With so many trucking companies located in South Carolina, it makes sense to get a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, here. The state asks only that you pass the tests and pay the fees to be licensed. No formal education or driving experience is necessary. However, it is in your best interest to get both training and some practice behind the wheel before beginning a professional career in the trucking industry.

How South Carolina Classifies CDL Licenses

When applying for a CDL in South Carolina, you need to understand the classification system so that you can take the relevant knowledge tests. The state organizes CDL licenses in terms of vehicle size and the type of transport involved. There are three different classifications:

  • Class A: The driver can operate any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more as long as the vehicle being towed is over 10,000 pounds. Additionally, the driver can operate any three-wheel vehicle except a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car.
  • Class B: The driver can operate any single unit vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more or such a vehicle towing another vehicle under 10,000 pounds. Additionally, the driver can operate a three-wheel vehicle except a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car.
  • Class C: The driver can operate any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that are not classified Class A or Class B vehicles, but either are meant to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or are designed to carry hazardous materials. This driver is also licensed to operate a three-wheel vehicle except a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car.

Every individual who wants to obtain a CDL in South Carolina needs to pass a vision test and all the knowledge tests required for a particular classification. The road test is also mandatory, and it evaluates the individual based on a pre-trip inspection and off-road and on-road driving.

In addition, each applicant must pay certain fees to attain a CDL. The application fee is $15, and each knowledge test costs $2. The charge for the license is $12.50.

How to Obtain Commercial Driving Training

While South Carolina does not compel people seeking a CDL to go through any training process, education is always recommended. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers courses at different field locations nationwide through its National Training Center.

Also, some trucking companies will provide schooling in exchange for an agreement to work for them once the training program is completed. If you choose this option, make sure to know the length of your commitment to a certain trucking business before signing any contract.

Driving a truck safely takes knowledge and skill. Unfortunately, tractor-trailer accidents happen to even the most experienced truck operators, causing terrible consequences. If you or a loved one is the victim of a collision with an oversized vehicle, our South Carolina auto accident attorneys at Joye Law Firm understand the trucking industry and are ready to fight for your rights.

Please contact us for a free consultation at 877-941-2615 or fill out our convenient online form today. For more information about the results we’ve obtained on behalf of injured persons, please visit “Our Results”.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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