Practice Beginner's Permit Knowledge Test

To practice for the beginner's permit test, you may download the free app to your smartphone. Search for the app under “SC DMV Driver Exam.” The practice test offers a series of randomly selected questions. Each question is based on the information found in the South Carolina Driver’s Manual.

Quick Links                

Regular Driver's License Road Test (study South Carolina Driver’s Manual before test)     
Commercial License Testing (study Commercial Driver's License Manual before test)                                                                                  
Motorcycle Road Test (study Motorcycle and Moped Operator's Manual before test)
Class E and F Test (study Large Non-commercial and Recreational Vehicles Driver's Manual before test)

Where to Take Tests

You must take a vision, knowledge, and road test when you apply an original driver's license or upgrade to a different class. You may take vision and knowledge tests at any SCDMV branch. The South Carolina Driver’s Manual, Motorcycle and Moped Operator's Manual, Large Non-commercial and Recreational Vehicles Driver's Manual, Commercial Driver's License Manual, or other testing aids cannot be used while you take the knowledge test. You will fail the test if you do any of the following:

  • Leave the test room/area before the test is completed
  • Talk to anyone, whether in person or with an electrical device
  • Take anything into the test area that may assist you with the answers like written material or electronic device (cell phone, calculator, tablet reader, laptop, etc.)

Find an SCDMV branch
As of April 6, 2020, the SCDMV is operating on an appointment system.  Please make an appointment to take the knowledge test.  Select the branch and then select appointment.

There are One Stop Driver Training and Testing Programs where SCDMV authorized trainers/testers give the knowledge and/or road tests if you’re applying for a first-time regular (Class D) beginner’s permit, driver’s license, or motorcycle (Class M) license.

The first  test for every type of license includes a vision, knowledge, and road test, except for a moped license. The SCDMV does not require a skills test for a moped license.

Taking the Road Test
You may hear a road test called a skills test.

You need to take a road test if you do not hold a valid driver’s license.

You must provide a vehicle for the test. The vehicle must be safe and have all of the following in working condition:

  • Headlights and Brakes
  • Windshield wipers
  • Safety belts
  • Turn signals
  • Mirrors
  • Speedometer
  • Defroster
  • Horn

The vehicle must have a valid license plate, registration card, and insurance card. The skills test must be postponed if it is not safe. You will automatically fail if you do not use your seat belt.

An SCDMV employee will test you. You and the employee are the only people allowed in or around the vehicle. Your test includes all of the following:

  • Vision test
    If you wear glasses, bring them.
  • Knowledge test of traffic laws, road signs, and driving safety rules
  • Driving test, if required

You should bring all of the following items to your test:

  • Old license or beginner’s permit (if you have one)
  • A licensed driver
  • Vehicle liability insurance information from a company licensed to do business in SC

During the test, you will:

  • Turn on your headlights and windshield wipers
  • Turn on your turn signals (including four-way flashers)
  • Test your brake lights
  • Make lane changes
  • Make right and left turns
  • Identify road signs
  • Parallel park
  • 100 feet backing
  • Park on a hill
  • Perform a three point turnabout
  • Straight line backing

You must show the car is properly insured. If you're using a rental car, your name on the contract must show as insured.

Failing the Road Test

If you do not have driving experience and you fail the skills test on your first or second attempt, you must wait two weeks before you can be re-tested regardless of age.

If you’ve held a driver’s license and fail the test on your first or second attempt, you must wait one week before you can be re-tested regardless of age. A beginner’s permit does not count as driving experience.

If you fail the test on your third attempt or more, you must wait 60 days before you can be re-tested regardless of whether or not you have previous driving experience.