A regular license is a Class D beginner's permit or driver's license.

Knowledge Tests

To get a beginner's permit, study the appropriate manual and visit an SCDMV branch before 4 p.m. to take the knowledge test.

None of the manuals or other testing aids can 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 electronic device (cell phone, calculator, tablet reader, laptop, etc.)
  • Take anything into the test area that may assist you with the answers like written material or electronic device

 You will not be able to take knowledge tests after 4 p.m. An appointment is not required for a knowledge test.

Find an SCDMV branch

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.


Skills Tests

You may hear a skills test called a road test.

You may need to take a road test if you do not hold a valid SC 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.

Where can I take the regular road test?

If you are applying for a regular license, you may take the skills test at any SCDMV branch. 

All SCDMV branches accept walk-in customers for regular and motorcycle skills tests from 8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. everyday besides Wednesday. On Wednesdays, all branch offices accept walk-in customers from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Customers must make appointments to take regular and motorcycle skills tests from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.


Find an SCDMV branch

Weather Conditions for Road Tests

You may take a regular driver's license road test in the rain as long as you can see using an intermittent or low windshield wiper speed.

Failing the Road Test

If you fail the road test on the first attempt, you must wait two business days to return for a retest. Example: John Doe was unsuccessful on his first attempt on Monday, December 2. He may return after waiting two business days on Thursday, December 5. Business days are defined as Monday-Friday.

If you fail on the second attempt, you must wait seven calendar days to retest.

If you fails on the third or subsequent attempts, you must wait 30 calendar days to retest.