To apply for a beginner's permit, you must be at least 15 years of age or older. You must provide a birth certificate, social security card or its equivalent, proof of residency, and must pass the vision and knowledge tests. If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or legal guardian sign your application.
If you have a valid out-of-state beginner's permit, you may obtain a beginner's permit in this state. The time you held your out-of-state permit also counts toward the 180 day requirement. If your permit has expired, however, you must take the vision and knowledge tests to get a S.C. beginner's permit.
How To Get Started
Call 843-450-SAFE (7233)
Regardless of your age, if you have never been licensed or do not have proof of past driving experience, you must hold your beginner's permit for 180 days before being eligible for a driver's license.
With a beginner's permit, you may:
- Operate a motor vehicle from 6 a.m. to midnight with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old, who has at least one year of driving experience, and who is sitting in the front seat with you.
- Drive motorcycles, motor scooters or light motor driven cycles from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. (8 p.m. during daylight savings time). You may not operate a motorcycle, motor scooter or light motor driven cycle at any other time with a beginner's permit unless you are supervised by a Class M licensed parent or guardian. If you are operating a three-wheeled vehicle, the driver accompanying you must be directly behind you on a saddle-type seat or beside you on a bench type seat.
Your driving privileges will be suspended for six months if you receive traffic violations totaling six or more points. For information concerning Commercial Beginner's Permit requirements, refer to the SC Commercial Driver's License Manual.