South Carolina Commercial Driving School Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a South Carolina Commercial Driving School bond.
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: Between $150 per year or $15 per month
- Bond Amount: $10,000
- Who Needs it: All commercial driving schools operating in South Carolina
- Purpose: To ensure students will receive compensation for financial harm if the school commits fraud or breaches any contracts made with them
- Who Regulates Commercial Driving Schools in South Carolina: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
South Carolina Statute 56-23-10 requires all commercial driving schools, aka truck driving schools, operating in the state to obtain a license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The South Carolina legislature enacted the licensing requirement to ensure that commercial driving schools engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, commercial driving schools must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the South Carolina Commercial Driving School Bond?
South Carolina requires commercial driving schools to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a business license. The bond ensures that students will receive compensation for financial harm if the school fails to abide by the regulations outlined in South Carolina Statute 56-23-40. Specifically, the bond protects students if the school engages in any acts of fraud or breaches any contracts made with them. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the school violates the terms of its license.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a South Carolina Commercial Driving School Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining a South Carolina Commercial Driving School bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Driving School” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Gain access now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the South Carolina Commercial Driving School Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the owners of the school to determine eligibility and pricing for the South Carolina Commercial Driving School bond. Owners with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Owners with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the owner’s credit.
How Much Does the South Carolina Commercial Driving School Bond Cost?
The South Carolina Commercial Driving School Bond can cost anywhere between $150 to $500 per year or $15 to $50 per month. Insurance companies determine the rate based on several factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below offers a quick reference for the cost of a $10,000 bond requirement.
$10,000 Commercial Driving School Bond Cost
|Credit Score||Bond Cost (1 year)||Bond Cost (1 month)|
|650 – 799||$200||$20|
|600 – 649||$400||$40|
|450 – 599||$500||$50|
*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.
Who is Required to Purchase the Bond?
South Carolina requires commercial driving schools to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a business license. To paraphrase South Carolina Statute 56-23-10, a commercial driving school is a business that trains students to drive or operate commercial motor vehicles (trucks) by offering classroom and/or behind-the-wheel instruction.
Exemptions to this definition include:
- State institutions and approved public or private high schools
- Courses offered by employers to their licensed employees
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Commercial Driving Schools Apply for a License in South Carolina?
Commercial driving schools in South Carolina must navigate several steps to obtain a license. Below are the general guidelines, but driving schools should refer to the Department of Motor Vehicle’s licensing page for details on the process.
License Period – All South Carolina Commercial Driving School Licenses expire on June 30 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date
Step 1 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Commercial driving schools must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond
Step 2 – Complete the Application
All South Carolina Commercial Driving School License applications should be mailed to the following address:
Office of Inspector General
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0015
Schools must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:
- List of all road training vehicles as well as all vehicle registrations and lease agreements (if applicable)
- List of all owners/operators of the truck driver training school as well as criminal background checks for them (if applicable)
- Certificate of Insurance
- Sample copies of all catalogs, student contracts, and contracts with any partner organizations
- List of all courses offered
Commercial driving schools are required to pay a $50 fee when submitting their license applications.
How do South Carolina Commercial Driving Schools Renew Their Licenses?
Before the expiration date, the Department of Motor Vehicles will send schools a renewal notice containing instructions on how to renew their licenses. Schools must submit a drug and alcohol summary for the previous calendar year when renewing their licenses. All South Carolina Commercial Driving School Licenses expire on June 30 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date.
What are the Insurance Requirements for Commercial Driving Schools in South Carolina?
South Carolina requires commercial driving schools to obtain insurance on all instruction vehicles with the following minimum limits:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
Commercial driving schools must purchase and maintain a $10,000 surety bond.
How do South Carolina Commercial Driving Schools File Their Bonds?
Commercial driving schools should submit their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the following address:
Office of Inspector General
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0015
The surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and from a representative of the school. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name and address of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name
- Date of the bond goes into effect
What Can South Carolina Commercial Driving Schools do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?
To avoid claims against their bonds, commercial driving schools in South Carolina must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage in any acts of fraud or misrepresentation
- Do not breach any contracts made with students
- Provide all services that have been paid for
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Commercial Driving Schools in South Carolina?
Commercial driving schools must purchase insurance on all vehicles that are used for instruction. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for South Carolina Commercial Driving School Customers?
South Carolina conveniently provides a list of active commercial driving schools in the state. The list can be found here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.