How to Get a South Carolina Motorcycle License

You must be at least 15 years old and pass certain tests to get a South Carolina motorcycle license. Here’s how.
Written by Rob Shapiro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
To get a motorcycle license in South Carolina, you must be at least 15 years old, pass a vision and knowledge test for motorcycles, earn a motorcycle permit or already have a South Carolina license, and pass the DMV’s motorcycle road skills exam. 
If your dream is to cruise the highways surrounded by epic scenery, South Carolina offers lovely vistas and views. And if you’re someone who wants to take it all in on a motorcycle, we get the appeal—but you’ll need a motorcycle license to do so. 
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) has a process to get your motorcycle license: you’ll have to pass a couple of tests, already have some type of vehicle license, and be of age. 
Car insurance
super app
is here to break down all the South Carolina motorcycle license requirements you need to know. Stick around until the end, and we’ll show you how to save money on
South Carolina insurance
cost, too! 

Do you need a license to operate a motorcycle in South Carolina?

Yes! To legally operate a motorcycle or trike, you will need to get a Class M driver’s license (aka motorcycle license).
The one exception is if you drive a three-wheel vehicle with a bench seat like a car. In this case, you must be in possession of at least a Class D license (aka regular license). You do not need a motorcycle license.
To begin the process of obtaining a motorcycle license, you must be at least 15 years old.
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Do you need to add a motorcycle endorsement to your South Carolina driver’s license?

No, you do not need a motorcycle endorsement to operate a motorcycle in South Carolina. 
An endorsement is an addition to your driver’s license. In some states, that lets you legally drive a motorcycle. This is not the case in South Carolina.   

How to get a motorcycle-only license in South Carolina

To get a motorcycle license in South Carolina, you need to have a motorcycle permit or a South Carolina license of another class. 
The process can begin when you are at least 15 years old. You will need to:
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a written knowledge test for motorcycle drivers
  • Pass a motorcycleroad skills exam
  • Pay the motorcycle licensing fees
Note that you can opt to complete a Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) education course instead of the road skills exam. 
If you’re 17 years of age or younger, you will also have to submit a Certification of School Attendance – Driver's Education and Driving Practice (
) to get certified. Additionally, you must be enrolled in school and have successfully completed an approved standard driver's education course.
Without a South Carolina driver's license of another class, you are required to apply for a motorcycle permit before being eligible for a full motorcycle license.
To obtain a motorcycle beginner permit, go to your local SCDMV office with these documents:
  • Identification
  • Social Security number
  • Proof of South Carolina residency and legal presence
If you’re under 18 years old, you will also need to provide the following completed documents:
  • Proof of your parent or legal guardian's consent
  • Application for a Beginner's Permit, Driver's License, or Identification Card (
    Form 447-NC
    ), signed by the same parent/guardian who signed your consent form
  • Consent for Minor (
    Form 447-CM
    ) signed at the DMV by your parent/guardian (who is listed on the form)
  • Provide a Certification of School Attendance, Driver's Education, and Driving Practice (Form PDLA), if you're 17 years old or younger
  • Evidence of your South Carolina motorcycle insurance
There is a $2 fee for the knowledge exam and the motorcycle fee costs $2.50.

How to save on car and motorcycle insurance in South Carolina

Operating a motorcycle in South Carolina requires
motorcycle insurance
. It can be pricey, even though it’s often
cheaper than car insurance
If you’re a motorcycle rider who also owns a car, the costs can be much higher. The good news is you can find better-priced insurance by shopping with
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Yes, you will have to pass the SCDMV’s motorcycle road skills exam or complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation education course to get your motorcycle license in South Carolina.
The first offense comes with a $300 fine and up to 30 days in jail. The second offense includes a $600 fine and up to 60 days in jail.
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