South Carolina Driver's License Info, Driver's License Handbook, DMV Test

(Excerpts copyright SC DMV)

Getting a South Carolina Driver’s License

South Carolina issues both five-year and ten-year licenses. If you are a United States citizen and you visit a DMV branch office to obtain an original or renewal license, you will receive a ten-year license unless you are over 65 years of age. Persons who are 65 years of age or older may not obtain a ten year license, but will be issued a five year license. If you apply for a license renewal online, you will be issued a five-year license.

When you apply for a driver’s license, SCDMV will run automatic checks agains the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) and the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) databases to check your prior driving history in other states. The checks are performed when a customer applies for an original credential, renews a credential, is reexamined or moves from a beginner permit to a license. They are designed to insure drivers have only one valid license at a time.

Age Requirements for a South Carolina Driver’s License

If you are 15 or 16 years old, you can apply for a conditional use permit. Visit the SC DMV for more information.

If you are at least 17 years old and have held a beginner’s permit for 180 days, you are eligible for a regular SC Driver’s License. To get a Regular Driver’s License:

  • If you are under 18 years of age and have never been licensed, you must bring your parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application.
  • If you are 18 years old or older, you do not need the signature of your parent or legal guardian.
  • You must bring your beginner’s permit.
  • You must pass the vision and road skills tests. To schedule a road test, you should call the DMV office where you would like to take the skills test.

Required Documents for a SC Driver’s License

A complete list of all required document can be found in the $CSLINK or online at the South Carolina DMV website.

New Residents from Another State

Military Personnel (and their dependents) and students temporarily in South Carolina are not required to obtain a South Carolina Driver’s license. However, you must have a driver’s license from your home state to operate in South Carolina.

If you are a new resident, you may use a valid driver’s license from your former state for up to 90 days. However, you must convert to a South Carolina driver’s license before the end of the 90-day period. If your driver’s license from your home state has expired, you must also pass the knowledge and road tests. To schedule a road test, you should call the DMV office where you would like to take the skills test.

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