About South Carolina Drivers Ed
Depending on what your age is, completing a South Carolina Drivers Education course could be a requirement to getting your drivers license, or it could just be a good idea.
How to Get Your South Carolina Beginners Permit
The South Carolina DMV offers beginners permits in 5 different classes. The permit you will get depends on what you're planning to drive.
- Class D: This is the basic, regular passenger vehicle permit. Most people get this, or at least start out getting this.
- Class E: Single unit non-commercial vehicles more than 26,000 lbs gross vehicle weight (GVW)
- Class F: Combination unit non-commercial vehicles more than 26,000 lbs. GVW
- Class G: This is for mopeds only
- Class M: This is the beginner permit for motorcycles
Most people will be getting the Class D permit. In order to do that, you must do the following:
- Be at least 15 years old. Other states have different rules and age restrictions, but in South Carolina, it's 15.
- Bring your birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of residency, and insurance information to the South Carolina DMV.
- If you're under 18 years old, you also must bring a parent or legal guardian along with you, to sign your application.
- Pass both the vision and knowledge tests.
South Carolina Drivers Permit Restrictions
Once you have your beginners permit, you may drive. However, there are certain restrictions that apply until you get your full unrestricted drivers license:
- You can drive between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight, only if there is a licensed driver 21 and over who has had their license for at least 1 year in the front passenger seat.
- You can drive from midnight to 6 a.m. only if a parent or guardian is with you.
- You must hold your beginner's permit for 180 days before you can apply for your drivers license.
- If you are under 17, you must complete a drivers education course (8 hours of classroom time, and 6 hours of behind the wheel) before you can apply for a driver's license
SC Drivers Ed Course Overview
Like any state, the South Carolina drivers education course covers the basics of the car, the rules of the road, and any likely – or unlikely – situations or scenarios you may come across. You'll learn how to correctly read and interpret road signs, and all about the basic functions of your car. You will also learn a plethora of information about safe driving practices in general, and how drugs and alcohol can affect your body, and judgment, and ultimately, your ability to drive. The course breaks down like this:
- 30 hours of training: Coursework, during which all the important information will be drilled into your head.
- 6 hours of behind the wheel: You'll get in a car and really get a feel for the pedals, the steering wheel, and how to safely navigate your car through the streets.
- 6 hours of observation: Watching other students drive, and learning from their successes and failures.
South Carolina Drivers License Requirements
Once you have earned your South Carolina beginners permit, you must complete your supervised driving hours. In South Carolina, prospective drivers must complete 40 hours of supervised practice driving, with 10 of those hours occurring at night. This is to give permit holders a little bit of real-world experience behind the wheel. Why is this important? Well, you never what's going to happen on the road ahead.
You could memorize every law and by-law, and know each page of the driver's handbook by heart, but it might not matter when a dangerous situation arises on the road ahead. A deer doesn't know who has the right of way, and slick roads certainly won't give you a warning. But if you have spent some time driving a car with a responsible, licensed adult who can provide you with real-world guidance and practical advice, you'll be much better equipped to handle the unforeseen.
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