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Motorcycle Laws in South Carolina


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This page will answer the most common questions we receive about motorcycle laws and licensing requirements in  South Carolina.

Continue reading to find your answer and follow links to explore some of these topics in greater depth. 

Motorcycle Helmet Law in South Carolina

Motorcycle helmets are required for riders under 21 years old.

Additionally, eye protection like a face shield or goggles is also required for riders under 21 years old unless the motorcycle has a windshield.

A motorcycle helmet is one of the most important pieces of safety equipment. Wearing one can greatly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or killed if you are involved in a motorcycle crash

Read more about motorcycle helmet laws and safety.

South Carolina Motorcycle Noise Restrictions & Exhaust Requirements

A proper muffler is required.

Noise restrictions may be enforced by local law enforcement or during periodic inspections. 

Local jurisdictions may have their own ordinances regarding motorcycle noise limits.

Motorcycle Safety Inspections and Equipment Requirements

Period safety and equipment inspections for motorcycles in South Carolina are not performed.

Motorcycle Passenger Laws in South Carolina

There are not any passenger age restrictions for motorcycles in South Carolina.

Whenever you ride with a passenger:

  • Be sure to give them instructions on what they’ll need to do. 
  • Make sure they can comfortably reach the passenger handholds and footrests. 
  • Make sure that they are wearing all of the necessary motorcycle safety equipment.

Learn more about riding with passengers on your motorcycle.

Requirements for Daytime Running Lights for Motorcycles in South Carolina

Using daytime headlights is required for motorcycles in South Carolina.

Using headlights during the day can help to increase your visibility to other drivers. 

This is a smart thing to do regardless of whether the law requires it. 

South Carolina Lane Splitting Laws

Lane splitting is illegal in South Carolina.

There are some nuances to lane splitting, lane filtering, and lane sharing. 

Learn more about lane splitting.

Motorcycle Title Laws & VIN Verifications

The state of South Carolina issues titles to all motorcycles.

If you buy a motorcycle without a title or are moving from a state that doesn’t issue titles, the registration documents and the Bill of Sale should serve as proof of ownership.

Learn more about motorcycle registration and title requirements in South Carolina.

Find some helpful tips for when you buy a motorcycle.

Minimum Motorcycle Insurance Coverage in South Carolina

Motorcycle insurance is required in South Carolina, the minimum coverage limits are:

  • $25,000 bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • $25,000 property damage coverage per accident. 

Remember, the minimum liability requirements kick in during the event of a collision with another vehicle. If you need more coverage for things like theft, single vehicle collisions, and other types of damage you’ll need to get a policy with comprehensive and collision coverage as well. 

Compare quotes for free, and find cheaper motorcycle insurance

Learn more about motorcycle insurance in South Carolina.

Motorcycle Safety Course Requirements & Details

An approved motorcycle safety course is required for riders under 18 years old to get a motorcycle license in South Carolina. If you fail the skills test 3 times, you’ll also be required to complete a motorcycle training course.

Completing the course will waive the requirements for the skills test.

A motorcycle safety course is a great way to get familiar with the basics of riding, learn about the most important motorcycle laws, and become a safer, smarter rider. No riding experience is necessary to complete a course.  

Learn more about motorcycle safety courses and Basic Rider Training programs.

Is a Driver’s License Required to get a Motorcycle Endorsement in South Carolina?

Before you get a South Carolina motorcycle license, you will not need to already have a standard driver’s license. 

Motorcycle Permit & Licensing Requirements in South Carolina

A motorcycle instruction permit must be held for at least 180 days if you do not have prior driving experience.

In order to get the permit, you’ll need to pass a written test.

In South Carolina, motorcycle permit restrictions include:

  • Supervised riding.
  • Daytime riding only.

The permit is valid for up to 1 year, and can be renewed if necessary.

Learn how to get a motorcycle license in South Carolina.

South Carolina Motorcycle License Age Requirements

The minimum age to begin the South Carolina motorcycle licensing process is 17 years old without training or 15 ½ years old if you complete a motorcycle safety course.

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