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Does South Carolina Require a Vision Test for Driver’s License Renewal?

South Carolina introduced a vision test requirement on October 1, 2020 for drivers who wish to renew their driver’s license or beginner’s permit. South Carolinians now have to pass a vision screening certifying that they meet the minimum requirements to drive safely with or without corrective lenses or glasses.

Prior to October 2020, residents of South Carolina were able to renew their driver’s license online using the SCDMV website. After instituting the new vision requirement, drivers first have to submit their eye test results before being able to renew their license online, by mail, or in-person.

Where Can I Take the Required SCDMV Vision Test?

Take the required vision test online or in person

Fortunately, taking the required driver’s license vision test doesn’t have to be complicated. South Carolina residents can conveniently do the vision screening from home by scheduling a virtual appointment with Cleared to Drive and completing the vision test online.

In-person vision tests are also offered at SCDMV locations. If you wish to go in person, making an appointment online first is highly recommended. You may also schedule an appointment with your local eye care provider, which will most likely require you to schedule your exam in advance so make sure you plan accordingly if you choose to take the vision test in-person. A licensed South Carolina optometrist is able to administer the vision screening as well, so if you’ve recently had your eye exam, your eye care professional can submit the results to the SCDMV for you, but the test must have been done in the past 12 months.

What if I Don’t Pass the Required Vision Screening?

To renew a South Carolina driver’s license, residents must pass a vision test that certifies they meet the minimum vision standards to operate a vehicle. Drivers in South Carolina must be able to read 20/70 or better at least in one eye or better than 20/70 in both eyes. If you don’t meet the visual acuity requirements set by the SCDMV, you’ll need to visit your eye doctor to update or obtain a new corrective lens prescription.

Once your vision has been corrected, a licensed South Carolina optometrist can send your new vision test results to the DMV certifying that you meet the driving requirements with or without glasses or contact lenses. If you need to wear glasses or contacts to drive, your driver’s license will include a vision restriction labeled “A” on your license.

South Carolina drivers can remove a vision restriction by visiting a SCDMV in person.

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