How to Get a Motorcycle License in South Carolina
Riders are required to hold a South Carolina motorcycle license to legally operate their motorbikes within the state. To get a motorcycle driver’s license, applicants will be required to meet the licensing requirements of the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). However, prior to applying for licensure, riders must first apply for a permit to practice their safe riding skills. The DMV issues a standalone license, instead of a motorcycle endorsement in the state. However, if you already hold a standard driving license and you earn the privilege to operate a motorcycle, the department will issue you a single document endorsing you for both classifications. With a bike license, you can operate any two or three-wheel motorcycle and a motorcycle with a sidecar. Learn more about the process of getting your motorcycle license in SC by reviewing the sections below.
Motorcycle License Requirements in South Carolina
Riders will be required to meet the South Carolina motorcycle license requirements in order to receive a license through the state DMV. The SC bike license requirements may vary slightly depending on whether an applicant is under the age of 18 years old or as an adult. The standard eligibility criteria for a new bike license are outlined below:
- You are at least 15-and-a-half years of age.
- You have held a motorcycle permit, which can be obtained when you are at least 15 years of age, for 180 days.
- You are physically and mentally fit to safely operate a motorbike.
- You have the theoretical knowledge and the practical skills to ride a motorcycle.
- You are able to prove your identity, Social Security Number (SSN), state residency and lawful U.S. presence.
If you are requesting a license as a minor, you will also need a parental authorization form, a certificate of a standard driver’s education course and school attendance forms.
When organizing the paperwork needed to get a motorbike license, you must ensure that you have obtained the documents that apply to your current circumstances. For instance, non-U.S. citizens will be required to submit different forms to prove their identity than those submitted by U.S. citizens.
Note: New residents in the state with valid out-of-state bike licenses can transfer their license to SC without taking the written or the skills exam. The vision testing and the documentation requirements still apply in such cases.
South Carolina Motorcycle License Training Courses
When getting a motorcycle license in South Carolina, applicants will not be required to complete a rider’s safety course designed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF), regardless of their age. However, even if an MSF course certificate is not necessary for a motorcycle license in SC, you can still enroll in a state-approved motorcycle training program in order to improve your pre-existing riding skills and knowledge of safe riding practices. Also, if you graduate from an approved rider’s safety course prior to applying for motorcycle license documents, you will be able to submit your course certificate as proof that you have mastered the skills necessary to ride a motorcycle and receive a motorbike license in the state. In such cases, the state DMV will not require you to take the skills exam.
South Carolina Motorcycle License Tests
To prove that you are ready for a license, you will have to pass several licensing tests. When applying for your SC motorcycle learner’s permit, you will first have to pass the vision screening and the written knowledge exam. The written test examines your existing knowledge of the state motor vehicle laws and safe riding practices. Then, after holding your motorcycle permit for 6 months, you can schedule and take the skills test at a DMV branch.
You will be allowed to take the road skills test only if you arrive at the testing facility with a motorcycle that has a valid license plate, as well as a valid bike registration and vehicle insurance coverage. To check your readiness to own an SC motorbike driving license, the examiner will measure your skills in operating the motorcycle in various traffic situations. If you successfully complete an MSF rider’s course, you will be exempted from taking the on-cycle test.
The South Carolina Motorcycle License Application Process
Riders can get a motorcycle license in South Carolina by completing several steps. Bike license applicants will first be required to make a visit to a nearby DMV office to apply for an SC motorcycle learners permit in the state. To successfully get a bike permit, beginner riders will have to pass the initial licensing tests, submit the supporting paperwork, fill out the relevant application and pay the relevant fees. After practicing riding with the permit for 180 days, motorbike license applicants can take the skills test to finalize the process of applying for a motorcycle license in the state.
When taking the test, you will be required to submit your beginner’s permit and a valid insurance card. After passing the road skills exam, you can make another visit to a nearby DMV office to pay the applicable licensing fees and submit the necessary paperwork. You will receive your SC motorcycle license as soon as the department verifies that you meet the motorbike license requirements and manufactures your credential.
South Carolina Motorcycle License Fees
When applying for a motorcycle license in South Carolina, motorcyclists will be required to arrange payment for the applicable DMV fees. The total motorcycle license cost may include several smaller fees. For instance, in addition to the standard SC bike license fee of $25 for an eight-year license, applicants will also have to pay the $2.50 motorcycle permit fee and the $2 testing fee. Note that if you have to retest, you will be required to submit a new $2 fee payment. When paying your motorbike license costs in SC at any DMV branch office, you can provide your payment in the form of cash, check or debit or credit cards.