If you think that truck driving is your best career option in South Carolina, then you must be able to secure a South Carolina (CDL) commercial driver’s license before you apply for a job. State and federal laws now require truck drivers to pass certain qualifications in order to maintain the safety and security of the roads. Today, you will not only have to pass a knowledge exam, you would also need to pass a vision and physical certification from the DOT itself and even a criminal background check if you want a hazardous materials endorsement.
To get a South Carolina CDL, you must first be at least 18 years old in order to be eligible for an intrastate license. This is the minimum age requirement for those who will engage in commercial truck driving within the state only, while those who will be doing interstate driving should be at least 21 years old. You must also possess a current driver’s license which the DMV will subject to a background check to see if it is revoked or suspended for any serious traffic violation. If this is the case, you will not be issued a license or even a learner’s permit.
If you are within the required age limits, what you need to do next is to pick up a copy of the South Carolina CDL Manual which contains almost all of the information that you need in order to pass the knowledge and skills exam which will be required at the end. It is important to study the manual as the questions and the skills test will all be derived from the manual. It will be better to be prepared for this exam as it can either make or break your chances of becoming a commercial truck driver.
After this, you will have to visit your local DMV office to schedule for a written test. Before you take the written test, you will have to submit several documents together with your application. These documents include: a valid ID, proof of residency, current driver’s license, proof of legal residence in the United States, your Social Security Number, a filled-out application form, a completed DOT medical form, a vision test, and self-certification with regards to the type of commercial driving that you would be doing.
The written or knowledge test will involve general information about driving but this does not include the tests for other types of endorsements. If you pass this test, you will be provided with a learner’s permit which shall be valid for a few months. During the tenure of your learner’s permit, you will be expected to learn actual driving together with a licensed individual in the type of commercial vehicle that you are applying for. Before your permit expires, you must be able to take the driving test where you will be assessed on pre-trip inspection, basic driving skills, and on-road driving. You will have to pass all of these tests at the same time in order to gain a South Carolina CDL.
There are a variety of trucking driving schools in SC one can find to help learn the requirements of the driving and knowledge exams. Schools can take as little as a few weeks to complete and often will provide job assistance for their graduates. You can learn more about the latest CDL requirements by clicking the driver’s license manual link below.
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
Post Office Box 1498
Blythewood, South Carolina 29016
10311 Wilson Boulevard – Building C
Blythewood, South Carolina 29016
Website: SC DMV
SC CDL Manual
DMV Call Center (803) 896-5000