Motorcycle License in South Carolina
Whether you're in a hurry to eat some of South Carolina's famous barbecue, or just want to cruise along the tree-lined highways, you can count on a motorcycle for the quickest and most enjoyable trip.
If you're interested in getting a SC motorcycle license, keep reading for more information on how to do so.
New to South Carolina?
If you recently moved to South Carolina and already have an out-of-state motorcycle license/endorsement, you'll need to transfer your credentials within 90 days of moving to the state.
Visit your local SC Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) office location and:
- Surrender your out-of-state license/endorsement.
- Provide proof of your:
- Submit a completed Application for a Beginner's Permit, Driver's License, or Identification Card (Form 447-NC).
- Take a vision test.
- Pass the motorcycle written and road tests, IF your out-of-state license has been expired for 9 months or more.
SC Motorcycle License Eligibility
In order to be eligible for a South Carolina motorcycle license you must:
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Take a vision screening.
- Pass the written knowledge test for motorcycles.
- Earn a motorcycle permit OR already hold a South Carolina license of another class.
- Pass the SCDMV's motorcycle road skills exam.
- Complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) education course.
- Your skills test will be administered by the course provider.
- Pass the SCDMV's motorcycle road skills exam.
- Pay the required motorcycle licensing fees.
Additionally, if you're 17 years old or younger, you must also provide a Certification of School Attendance, Driver's Education and Driving Practice (Form PDLA), which certifies that you:
- Are enrolled in school.
- Have completed a standard Driver's Ed course approved by the SC Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Taking a MSF course will NOT satisfy this requirement.
How to Get a South Carolina Motorcycle Permit
If you don't already have a South Carolina driver's license of another class, you'll first need to apply for a motorcycle permit before getting your full motorcycle license.
To get your motorcycle beginner permit, visit any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office and:
- Present proof of:
- SC residency and legal presence.
- The DMV provides a list of acceptable identity and residency paperwork.
- Show proof of your parent or legal guardian's consent IF you're younger than 18 years old.
- The easiest way to do this is to bring them with you to the DMV!
- Complete an Application for a Beginner's Permit, Driver's License, or Identification Card (Form 447-NC).
- Provide a Certification of School Attendance, Driver's Education and Driving Practice (Form PDLA), IF you're 17 years old or younger.
- Show evidence of SC motorcycle insurance.
- Pass the following exams:
- Vision test.
- Written motorcycle knowledge test.
- Pay the required fees:
- Knowledge exam: $2.
- Motorcycle permit: $2.50.
You'll then receive your SC motorcycle permit! You must hold your motorcycle permit for at least 180 days before going in to apply for a motorcycle license.
SC Motorcycle Permit Restrictions
The rules and restrictions that apply to beginner driver's permits also apply to your beginner motorcycle permit. In addition to those restrictions, you cannot operate your motorcycle from 6 p.m. to 6.a.m. unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian who has a Class M license.
Jump over to our Driver's Permits page for a full picture of the requirements for riding with your motorcycle permit in South Carolina.
How to Get Your SC Motorcycle License
Once you've fulfilled the requirements above, you'll need to do one of two things; EITHER:
- Take and pass an on-motorcycle road test.
- Complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation education course.
- As part of the class completion, you will pass a course road exam. See below for details.
If you take your road test through the DMV, you'll need to provide:
- Your motorcycle beginner's permit.
- A motorcycle in safe working order.
- Proof of registration and insurance for the motorcycle.
You can schedule an appointment for your road test using the SCDMV's vehicle skills test scheduler.
When you're ready, visit your local SCDMV office branch and present:
- Proof of your:
- Social Security number.
- Identity, residency, and legal presence in the U.S.
- The DMV gives you a list of acceptable residency and identification documents.
- Motorcycle insurance.
- Parent or legal guardian's consent, if you're under 18 years old.
- Present a:
- Certification of School Attendance, Driver's Education and Driving Practice (Form PDLA), If you're 17 years old or younger.
- Completed Application for a Beginner's Permit, Driver's License, or Identification Card (Form 447-NC).
- MSF education course completion certificate (if applicable).
- Pay the $25 licensing fee.
The SCDMV will then issue your motorcycle license!
Motorcycle Education in South Carolina
Enrolling in a motorcycle education course can make getting your SC motorcycle license a lot easier.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles will waive the motorcycle road skills test if you're able to provide a certificate of Motorcycle Safety Foundation's course completion. Additionally, if you're a novice motorcycle rider, the MSF Basic RiderCourse will teach you essential skills like:
- Choosing the most effective safety gear.
- Making smooth turns and stops.
- Dealing with emergencies.
- Communicating with other drivers on the road.
If you'd like more information about motorcycle education in South Carolina, take a look at the SCDMV's list of approved motorcycle safety course providers.
SC Motorcycle License Fees
The fees associated with getting your SC motorcycle license are as follows:
- Written knowledge test: $2.
- Beginner's motorcycle permit: $2.50.
- Class M motorcycle license: $25.
- Certification of School Attendance, Drivers Education and Driving Practice
- Use this South Carolina DMV form to certify your teen driver is enrolled in school and has received the proper driving instruction. Must be completed by a school employee (or legal guardian if home schooled) AND a driving instructor.
- Application for a Beginner's Permit, Driver's License, or Identification Card (Non-Commercial Credential)
- Use this DMV form to apply for a South Carolina learner's permit, driver's license, identification card, OR moped/motorcycle license. Can be used to request an original, renewal, duplicate, or correction.