In order to qualify for a South Carolina Beginner Permit, the applicant must be a minimum of 15 years old and must provide valid identification in the form of an original birth certificate, social security card, proof of South Carolina residency and proof of insurance. Teen applicants under the age of 18 must bring a parent or legal guardian during the application process to sign the Beginner Permit application. Applicants must pass a vision screening and a knowledge test.
A teen driver with a Beginner Permit is allowed to drive from 6:00 am to midnight as long as they are accompanied by a driver that has been licensed for a minimum of one year and is at least 21 years of age. The licensed driver must be seated in the front seat next to the Beginner Permit holder. A teen driver who wishes to drive between midnight and 6:00 am, must be accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian who sits in the front seat at all times.
A teen driver must hold a Beginner Permit for a minimum of 180 days before applying for a driver license. Beginner’s Permit holders that are under 18 must complete 40 hours of practice driving with a licensed parent or guardian before they can apply for a driver license (10 out of the 40 hours of practice driving must be nighttime driving.)
A 15 year old driver who has held a Beginner Permit for a minimum of 180 days can qualify for a conditional driver’s license. Applicants for a conditional license must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian during the application process to sign the conditional license application. Applicants must pass a vision screening and a DMV road test. Applicants must bring their Beginner Permit and a PDLA form that certifies the following:
All three of these certifications can be submitted on one form offered at the South Carolina DMV website at http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/forms/pdla.pdf
Conditional license holders may only drive unaccompanied from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm or until 8:00 pm during daylight savings time. Outside of those hours the teen driver may drive until midnight if accompanied by a licensed driver that is a minimum of 21 years of age. Between midnight and 6:00 am a conditional license holder may only drive if accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian.
Drivers that hold a conditional license may not carry more than two passengers under the age of 21 unless they are immediate family members or students that are being transported to or from school. Conditional license drivers may qualify for a full driver’s license when they reach age 16 if they have held the conditional license for 1 year without a conviction for a traffic violation and have not been at-fault in any accident during a one year period prior to application.