The process for CDL renewal in South Carolina differs from standard driver’s license renewals in many ways. Renewing a CDL, or commercial driver’s license, helps the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ensure that commercial drivers are safely and legally operating the vehicles for which they are qualified. The CDL renewal requirements are regulated by the DMV, and are unique compared to other DMV renewals. CDLs permit drivers can operate a bevy of specific vehicle types, which are often large or heavy machinery, as well as commercial vehicles. Commercial drivers may choose to add endorsements to their credentials to further increase their driving privileges, although adding these requires them to complete various other requirements during the renewal process.

Motorists must renew commercial drivers license documents in person, at a South Carolina DMV location. There are several documents required during this appointment. Drivers must bring all the required forms, including proper identification and proof of legal status. These requirements may vary, depending on the type of license a driver plans to renew. Some CDL holders may also be required to take additional knowledge exams and complete medical evaluations to renew their credentials. For more information about the South Carolina commercial license renewal process, continue reading the topics below.

When to Renew Your CDL License in South Carolina

Commercial drivers should perform their CDL renewal before their licenses expire. South Carolina has a CDL expiration grace period of six months, which means that drivers may renew their credentials up to six months after the date of expiration – without having to retake any tests.

Those who allow their CDLs to expire and try to renew after more than six months will receive an initial CDL before receiving a fully renewed license.

CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in South Carolina

The CDL renewal requirements in South Carolina differ from the requirements for standard drivers licenses. Likewise, the requirements differ between states. For example, while other states may require CDL holders to pass knowledge or skills tests during each renewal, South Carolina does not.

The only tests required during renewal are endorsement tests, which are necessary when adding special endorsements.

CDL holders who have more than five points on their records within two years of commercial license renewal are required to retake the general knowledge test and pay the fee during renewal. Also, drivers with hazardous materials endorsements are required to take the hazmat test during renewal.

What do you need to renew your CDL in South Carolina?

Are you wondering, “What do you need to renew your CDL license?” There are a few documents that you must bring during your renewal. The South Carolina DMV requires the following to be furnished during the CDL renewal process:

  • The Application for a Commercial Driver’s License
  • Automobile liability insurance
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical certificate
  • A form of payment for the renewal fee

In addition to the documents listed above, all motorists planning to renew CDL credentials with the REAL ID trademark must provide proof of identification. U.S. citizens must provide one of the following:

  • An original, valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • A certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics, or an equivalent agency in the individual’s state of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
  • A Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State
  • A Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
  • A Certificate of Citizenship issued by the DHS

Lawful permanent residents renewing for a REAL ID CDL must present a valid, unexpired Permanent Resident card, issued by USCIS or INS.

Drivers completing a CDL renewal in South Carolina will be asked to provide proof that they are medically qualified for the license. If a new medical evaluation or certificate is required, it may only be completed by a qualified physician.

CDL Renewal Process in South Carolina

South Carolina drivers may only renew commercial drivers license documents in person, during a renewal appointment, at a South Carolina DMV location. Unlike standard license renewals, CDL holders are not allowed to perform renewals online or by mail.

Drivers should collect all CDL renewal requirements and begin the process well in advance. To avoid long lines and wait times, it is recommended that motorists schedule an appointment, if possible.

South Carolina CDL Permit Renewal Requirements

The CDL permit renewal procedure in South Carolina is a bit different from the commercial license renewal process. Before receiving a commercial drivers license, drivers must hold a commercial learners permit (CLP) for at least 14 days. CLPs in South Carolina are valid for a certain timeframe, only.

How long is a CDL permit good for? South Carolina CDL permits are valid for 180 days. During this time, drivers’ activities and privileges are restricted. For example, they may only drive on public roads, and must drive while accompanied by a CDL holder.

“Can I renew my CDL permit after it expires?” is a commonly asked question of new commercial drivers. After the CDL permit expiration date passes, drivers may renew it only once within a two-year period. After renewal, drivers must either apply for a commercial license or begin the permit process all over again.

Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in South Carolina

The CDL license renewal process in South Carolina differs for motorists with hazardous materials endorsements, or those who plan to add one to their CDLs.

A hazardous material endorsement, or hazmat endorsement, allows drivers to operate different types of vehicles carrying hazardous materials. Renewing a CDL with a hazmat endorsement requires drivers to complete a background check through the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Also, drivers must retake the hazmat test during each renewal period. They must apply with a TSA application, print it and bring it to one of the fingerprinting centers in South Carolina. After being approved by the TSA, drivers must bring an approval letter to a DMV location to receive the endorsement.

CDL Renewal Fees in South Carolina

The South Carolina CDL renewal price differs, depending on the type of license being renewed, and whether the driver is adding any new endorsements. The CDL renewal cost figures are as follows:

  • CDL renewal: $12.50 license fee; $15 application fee
  • Knowledge tests: $2
  • TSA fingerprinting (for hazmat holders): $83
Last updated on Friday, March 6 2020.