South Carolina CDL License Requirements

To drive a commercial vehicle in South Carolina, you must first obtain a South Carolina commercial driver's license (CDL). While classes of CDL licenses can vary from state to state, South Carolina classifies commercial vehicles that require a CDL to drive as follows:

  • Class A: Combination vehicles with a total weight of 26,001 pounds or above, where the towed vehicle(s) is over 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B: Vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more, where the towed vehicle(s) is less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C: Vehicles weighing under 26,001 pounds, used for transporting sixteen or more passengers or hauling hazardous materials.

According to South Carolina CDL requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid South Carolina driver's license and obtain a medical certificate. To transport cargo across state lines, federal regulations require truck drivers to be at least 21 years old. The interstate transportation of cargo is regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and not by state governments. CDL applicants must then pass both a written knowledge exam and a driving test. The three part driving test includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic control skills test and an on-road driving exam. For the driving test, you must use a vehicle in the same class for which you are trying to obtain a CDL license--for example, if you wish to obtain a Class A CDL, you must test in a Class A vehicle.

To drive a truck with air brakes, a tanker truck, a school bus or a truck with double/triple trailers, additional endorsements are needed. Endorsements are also needed to transport hazardous materials or to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver). To transport hazardous materials (also referred to as a Hazmat endorsement), a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check is required. A truck driving school in South Carolina will provide the education and on-road training needed to pass the CDL requirements.

Resources for South Carolina CDL Requirements

Visit the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles website for more information.

Learn more about South Carolina trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in South Carolina

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
South Carolina $29,400 $46,230 $36,670
Anderson, SC $30,210 $36,870 $33,540
Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC $31,130 $46,980 $39,230
Columbia, SC $29,870 $50,370 $38,260
Florence, SC $28,030 $44,850 $36,630
Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC $31,020 $46,570 $37,420
Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC $25,970 $38,210 $31,570
Spartanburg, SC $30,750 $46,440 $38,460
Sumter, SC $25,930 $35,030 $28,560

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)