South Carolina Driving Test
If you want to get a driver license in South Carolina and you have never been licensed before, there is no way for you to avoid taking a South Carolina driving test. The drivers test checks your ability to control the vehicle and to apply the knowledge of South Carolina driving rules. The drivers license test in South Carolina is administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles and you can schedule the exam with any local full service office. The minimum age for taking a driving test in South Carolina is 15 years, 6 months and you need to have a valid drivers permit at this point.
Drivers Test Requirements
Taking a driving test is one of the final steps in the process of obtaining a drivers license in South Carolina, which means that you will need to meet certain licensing requirements before you get to this stage. Driver test requirements are age dependent, since drivers under the age of 18 years need to observe the rules prescribed by the South Carolina graduated license program. For your convenience, we have broken the requirements into two age groups, so you can skip straight to the requirements that apply to you.
Road Test Requirements - Under 18 Years of Age
The minimum age for taking a drivers test in South Carolina is 15 years, 6 months and you must receive a permit prior to taking the test, so your first step is obtaining a South Carolina drivers permit. In order to do so, visit the DMV, take a knowledge exam and a vision test. Should you pass the tests, you are issued with a drivers permit and you can start practicing driving while being supervised by another licensed driver. The supervising driver must hold a valid drivers license, be no younger than 21 years of age and have at least one year of driving experience. You are required to hold the permit for at least six months before you can take the road skills test. During these months, you are to complete a state-approved South Carolina drivers education course and at least 40 hours of driving practice with your parents, including 10 hours at night. You must also obtain a PDLA form from your high school (the form shows that you completed drivers ed and have adequate school attendance).
Those who successfully get through the permit holding period without breaking any of the South Carolina drivers permit restrictions are good to schedule their drivers test with the SCDMV. Note that even if you pass the driving test, you will not be issued with a full license at this point. Depending on your age, you can be issued either with a conditional drivers license or a special restricted drivers license and you will need to observe all South Carolina drivers license restrictions until you upgrade your license to the next level.
Driving Test Requirements - 18 Years of Age and Older
There are good news and bad new for you. The good news - you do not need to observe the graduated license rules. The bad news - you must meet the same testing requirements prior to taking your South Carolina drivers license test.
Your first step is to apply for the beginner's permit. You can do so at any DMV office and you will be required to take a vision exam and the South Carolina permit test that covers the state driving rules and traffic signs (if you are not sure whether you are ready for the real knowledge exam, go ahead and take a free South Carolina practice drivers test). Once you pass the exam, you are issued with a permit that you will need to hold for at least 180 days.
During these days, you are to observe all permit restrictions, thus you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a license driver accompany you whenever you are behind the wheel. The supervising driver needs to be at least 21 years of age and have at least one year of driving experience.
When you are ready, schedule the drivers test with the South Carolina DMV. Once you pass the road skills exam, you are granted a full unrestricted drivers license.
Scheduling The Road Test
Unfortunately, the South Carolina DMV does not yet offer the option to schedule the driving test online, so you are limited to scheduling an appointment over the phone or in person. However, the DMV website will come in handy while trying to locate a DMV branch near you. Log into the website, search for a local DMV branch, get their phone number and give them a call. In order to ensure that you will get the date that you want, schedule the road skills exam at least a week or two in advance.
Things to Bring / What to Expect
The first thing you should concern yourself is the vehicle you will be taking the road test in. The DMV does not make any vehicles available for testing, so it will be up to you to come up with the car. The vehicle needs to be properly registered, titled and insured. It must also be in good mechanical condition, if some of the equipment is not working, you may be denied the chance to take your South Carolina driver's test.
The official South Carolina driving manual contains a pretty large section that covers the driving test requirements. Among other information, you can find the safety requirements that are presented before vehicles that are used for the test. We advise that you check that section of the manual before you visit the drivers testing site.
You should arrive for your appointment at least 5-10 minutes early. This will provide the examiner with enough time to make sure that your paperwork is in order and to conduct a quick safety inspection of the vehicle. If you are even a little late, you will not be allowed to take the road test that day and will have to reschedule.
If you have any questions about the driving test, ask them before the exam begins. When the exam starts, excessive talking will only distract the examiner.
While taking the driving test in South Carolina, you will be assessed on the following:
- Parallel parking.
- Stopping smoothly.
- Backing the vehicle.
- Stopping at stop signs.
- Turning around.
- Proper clutching.
- Approaching corners.
- Yielding the right of way.
- Stopping on grades.
- Starting on grades.
- Railroad crossings.
- Using the horn.
- Maintaining good posture.
Once you pass the driving test, you may be issued with a South Carolina drivers license. The type of the license that you will receive depends on your age at the time when you take the road test.