Drivers ed completion is required in South Carolina for young teens who wish to obtain their first driver’s license within the state. While older teens and adults are not required to complete a course, these courses are strongly recommended for any new driver as courses provide a number of benefits, including safe driving knowledge and skills as well as potential auto insurance discounts.

Drivers ed online is not available within the state as classes must be taken in a classroom styled setting. However, the state does not administer or govern these classes and so a number of individuals and companies have obtained permits to teach the curriculum that meets South Carolina standards.

Therefore, prices and schedules can vary from one company to the next, allowing prospective drivers to shop around for the best course. You can learn more about drivers education, including how to enroll in a course and course requirements, in the sections that have been provided below.

Who needs to take drivers ed in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, drivers ed classes are required of any teen who is 15 or 16 years old who is applying for their driver’s license. Young teens are able to obtain a South Carolina driver’s license by meeting the following requirements:

  • Hold a learner’s permit for more than 180 days.
  • Successfully complete an approved educational course.
  • Be enrolled in school and maintain satisfactory attendance.
  • Accrue at least 40 hours of practice driving, including ten hours of night driving, with a licensed adult who meets SC standards.

Types of Drivers Ed Classes in South Carolina

South Carolina drivers ed is typically broken down into two types: teens and adults. However, courses are not regulated or administered by South Carolina and so, in some cases, companies may combine courses. As stated previously, only teens that are 15 or 16 years old are required to complete a course, however, courses are recommended to anyone who has not yet received a license and would like to learn how to drive safely.

What will you learn in a South Carolina drivers ed school?

SC drivers education will include at least eight hours of classroom instruction and at least six hours of behind the wheel instruction. You can expect to receive information from the curriculum regarding:

  • Safe driving practices.
  • Distractions and hazards.
  • South Carolina driving laws and regulations.
  • The effects of alcohol and drugs on driving.
  • The importance of vehicle safety features, including airbags, headrests and seatbelts.
  • Collision avoidance techniques.

A drivers ed test will be administered at the end of the course. This exam will cover the information that has been taught within the course.

South Carolina Drivers Education Requirements

South Carolina teen driving school requires that teens:

  • Be at least 15 years of age.
  • Pass a vision and a knowledge test in order to obtain a SC beginner’s permit.
  • Be able to provide proof of identity and SC residency.
  • Be able to show proof of insurance.
  • Have a parent or guardian with you to sign your application.

Adult drivers ed also requires adults to pass knowledge and vision exams and obtain a beginner’s permit before class. Additional requirements may vary from one company to the next.

Benefits of a South Carolina Driver Education Course

A South Carolina drivers ed course provides numerous benefits to both adults and teens. By completing a course, you can gain benefits such as:

  • For teens who are 15 or 16 years of age, the ability to earn a driver’s license.
  • All participants will gain safe driving knowledge and skills as well as crash avoidance techniques.
  • In many cases, auto insurers will offer a discount on car insurance premiums for the successful completion of a course, especially in the case of teens and young adults.

How to Enroll in a South Carolina Driver Ed School

South Carolina drivers education is provided through numerous third-party providers that have been permitted to teach within the state. A complete list of approved third parties can be found online.

You are strongly encouraged to review multiple providers within your area in order to determine the provider that provides the best schedule, prices and features for you. Once you have decided on a provider, you can enroll in an educational course by contacting that provider or enrolling online from the provider’s website.

South Carolina DMV Drivers Ed Certificates

After completing drivers ed classes in SC, your course provider will issue a Certificate of DL Under 18 (SCDMV Form PDLA) to show that you have successfully completed the course. If required to complete a course for a driver’s license, you must present this certificate at the DMV when you apply for a license.

If attending for an insurance discount, your insurer will likely require you to submit the certificate to them. Depending on the insurer, certificates may be accepted by fax, online or by mail.

Drivers Ed for New South Carolina Residents

If drivers ed was taken outside of South Carolina prior to a move, you may be required to retake a course within the state if the course that was taken does not meet SC standards. You can inquire as to whether or not previous courses will be accepted by contacting your local DMV.

If you have a learner’s permit from another state, you can exchange that permit for a South Carolina beginner’s permit. However, the 180 days that you must hold the permit will not consider time that you held your out-of-state permit.

South Carolina Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School

SC drivers education is designed to teach youths and adults that have never obtained a driver’s license how to operate a vehicle safely as well as traffic laws and regulations. It is a beginner’s course that can help teens obtain a driver’s license for the first time.

Traffic school, also known as a defensive driving course, is a refresher on traffic laws and safe driving practices. These courses are designed for experienced drivers and offer different benefits. The two types of courses have nothing to do with one another.

South Carolina Driver Education Fees

South Carolina drivers ed prices will vary by provider. In many cases, the provider may also charge a fee for the classroom courses and a separate fee for the behind-the-wheel training.

Therefore, it is important to review several providers in your area in order to determine which provider fits your schedule and budget. On average, classes can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. However, some providers do offer features such as price matching.

Last updated on Monday, March 2 2020.