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How to Get a Motorcycle License in South Carolina

A South Carolina motorcycle license enables riders to operate their motorbikes legally on public roads and highways. The DMV enforces a motorcycle drivers license test to ensure that riders understand important motorcycle laws and regulations. While a motorbike driving license requires additional testing and has different eligibility standards, it is not a separate ID card. Instead, a new license class, class M, is added to existing drivers licenses. As a result, motorcycle riders must also meet basic driver’s license regulations. To learn how to obtain an SC DMV motorcycle license, review the sections below.

South Carolina Motorcycle License Education Requirements

Certain education requirements are in place for receiving motorcycle licenses to guarantee that riders remain safe while operating motorcycles, motor scooters or light motor-driven cycles. For instance, you must pass a written DMV motorcycle license test and road test to qualify for a motorcycle permit. Additionally, you must take and pass all regular licensing exams to obtain a non-commercial or commercial drivers license. However, you are not required to take the SC motorcycle drivers license tests when riding three-wheeled bikes such as a scooter or trike. Any vehicle license allows you to operate three-wheeled motorcycles except moped licenses.

You may schedule your test for your motorcycle license online after receiving your permit, and maintaining it for at least 180 days, by entering the following information:

  • Driving school name (if applicable)
  • Your drivers license number
  • Your full name
  • Your birthdate
  • Your email
  • Your phone number

To earn a motorcycle endorsement on your current credential, you must answer questions regarding motorcycle safety such as when a motorcycle helmet is required or recommended, how to stop properly and how to change lanes without endangering yourself or other drivers. The skills test will cover the information provided to you in the SC DMV drivers’ manual, so you are encouraged to study all material relevant to motorcycles to prepare for your test. You should also practice riding your motorcycle under the supervision of a driver with a full bike license older than 21 years old.

In addition to testing, to get motorcycle license credentials you must take a drivers education course if you are 15 or 16 years of age. However, these courses are not provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Rather, you should visit your local DMV for a list of approved courses. These required courses may increase motorcycle license cost in South Carolina, but they teach valuable information to new riders. For example, courses will describe basic motorcycle controls and how to use them, suggested protected clothing and how to choose the right motorcycle for you. The courses typically include eight hours of classroom instruction and six hours of driving for basic drivers licenses and may vary for motorcycle lessons. Because a license for motorcycle riders involves a specific set of skills, testing and educational courses focus on disseminating motorcycle details.

South Carolina Motorcycle License Age Requirements

According to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the privilege of receiving a motorcycle license is reserved for residents 15 years of age and older. Riders who are 15 or 16 years of age must pass an SC DMV motorcycle license education course while riders older than 16 are not required to take the course. Additionally, motorcycle riders younger than 21 years old must always wear a motorcycle helmet and eye protection while operating a motorcycle.

All motorcycle drivers license applicants must apply for a beginners permit prior to a full bike license in the state. The permits must be kept for a minimum of 180 days and allow new motorcycle riders to practice riding on real roads and situations. You may not operate your motorcycle, scooter or motor-driven cycle between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. without a licensed parent or guardian if you only have a motorcycle permit. If you are younger than 18 years old, you must practice your motorcycle riding for at 40 hours prior to applying for a full license.

South Carolina Motorcycle License Application Procedures

A motorcycle endorsement is necessary for all drivers wishing to operate motorbikes. Find out where to get motorcycle license information and how to apply for an endorsement by following the steps listed below:

  1. Apply for a beginners permit at a local DMV office.
  2. Schedule, take and pass all written knowledge tests.
  3. Schedule, take and pass motorcycle drivers education course (if applicable).
  4. Provide required information such as proof of your identity, residency and motorcycle insurance.
  5. Pay the motorcycle licensing fee for permit.
  6. Retain valid permit for 180 days.
  7. Apply for a full SC motorcycle license.
  8. Schedule, take and pass all road skills tests.

Required documentation may include a birth certificate, Social Security card, valid SC drivers license, certification of school attendance form (for residents younger than 18 years old).

Note: You may be exempt from needing a motorcycle license permit if you already carry a SC drivers license of any other class.

Required Testing for Motorcycle Licenses in South Carolina

Getting your motorcycle license involves taking multiple tests at reputable SCDMV-approved third-party testing sites or at DMV driver license examining offices. To get motorcycle license permits, you must take and pass knowledge tests consisting of multiple-choice questions. Because licenses for motorcycles require you to have a regular license, you must also pass the knowledge exam for a basic drivers license. Additionally, after obtaining motorcycle and vehicle permits, you must pass skills tests which assess your driving abilities on the road. To answer the question, “How can I get a motorcycle license in South Carolina?” you should understand the types of tests you will need to take.

Applying for motorcycle license in SC also entails taking vision tests to ensure that riders can see effectively while riding. Motorcycle license requirements also follow testing and licensing guidelines for regular drivers licenses, so you must remember to abide by all driving restrictions applicable to your particular class of licensure.