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South Carolina Modernizes Commercial Driver’s License Tests, Expands Testing Locations

Commerical Truck Leaving State Facility

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) has announced an upgrade to the commercial driver's license (CDL) road tests, offering a modernized version at select locations. The new exam has been rolled out at the Kingstree and Conway offices since the week of July 17, 2023.

Key Points of the Modernized Test

The modernized test introduces new national standards, focusing on the technological advancements in trucking. Areas of the test have been updated, notably vehicle inspection, which now concentrates on critical safety systems. The basic skills part of the driving exam will also be conducted on a smaller footprint. There have been no changes to the knowledge tests or requirements for obtaining a commercial learner’s permit.

"This modernized testing allows for checklists and pictures to assist would-be 18-wheeler, school bus, or dump truck drivers, to name a few,” said Kevin Shwedo, Executive Director of the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.

Expansion of Testing Locations

The modernized exam will also double the number of testing locations across the state, expanding from the current nine to 18 offices when complete. The test will be conducted on an appointment-only basis, and more locations are scheduled to introduce the modernized test throughout the rest of 2023 and into 2024.

The additional locations will provide much-needed convenience for South Carolinians, as prior to this change, the nearest testing location to Kingstree for a CDL exam was almost 40 miles away.

Benefits to South Carolinians

“A state such as South Carolina that is posting strong growth needs additional commercial testing locations to support that, so we are providing more locations which equates to more opportunities for drivers to test,” said Shwedo.

SCDMV has published a new manual to help customers prepare for the revamped testing. The manual can be found on the agency website under CDL Manual and is also available for purchase at branch offices.

Appointments to take the modernized test can be made online at the SCDMV website. The Kingstree branch is located at 785 Eastland Ave, and the Conway branch is at 4103 Highway 701 North.

This initiative supports the growth in South Carolina, providing drivers with enhanced opportunities and convenience for CDL testing. It ensures South Carolina's CDL testing is keeping pace with national standards and technological advancements, which will be beneficial for future commercial drivers in the state.