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Driver's License offices in South Carolina




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Driver´s License in South Carolina:

Emergency licenses for minors Minimum age for learner permit Minimum age for restricted permit
No 15 years old 15 years old, 6 months

Young drivers up to 16 years of age can apply for a restricted license to be allowed to drive between 6pm and midnight. This is possible only if the minor has kept his Beginner permit for a minimum of 180 days.

The applicants of a Special Restricted license must be accompanied by a parent or legal guard during the process, and they will have to sign the application to the license.

The applicants must bring the Beginner Permit with them and must present a PDLA form certifying the following:

  • School assistance certificate.
  • Viale Education training completed.
  • Practice hours behind the wheel.
  • These certifications may be presented in a form issued by the DMV South Carolina website.

An Eye exam and a driving test are mandatory when applying to this license.

Those in possession of a Special Restricted License are allowed to drive between 6am and 6 pm/8pm for summer season, with no escort.

Outside this hours, between midnight and 4am, the minor driver must be accompanied by a parent, or legal guard with a valid drivers license.

The minor with a Special Restricted License can be allowed with an exception of the time restrictions if they can prove that the purpose of the trip is due to work, School, Professional training, job seeker and Religious activities.

The teenage drivers must bring two certifications to be able to get the exemptions, one of them should be issued by a parent or legal guard, and the other one must be from the School or Work official. These certificates must clearly describe why there is a need for an exemption.

There is a limit of 2 passengers (under 21 years old) if they are not family members on the way to/from School work, or if the minor driver is not accompanied by a responsible adult with a valid license.

The 16 years old driver in possession of a Special Restricted License, who does not obtain any transit infraction or is found guilty of an accident, can obtain a full Drivers license by the time he or she reaches 17 years of age.

Minimum age for non restricted permit Validity of the permit
16 years old, 6 months 8 years

Driver´s License

In the States, the driver`s license is issued by every State or territory. A driver normally must obtain a driver's license from its State of residence, and this permit is valid for all the rest of the United States. A certain territory could also suspend the driving privileges around its limits to a driver who had violated the traffic rules. A lot of States shared a common system of classes with certain exceptions. In the case of commercial licenses, for example, those are standardized by federal regulations.

History

As the number of motorized Vehicles reached tens of thousands, the state and local governments asume a new power, autoririzing vehicles and drivers. In 1901, New York was the first State who began to authorize and register new vehicles, and around 1918, all the States began to use the license plates. The license for the drivers was a slow process, as only 39 States began to require this for the drivers around 1935, and only a few of them required an exam to have the license although the concern of having bad drivers was evident.

Special Licenses and Standard licenses.

Non Restricted licenses:

This is the most common license in America. There are some differences between some States on the class of license they use to distinguish a regular driver’s license and a special one, like the restricted one, the Chauffeur or motorcycle license. I.e.In Tennessee a Standard driver's license is called Class D, the Class M is for Motorcycles and the Class H is a hardship license.

Hardship license for minors:

A hardship license for minors is different than a hardship license given to the drivers whose licenses had been revoked or suspended.

Provisional licenses:

Its funcion is the same as a driver's license, but these are issued for drivers under 18 years of age, between 14 and 17 years old. Almost every State, except South Dakota, counts with some kind of graduated license, but the restriction time and the period that a new driver must held the license vary widely depending on the State.

Chauffeur's license:

This kind of license is generally called Class E. Some States only add an endorsement to a regular license, and others just don't require any special permit to drive a taxi or limousine. In Florida it was very common to issue licenses for limousines in the license Class D, designation that was eliminated in 2006. Regardless if the State issue or not the Chauffeur’s license, the driver must always obtain a permit from the State he or she is operating from.

Motorcycle license:

These vehicles sometimes do not require a motorcycle license, in some States any type of license, or any kind of insurance or registration. Unlike the UE, non State in America differentiates a motorcycle between a low or full power to issue a license. Some States require an additional permit to operate a Motorcycle with a sidecar.

Improved licenses:

This kind of license is issued for american citizens in Washington, Michigan, California, Vermont, New York and Minnesota, and se the nationality of the driver appart of the drivers permit. A EDL is a compatible document with a WHTI, acceptable document to cross land or sea borders incoming from Canada, Caribe or Mexico. TO apply for this kind of license it is necessary to bring an American passport and a birth certificate as proof of the nationality. The commercial license and the Motorcycle license also have the same option to be improved.

Permit for disabled persons

The permit for disabled persons is issued to those people who comply with a responsible standard driving and parking access. Special access is issued to improve their life when driving. In some States, like in Texas, the disable person can be forced to surrender his or her licenses depending on their disability.

Driver license laws.

The minimum age to obtain a restricted driver’s license in America goes between 14 year old, 3 months in South Dakota, to 17 years old in New Jersey. In most of the States, with the exception of South Dakota, the graduated license will be issued for junior drivers and teenager drivers, who carry the name of Provisional Driver, Junior Operator, Driver in trial period, or intermediate license.

These licenses have some restrictions, like the passenger limit or driving in dark hours for young people. I.e. Younger drivers under 18 in Utah are not allowed to drive other than family members for the first 6 months of issued the license.

Nevertheless, different from Australia and some States in Canada, the law to graduated licenses does not establish reduced speed limits, special plates L and P, restrictions to trailers, or restriction to certain highways and for some specific kind of cars.

Use of license as Identification and proof of age.

There is not two license numbers issued by the State that are equal. Due to identity theft, the Social Security Number does not appear on the drivers license. To comply with the Standar from the AAMVA, most of the States issue the licenses vertically for minors of 21 years old, and horizontally for people older than 21. This way, it is really easy to check if the person is allowed to buy alcohol for example, just seeing the orientation of the driver's license ( The legal age to buy alcoholic beverages in the States is 21).

Keep in mind that this is not like this in all cases, I.e. in Arizona, the orientation of the drivers license can be easily changed regardless of the age, besides, the drivers license doesn't expire until the driver turns 65 years old in Arizona. Most of the States demand drivers to obtain a license issued in their own territory within a certain period of time.

Real ID

The National Security Department has the power to establish the Standards related to identification cards and its design and the driver's license design. The States are not forced to comply with the real ID, but if they do not use the new identification cards or driver’s licenses, there will be no valid identification to pursue any oficial activity with the federal government, which means that the entrance to some federal buildings, aeroplanes and official installations will be denied to the holder of this State’s ID.

It is necessary that this king of ID is revised and proved by the DHS to be able to issue Real ID cards, this way, the requirements for Real ID will be fulfilled.

It is ok to issue regular IDs, but these ones must be marked by a "No for Federal identification". The Real IDs are valid for 8 years. The Real ID is only issued for American citizens or legal residents of the States.

Improved Driver’s licenses

Some States, generally the ones that share an international border line, issue improved drivers licenses and ID cards. The Improved Licenses combine the standard driver license with the specifications of the federal passport.

Therefore, apart from the driving privileges, we also have proof of american citizenship and we can cross borders into Canada and Mexico by highway, railroad or sea, even though if we want to cross the border by aeroplane, that will still require a passport. The improved licenses are compatible with the Real IDs.

Digital drivers licences.

Delaware, Iowa and California made a proposition for digital driver licenses as an Identification card. The license will be available as an app by MorphoTrust USA and installed on the mobile phone of the titular. There are some revisions of this because of the privacy policy, as if an officer needs to check the license, he or she will have access to the mobile phone of that person.

In 2016, Louisiana approved the project of law 481, that then became the Law 625, turning Louisiana as the first State to count with digital driver licenses accepted by LA wallet, an application created by Envoc released in July 2018.

This law allows all Louisiana residents to present a digital Id using the LA Wallet to the petition of any police officer, parish or municipality.


Tips for an excellent road test in South Carolina:

If you go to take your driver's test chances are that, if your a car Enthusiast, this is one of the most exciting days of your life and even if you're not it opens up a world of possibilities for traveling and do things you never could have done before. If you follow these few simple tips you'll be well on your way and you'll pass it with flying colors.

Check your mirrors

Before leaving the parking lot and getting out on the road is important to adjust your mirrors, your seat position, steering wheel position and of course fasten your seatbelt.

9 and 3 hand position

Proper hand position is at 9 and 3, and i guarantee if you drive one-handed at the 12 position you're going to fail your test. It's important to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. Of course if you have a manual transmission vehicle you have to take one hand off the ship, but this will keep your test administrator feeling safe and you will be in the most control of your vehicle.

Changing lanes

When changing lanes is important to do the following: First Signal, then look in your rearview mirror all by your side mirror, look over your shoulder, and if is safe, then you can go. Once you're in the lane that you're moving into all the way, then you can turn your turn indicator.

Always signal if you're changing lanes no matter if there's no traffic around you, is important to check both mirrors, look over your shoulder and use your turn signal.

When changing multiple lanes

If you're going over multiple Lanes always go from one lane to the next, pause for a little bit of time, then turn your turning indicator on, look at both mirrors over shoulder, go to the next line, pause and then go to the next. Shooting over across 4 Lanes of traffic is a good way to fail the test.

Onto a street with a high speed limit

Always give yourself plenty of time when pulling out onto a street with a high speed limit. It will not annoy the person providing your test if you wait there until it's safe. If you pull out in front of a car that is moving quickly and do not give yourself enough room you're going to lose points. Waiting until there's plenty of space, more so than you think you would need normally, it is the safe way to do it.

Fear to one side of the lane

Often beginner drivers tend of fear to one side of the lane or the other. On a single Lane road that means you might been too close to the double yellow or too close to the shoulder. If you need to prevent this there is a technique that you can used that is really helpful when you're learning, is to look farther ahead in the road and try to imagine the center of the road, picture a line in the center of the lane you're in passing through the center of your vehicle. This helps keep you in the center of your lane which is important for succeeding at the driver's test.

Stop or red light

When you´re coming to a stop sign or an stop or red light is really important to stop before the white line in the road. That mean, when you're coming to a full stop, you should still be able to see the white line in front of the hood of your car. Then, if it's a blind turn, once you come to a full start, now you can start creeping out a little bit further and further so you can see the flow of traffic and make your right or left turn.

Always use a safe following distance between yourself and the car in front of you. The higher the speed limit is, the more the following distance between cars. That is because, if the person in front of you breaks all the sudden, you want to give yourself enough time to react.

Before you break

Before you break, always check your mirrors. If you come onto a stop abruptly and there's a car right behind you, they could run into you. If it's an emergency situation this obviously isn't always possible, but in the ideal case always check your rearview mirror before braking.

Keep your eyes always in movement

Always keep your eyes moving. that means constantly scanning the road for pedestrian, any obstacles or turns that are coming up that means checking your mirrors constantly ( Your rearview mirror, your side mirrors, looking over your shoulder, etc ). Being attentive and showing that you're paying attention is going to go a long way to pass your driver's test.

When making turns

When making protective left turns people often cut corners. Passing over a double yellow or a white line is a great way to fail your driver's test so make sure to take it wide enough, stay in the guidelines when you're making left turns and not cut any corners.

Drive as smooth as possible

Be as smooth as possible. this means smooth steering inputs, smooth braking and smooth acceleration. Being jerky is not going to go well.

Dont be aggressive

Drive defensively not aggressively. This day is about proving that you are a safe driver.

Please, don't speed

Obviously don't speed. This is more difficult than it sounds. In general people are used to going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit or so when driving in a daily situation but for the test you cannot do that. Speed limit or below is required.

Also having a radar detector in your car for the test if won't be a great idea.

Pre-drive checklist:

The DMV wants to make sure that you are proficient with all the controls on the inside the car before you start your test.

Here's a sample of the pre Drive checklist:

  • The DMV will tell you to turn the car on, but don't start it.
  • Turn the turn signal on to the left and then the right.
  • Turn the headlights on and off.
  • Turn the windshield wipers on and off.
  • Turn on the emergency flashers in the morning.
  • The examiner may ask you, if you come out in the morning and there's frost on your front window, how do you defrost your front window? You selected froster, turn the fan on and select the “Heat”.
  • Any other examiner will ask you to show them your defrosters: Where are they located?
  • The examiner will then ask you to disengage the emergency parking brake and then, engage the emergency parking brake.
  • They make ask you to honk the horn.


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