Obtaining Your South Carolina Temporary Permit

Once you have completed your drivers education course, you will be ready to apply for your South Carolina learner's permit.

Before you can get a full drivers license in South Carolina, you will need to get a learner's permit first. A learner's permit will allow you to practice on-the-street driving under certain restrictions. 

If you are under 18, you are required to take a state-approved driver education course prior to getting a learners permit. If you are over 18, you are not required to take a driver education course. 

Prepare yourself by reading the South Carolina Driver Manual. Don't forget to download a complete checklist of the requirement and forms to obtain your South Carolina learner's permit.

Requirements

  • Be 15 years old
  • Proof of identity
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Pay $2.50 for permit and $2 for the test
  • Take vision test
  • Take written test

For a full list of required documents, click here.

Permit Rules

  • You can drive from 6 a.m. - midnight as long as there is a licensed driver over the age of 21 years old in your passenger seat. From midnight till 6 a.m. you may only drive with your parent accompanying you.
  • You must practice a minimum of 40 hours while holding your permit, with 10 of those hours at night. This practice time counts only when you're being supervised by your parent or legal guardian.
  • You must keep your permit for at least 180 days before applying for a regular driver's license.
  • Once you have the permit for the required time and study you’ll be able to go back to the DMV and take the driver’s test to get your full license. Just remember that the learner’s permit is not your full license.

Conditional or Restricted Driver's License

  • If you’re 17 or older you’ll be able to apply for a regular license after holding the permit for 180 days.
  • If under 17 you can get this license - find out more here.

After you've held this conditional or restricted license for one full year with no traffic offenses or accidents, you may apply for your regular drivers license.

Over 18
If you’re over 18, you can get a learner’s permit without taking any school or driving training, although it is recommended.