice test beforehand.

For more information: How to Apply for a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

What happens to my commercial driver license if I am convicted of a DUI?
A CDL DUI conviction will be subject to a drivers license suspension that will last for a 12-month period. This suspension period is increased to three years if you are a CDL driver who transports hazardous materials. To get your drivers license reinstated, follow the rules and guidelines that are set forth by your suspension period. Find out more by contacting the South Carolina DMV office nearest you.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

What is an ID card?
An ID card is a government-issued credential that is mainly used by individuals who do not drive. It is often used as proof of identity for a variety of purposes, including the following:

  • To enter a government building
  • To open a bank account
  • To visit a doctor or specialist
  • To travel within the United States

The State of Carolina issues ID card to people who are at least five years old. It is free of charge to citizens who are over 17.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

What is the passing score for a written test?
If you would like to obtain information about the passing score for the knowledge test, contact the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. You can reach their Customer Service Call Center at 803-896-5000. Hours of operation are from Monday to Friday.

A written knowledge exam is put together based off a series of randomly selected questions that are obtained from more than 200 questions in the DMV system.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

What test do I need to take for my learners permit?
If you are getting drivers permit certification in South Carolina, you must pass two types of exams:

  • A vision test
  • A written knowledge test

The questions on your written knowledge test will all come from material contained with the SC Driver s Manual. You will be required to complete this examination at any DMV office in your area. You are not allowed to consult the Driver s Manual or any other type of testing guide while taking the exam.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina

What tests do I have to take to obtain a CDL?
The state of South Carolina has different types of CDL endorsements that may consist of various testing requirements. For example, you may be required to take the following tests for these specific endorsements:

  • Double/Triple Trailer Written knowledge test
  • Combination Hazmat and Tanker Must complete testing for both Hazardous Materials endorsement and Tanker endorsement
  • School Bus Written knowledge test and road skills test
  • Tanker Vehicle Written knowledge test
  • Hazardous Materials Written knowledge test and TSA Threat Assessment

In order to complete the road skills test, you must operate a vehicle that is in accordance to the type of endorsement you would like to obtain.

For more information: South Carolina Commercial Driver s License Application

When does my ID card expire?
Your South Carolina identification card will be good for a period of five years before you are required to complete an ID card renewal. When obtaining your renewed ID card, you will need to visit a SC Department of Motor Vehicles office in your neighborhood. Upon your visit, you may be asked to fill out an Application for a Non-Commercial Credential. However, if it has been more than nine months since your ID card expired, you will need to also present the following items:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Proof of South Carolina residency

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

Where can I obtain an ID card?
You can get a DMV ID card at any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office in your area. To find a list of DMV branches nearby, simply visit this link. If you have a damaged ID card and need a replacement, you will need to complete this process in person as well. You will be required to fill out an Application for a Non-Commercial Credential and present further documentation, if necessary. Learn more by contacting your local SC DMV office.

For more information: How to Apply for a South Carolina Identification Card

Who can sign for my permit or license if I am under 18?
If you are under the age of 18, you will be required to visit your local DMV office with a parent or legal guardian, who will be asked to sign your SC drivers permit application and provide consent. However, if you are an individual with emancipated minor status, you will be exempt from this requirement. Court documents showing proof of your emancipation will be required at the time of application.

If you are an exchange student who is younger than 18, you are required to have a person of your host family sign your application instead.

For more information: Learner s Permits for Beginner Drivers in South Carolina