Driver's Training in South Carolina
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Before you get your license and head out on the open road, you’ll need some practice under the guidance of an experienced driver.
On this page, you'll find information about the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in-car training requirements for teenagers and the next steps towards your full driver's license.
SC Driver’s Training & Supervised Driving Requirements
If you’re younger than 17 years old and applying for your first driver’s license, South Carolina's DMV requires you hold a learner’s permit for over 180 days, during which time you must complete:
- Professional driver's training: The in-car component of a South Carolina Driver’s Ed program.
- Supervised behind-the-wheel driving practice: Driving practice you complete on your own time with a supervising adult (e.g. parent, legal guardian, older sibling) in the car.
Both types of training will help you develop the skills necessary to ace the DMV road test, and give you the confidence to eventually drive solo. Next, we’ll go over the finer details and requirements for each type of behind-the-wheel training.
Already an adult?
First-time adult drivers DO NOT have to go through the same driver’s training and supervised driving requirements that apply to minors. Please see our page on applying for an SC adult driver’s license for licensing instructions.
South Carolina Driver's Training
South Carolina driver's training courses are offered by DMV-approved Driver’s Ed programs and most high schools.
Regardless of where you take Driver’s Ed, the course must include at least:
- 8 hours of classroom instruction.
- 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a certified driving instructor.
Generally, you can begin the in-car instruction after completing the classroom portion of your Driver’s Ed program.
Once you’ve finished the in-class and in-car driver training portions of Driver’s Ed, you’ll receive a completion certificate—don’t lose this! You’ll need it for the next step of applying for a restricted SC driver’s license.
Supervised Driving Practice in SC
Your supervised behind-the-wheel training will allow you to experience real-time road conditions and situations with a licensed adult in the car. To satisfy the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles’ supervised driving requirement, you must:
- Be accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has held their driver's license for at least 1 year or longer.
- For the hours to count, the supervising adult MUST be listed on the Consent for Minor (Form 447-CM), which was required when you applied for your learner’s permit.
- Complete at least 40 hours of supervised behind-the-wheel practice.
- 10 hours must be completed at night.
Once you’ve completed your behind-the-wheel supervised driving and driver’s training, you’ll be ready to apply for your restricted SC driver's license!
Next Steps—SC Restricted Driver's License
You'll be eligible to apply for your restricted driver's license after you:
- Complete Driver’s Ed, which includes in-car driver’s training.
- Complete your supervised behind-the-wheel driving practice.
- Have held your learner's permit for at least 180 days.
For more information regarding the required documents and testing for a South Carolina driver’s license, please visit our page on teen licensing in SC.