A modernized version of the commercial driver’s license road tests is being implemented at some S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles locations. Beginning the week of July 17th, offices in Kingstree and Conway will offer the new modernized commercial driver’s license skills test, with expansion to other DMV locations across South Carolina to come in future months.
The two branches will offer the new exam on an appointment-only basis, for drivers wishing to operate large commercial vehicles. Other testing locations across South Carolina will be implementing the modernized test throughout the remainder of 2023 and into 2024. The shift to the modernized exam will also result in commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing expanding from the current nine offices across the state to 18 offices when
“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.
“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,” Shwedo said.
The commercial driver’s test has been redesigned with new national standards that emphasize the modern technology that has come to trucking in recent years.
Vehicle inspection is one part of the test that has been updated with a focus on critical safety systems. The basic skills portion of the driving exam also can be conducted on a smaller footprint with the new test. There have been no changes to the knowledge tests or requirements for obtaining a commercial learner’s permit.
A new manual has been published to help customers prepare for the revamped testing and can be found on the agency website under CDL Manual. It is also available for purchase at branch offices.
Adding locations to take the commercial driver’s license test will make it more convenient for South Carolinians wishing to take the commercial driver’s license test. Before this change, for instance, the nearest testing location to Kingstree for a CDL exam was almost 40 miles away.
“Bringing the commercial driving test to more of our locations will broaden access to testing around the state,” said Courtney Saxon, Director of Branch Services at SCDMV.
Those who have studied for the traditional test should find themselves well-prepared for the modernized exam because much of the curriculum is unchanged, Saxon said. The cost of the application does not change with the switch to the modernized commercial test.
Customers who already have passed one or more parts of the three-part CDL exam cannot shift to a modernized test location and receive credit for sections of the traditional test that they completed successfully. The applicant could convey that credit to another traditional test location.
Appointments to take the modernized test can be made online at: Schedule a Road Test.
The SCDMV branch in Kingstree is located at 785 Eastland Ave. The SCDMV branch in Conway is at 4103 Highway 701 North.
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