The Stages of Driver Licensing in South Carolina

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There are essentially four stages that you have to go through in getting a driver’s license in South Carolina. Especially if you are under eighteen years old, you have to go through all the stages before you can get a regular driver’s license. Within those stages, you will have to pass through exams to evaluate both your knowledge and skills in driving. This is the state of South Carolina’s way of equipping their drivers with enough qualities to drive while eliminating, or at least lessen, the threat of getting into road accidents while learning. See this page for more information.

The first stage in the process is acquiring a beginner’s permit. This only applies to individuals who are over 15 years of age and have never had a driver’s license. To acquire this license, you must pass the knowledge and vision test. Most of the questions in the knowledge test are taken from the DMV South Carolina’s handbook. It is composed mainly of traffic rules and regulations, including road signs and proper driving techniques. Although the exam doesn’t come easy, taking the DMV practice test (see: could help you evaluate yourself and practice your capacity to retain information. After using the beginner’s permit for at least 180 days, you can then apply for a conditional provisional driver license.

The second stage is the conditional provisional driver license. If a beginner’s permit doesn’t allow you to drive without a regular licensed driver who is over 21 years old sitting beside you, this one does. You can drive alone using this license from 6AM to 8PM. Beyond that hour you need a licensed driver to accompany you. Moreover, in order to get this type of license, you will have to pass the skill test and vision test. Note that in the skill test, you will be evaluated by a person coming from the DMV. They will observe your methods of driving and how you adhere with the traffic rules. Also, enrolling in driving schools can help you pass the skill test. Go to this page for more info about the skill test:

After the conditional provisional driver license stage, the special restricted driver license follows. The restrictions of this type of license are almost the same with the previous stage. However, if you have valid reasons those restrictions can be waived. You need a proof from your guardian, parents, or from a school administration to make your reasons valid.

The last is the regular driving license stage. Even if you are just sixteen, you can enjoy full driving privileges if you were able to go through the previous stages without committing violations, and accidents in which you are at fault. In having this license, you don’t have to visit the DMV office and apply. The DMV South Carolina will mail you a special license jacket indicating that you have a regular driver license. To know more about getting a driver’s license you can click here.

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If you are in search for a good online guide to South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, this is the right place for you. We present you the website that will solve all your DMV related matters in a second. Our mission is to help you handle titling, driving and licensing issues fast and easy. So let us guide you and save you time.

Types of locations and working hours

Different offices handle different issues. That’s why you have to check if the office you intend to visit offers you the service you require.

• DMV Field Full-Service Offices are in charge of titles, registration, licenses, commercial licenses, IDs, permits, vision, knowledge and road tests. The offices work form Monday to Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm.
• Dealer Central Offices are located in Charleston, Columbia, Chester, Greer and Ridgeland, and they handle issues related to dealers. Working hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm.
• Sixteen DMV Offices in the state deal with licenses, non-driver IDs, and permits for non-US citizens. These DMV offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-5:00 pm.
• Saturday Service Offices handle issues like titles, registration, licenses, non-driver IDs, permits and more. These DMV Offices are open from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm.

Don’t forget the legal holidays, as all offices are closed on those days. And please verify the working hours before visiting in person.

Scheduling appointments

Apart from going to the DMV locations to schedule your vision, knowledge and road tests, you may also contact your nearest office to make a road test appointment, or reschedule an existing appointment.

Important phone numbers

South-Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
(803) 896-5000 – DMV Call Center (Monday-Friday)
(800) 442-1DMV – 24/7 Automated Customer Service
(803) 896-8623 – 24/7 Automated Customer Service for Columbia
(803) 896-2611 – for automobile dealership licenses

For more details here –

More useful information

• We also advise you to see this South-Carolina DMV guide –
• Check also the best private website –, the number one online info provider regarding vehicle issues.

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