The shortage of truck drivers is affecting every industry involving shipping across the entire country. This means quality, licensed truck drivers are in high demand. If you want to become a licensed commercial driver, whether you stay in the state of South Carolina or drive between different states, we’re here to help. The South Carolina state website can provide all the details, but we’ve also provided an easy-to-understand guide all in one page to help get you started.
South Carolina State CDL Requirements
To get a South Carolina CDL, certain requirements must be met. The following are basic requirements for obtaining a commercial license in SC for the first time:
- Be at least 18 years old to drive within SC
- Bet at least 21 years old to drive outside of SC (across state lines)
- Pass a skills test
- Have a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) for a minimum of 14 days
- Be a permanent resident of South Carolina
- Have a valid, unexpired SC driver’s license
- Pass driving background history evaluation
- Complete an Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) program
Receive Your CDL Permit
Before you hit the road with your SC CDL, you’ll need to get your CLP. Similar to getting a license as a teen, operating a commercial vehicle involves learning lots of new things. Most people cannot get behind the wheel of a big rig and know exactly how to maneuver everything, much less understand all that makes up the powerful machine. That’s where the CLP comes into play. To get your SC CLP, you’ll need to:
- Provide proof of identity and residency
- Bring a medical certificate, if applicable, or the required waiver. DOT physicals are required for all CDLs
- Pass a knowledge test (CLP manual is available online)
- Provide your Social Security Number
Attend CDL Training in SC
Another SC CDL requirement is relatively new and actually applies to CDLs in any state. Anyone who applies for a CLP after February 7, 2022, is required to complete an ELDT program approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA. This ensures all commercial drivers have received a consistent minimum baseline training for the safety of the commercial drivers as well as other motorists.
And honestly, it just makes good sense. Maybe you had a parent to teach you how to drive a car and didn’t need to take driver’s ed. But this ain’t your Daddy’s car! Hauling freight across hundreds of miles for long stretches at a time in a vehicle much more powerful and more complicated than a sedan or other family vehicle should require more in-depth training.
Fortunately, ACE Driving Academy is a qualified provider. But at ACE, we go well beyond the minimum to help you feel ready and confident to pass your knowledge test, skills test, and be road ready when you pass your CDL exam!
Contact us today to start your new commercial driving career. Located in Greer, SC, we’re excited to get you trained and qualified. Explore South Carolina and beyond…while you earn a great living!