South Carolina CDL Requirements

In State Driving Age:
Driving Between States Age:
Hazardous Age:
Exams Required:
  • Vision
  • Health
  • Written Test
  • Driving Test
IDs Required:
  • State ID

To obtain a SC driving job, you will need a commercial driver's license (CDL). Applicants for the Class A license in South Carolina will go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to begin the process. First, they must be at least 18 years of age. However, they will not be able to drive a commercial vehicle across the state’s borders. Applicants who are age 21 and older can apply without restrictions.

Qualifying for the CDL

In order to qualify to drive a commercial vehicle, applicants must pass a medical examination that proves they are physically fit to drive the vehicle. To pass this test, they will need to be free of various illnesses and have good hearing. After they pass this examination, they will present their certificates to the DMV as proof. Applicants also need to pass a vision test. They will need to pass the test with 20/40 vision in both eyes, but they will be able to wear their corrective lenses.

The Vision, Knowledge and Skills Tests

Upon arriving at the DMV, applicants will fill out and turn in their applications. They will need to pay the application fee of $15. Then, they will take their vision tests. Applicants will also need to take written knowledge tests. The written test covers knowledge from the South Carolina CDL Manual, which should be studied prior to the written test.

Every applicant takes the general knowledge test, but some applicants will be required to take knowledge tests that will allow them to add endorsements to their licenses. If applicants will be driving a commercial vehicle that has air brakes, a double or triple trailer or hazardous materials, they will need to take additional knowledge tests for these purposes. The knowledge tests will also require that applicants pay a $2 fee for each test that they take.

Applicants that pass all of the examinations described above will be welcome to take the driving skills test. Unlike the previous exams, this test does not have a fee. However, those who fail their first driving skills tests and take the test again will need to pay a $25 fee.

The Three Parts of the Driving Skills Test

The driving skills exam will test the applicants in three different areas. First, they will need to show their examiners that they can determine that their vehicles are fit to be taken on the roads. They will do this by verbally stating to their examiners what they are inspecting and why. They will need to justify their decision to declare the vehicle as safe to drive.

Next, applicants need to show their examiners that they are in control of their vehicles. They will do this by showing that they can start and stop and move forward and backward with the vehicle in full control. After they have done this, they will take the vehicle onto the roads where their instructors will lead them into several different driving situations. Applicants will need to show that they can handle the vehicle in all these different situations without becoming stressed to pass this test.

After applicants complete all that is required of them successfully, they will receive their Class A CDLs that are valid for a period of five years. Individuals in South Carolina are expected to renew by their birth date of the renewal year. Those who fail to do so may have to follow South Carolina re-licensing information instructions, which could include retesting.

View Truck Driving Schools in South Carolina that offer CDL License Training. 

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