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  • Special Licenses in South Carolina

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    Special Licenses in South Carolina

    For certain types of vehicles and driving professions, you'll need to obtain a special license or endorsement through the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    On this page you'll find an overview of some of the general classes and endorsements available to you.

    If you are looking for information about obtaining a regular driver's license, please visit our pages on the following topics:

    Who Needs a Commercial License in South Carolina?

    You'll need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) if you intend to drive any of the following:

    • A vehicle whose actual, registered, or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is over 26,001 lbs and is towing a vehicle with an actual, registered, or GVWR of over 10,000 lbs (Class A license).
    • A vehicle whose actual, registered, or GVWR is over 26,001 lbs and is not towing another vehicle with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs (Class B license).
    • A vehicle or combination of vehicles with a GVWR under 26,000 lbs designed to either transport at least 16 passengers (including the driver) or carry hazardous materials (Class C license).

    Certain driving professions require having endorsements in addition to a CDL, while others don't require a CDL.

    For more information about obtaining a commercial driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in South Carolina page.

    School Bus Drivers

    Those seeking to transport children in a school bus need to have a CDL if the bus is designed to seat more than 16 passengers, including the driver. If so, you'll need to obtain a passenger ("P") and a school bus ("S") endorsement, besides the CDL. School bus driver applicants will generally need to:

    • Have a minimum amount of driving experience with a clean driving record.
    • Pass a background check and have a clean criminal record.
    • Take a school bus knowledge exam.
    • Pass the driving skills test in a school bus.

    For more information, please contact the South Carolina DMV.

    Shuttle Bus Drivers

    Shuttle buses not only come in a variety of styles and sizes, but are used in many different ways. You may need to obtain a CDL, along with a passenger endorsement or any other additional endorsements. Check with your potential employer to find out what is needed for your particular situation.

    Taxi Cab Drivers

    In general, taxi cab drivers don't need a special SC driver's license or permit for their jobs. However, local jurisdictions or employers may have additional requirements, so check with the proper authorities for more information. You may need to:

    • Become trained and certified as a taxi driver.
    • Pass a medical exam.
    • Pass a criminal background check.
    • Have a clean driving record.
    • Pay a taxi licensing fee.

    For more information, please contact the South Carolina DMV.

    Chauffeurs

    While South Carolina doesn't impose any special statewide licensing requirements for chauffeurs, local jurisdictions or employers may impose additional requirements.

    Sport Vehicles

    Many off-highway or all-terrain vehicle users don't need a special license to operate. However, you may have to be a minimum age or complete a safety training course. Other vehicles may require you to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in South Carolina page.

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