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Motorcycle Licensing in South Carolina

Riding a motorcycle is a freeing experience that many describe as robust and high energy. It is also an environmentally friendly way to get around.

However, riding on a motorcycle also comes with its share of risks. Motorcycles are difficult for other drivers to see. They also don’t offer the same protection other vehicles do.

Because riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, laws are enforced to make sure riders only get their licenses when they are ready. Here are the basic rules and regulations that apply to riders looking to get a license in South Carolina.


Motorcycle Licensing Laws in South Carolina

Here are the general rules that apply:

  • If you are 18 years or older and wish to get a motorcycle license, you must go to the DMV with proof of residency and insurance information. You will also be required to pass a vision and road test before getting your license.
  • If you are between the ages of 15 and 17 and have a beginner’s driver permit that you have held for 180 days, you are eligible to get a beginner’s motorcycle permit. You can get this permit by taking a vision and motorcycle knowledge test.
  • If you are between the ages of 15 and 17 and have a conditional driver’s license, you can get a conditional motorcycle license by taking a vision test, a motorcycle knowledge test, and a motorcycle skills test.
  • If you are between the ages of 15 and 17 and have never had any license or permit before, you must start by getting a motorcycle permit. After holding the license for 180 days, you will be eligible to apply for a motorcycle license.
  • If you are under the age of 18 and are applying for a motorcycle license, you must bring a parent or legal guardian with you to sign your application. You must bring your beginner’s permit and submit a PDLA form. This form certifies that you have completed your driver’s education course, have satisfactory school attendance, completed at least 40 hours of driving, including 10 hours of night driving with a licensed driver, and that you have passed the road and vision test.
  • The type of license given to motorcyclists 15 and over is called a Class M license. This allows a motorcyclist to operate any motorcycle, including a two-wheeler, three-wheeler, or one with a sidecar.
  • Those that only want to operate motorcycles with a sidecar must get an S3 restriction with their Class M license. Those with this type of restriction are prohibited from riding in any motorcycle without a sidecar.
  • Three-wheel motorcycles and automotive three-wheel motorcycles may be operated by anyone with any type of motorcycle license except a Class G Moped license.


Staying Safe on the Road

No matter how prepared you are when you begin riding your motorcycle, accidents do happen. Other drivers can be distracted and disobey the rules of the road making for dangerous conditions, and motorcycles are especially vulnerable to this type of behavior.

If you find yourself in this type of worst-case scenario, you need a reliable South Carolina motorcycle accident lawyer on your side. The Jeffcoat Firm is highly recommended.

The Jeffcoat Firm has years of experience in the field of traffic accidents and personal injury law. They take a client-centered approach treating the people they represent with care and respect during a difficult time. But when it comes to getting their clients the compensation they deserve, they take a ruthless, aggressive approach making sure justice is served.

If you are thinking of getting a motorcycle license, knowing the rules and regulations that apply is a good first step. Follow it up by doing all you can to stay safe. We wish you the best of luck and enjoyable experience on the road.


Contact Us Today!


It's free to speak with us about your case, and if you hire us, we don't get paid unless we win.

1333 Main St #510,
Columbia, SC 29201
Main Office


5465 Sunset Blvd Suite B,
Lexington, SC 29072


161 Elliott St SE Suite B,
Orangeburg, SC 29115


749-2 University Village Dr,
Blythewood, SC 29016


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The Jeffcoat Firm Injury & Accident Lawyers

1333 Main St #510,
Columbia, SC 29201

(803) 373-1668

The Jeffcoat Firm Injury & Accident Lawyers

5465 Sunset Blvd Suite B,
Lexington, SC 29072

(803) 373-1302

The Jeffcoat Firm Injury & Accident Lawyers

161 Elliott St SE Suite B,
Orangeburg, SC 29115

(803) 373-7593

The Jeffcoat Firm Injury & Accident Lawyers

749-2 University Village Dr,
Blythewood, SC 29016

(803) 592-6553

! NOTICE ! No Legal Advice Intended. This website includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal issues or problems.

Michael Jeffcoat, 1333 Main Street, Suite 510 Columbia, SC 29201
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