Nearly every weekend, somewhere across the nation, a band of amateur motor heads strap-in for the exhilarating thrills of door-to-door competition. SCCA operates at the best tracks and with the best trackside safety due to its experienced volunteer workers. Whether you want to be the racer or be a part of the race staff, SCCA is your place to participate in the best sportscar road racing available.
Are you ready to take that step from watching road racing to getting behind the wheel? It’s not an overnight process, but SCCA has produced more road racers than anyone, so you’re in good hands. These are step-by-step instructions and guidance which will help you obtain an SCCA Competition License. You can also get great advice by attending a local race and talking to the racers themselves in the paddock.
If, upon reading this guide, you have questions or special requests, the Licensing Specialists at the SCCA National Office will be happy to help you. Write/Phone/e-mail them at P. O. Box 19400, Topeka, KS 66619-0400; 1-800-770-2055, or firstname.lastname@example.org .
It’s very important that you become familiar with the General Competition Rules, otherwise known as the GCR. These are the rules that govern SCCA Club Racing. Rule books can be downloaded online at www.scca.com
IF YOU HAVE NO PREVIOUS RACING EXPERIENCE…
Joining the SCCA has never been easier; simply click here to register online: Online SCCA Membership Application (normally, you’ll use Individual Membership link. Some people with special consideration (like military personnel or minors get a discount).
Next, you’ll need to go visit your doctor for a sports physical. You can download that form, as well as the Novice Permit form. If you are 16-18 years old and want to drive competitively or work in a hot area, you’ll need to complete the Minor Release and Waiver and Minor’s Assumption of Risk Acknowledgment form (Form MS-L – MUST BE PRINTED IN COLOR). These are available for download, or you can contact SCCA to have one mailed to you. If you are under 21 and live in Alabama, Nebraska, or Wyoming, you will also need to complete the Minor Release and Waiver and Minor’s Assumption of Risk Acknowledgment form (Form MS-L – MUST BE PRINTED IN COLOR).
Submit the Novice Permit Application with all of the required documents and Novice Permit fee to the SCCA Central Licensing Department at P. O. Box 19400, Topeka, KS 66619-0400; OR you may obtain your Novice Permit through your local Region’s licensing representative (see SCCA Divisions/Regions maps for links to Region Web sites).
NOTE: If you are 16-17 years of age, you must apply for all Competition Licenses through the SCCA Central Licensing Department at the National Office. The Novice Permit, often referred to as a “logbook,” allows you to enter an SCCA Driver School and later, SCCA Regional Club Racing events. Almost anyone 16 years and older, who has a Motor Vehicle Operators license, is eligible for a Novice Permit.
Items required prior to issuance of a Novice Permit include:
Check the “Calendar” section of SportsCar magazine or the SE Division website (a link to the SE Division site is on our homepage) to find the next Driver School in your area. Most of the registration process is handled online by the host Region. Some Regions hold Drivers Schools only in the Spring, others conduct them year round; however, you may attend an SCCA Driver School anywhere in the country. To attend an SCCA Driver School, you must arrange for your own properly prepared race car. You will also need approved driving gear, including an SCCA approved helmet. If you do not have a race car, you will have to rent or lease one in order to attend a school. Renting allows you to concentrate on driving and also permits you to consider which class best fits your goals before you buy a car. Rental prices generally range from $500 – $2,000 depending on the car type. Contact our Region’s Competition Chairman for assistance in obtaining a rented vehicle (find the Chairman’s contact info is in our Race Board contact list).
There are also professional race schools that advertise online and in SportsCar magazine. If you can’t find a rental or find crew help, the professional schools take care of that using their own vehicles and mechanics. Of course, this path involves more “out of pocket” expense but it can lead to a Competition License in a compressed schedule.
READ AND BECOME FAMILIAR WITH THE GCR BEFORE your first school, paying special attention to the section on Flags! This is where you’ll find information about specific vehicles as well as equipment requirements and standards.
Upon receipt of your event entry packet, READ ALL the information provided. Most importantly, note the rules and regulations specific to the event and the race track. Complete your entry form in its entirety and return it to the person listed. Make absolutely certain your personal driving equipment, (i.e., Helmet, Driving Suit, Gloves/Shoes, etc.) is in good order, and that your car is race-ready BEFORE the first on-track sessions. Be punctual for your classroom sessions. These are mandatory.
Make every effort to have a qualified mechanic on hand to ensure your car runs properly, as you successfully must complete all the on-track sessions in order to get credit for the school.
Upon completion of two Driver Schools and two Regional Races (you’re still a Novice for your first two), you are eligible to receive an SCCA Regional Competition License. You have two years from the date of issue to complete the Novice requirements. Once the requirements are met, send your completed Novice Permit, signed off by the event Chief Steward at your second Regional race; a copy of your Physical Exam; and the Regional License fee to the Central Licensing Department. You will soon be the proud owner of a Regional Competition License. After successfully completing four Regional events, you may upgrade to a National Competition License.
If you have attended, or plan to attend, an Accredited Professional Racing School…
Ordinarily, you would have to attend at least two SCCA approved Driver Schools. However, if you attend an accredited racing school, it may count as one, or even both of your required SCCA Drivers Schools.
NOTE: While the SCCA Driver Schools and private racing schools have similar names, they are somewhat different in scope. A primary goal of an SCCA Drivers School is to teach novices how to race safely and expose them to racing in the SCCA.
If you Have Previous Racing Experience…
Depending upon your previous racing experience, some or all of your licensing requirements may be waived by the Chief Steward of your SCCA Driver School or by your Divisional Licensing Administrator.
An example: If you are a kart champion and pass your first SCCA Driver School without difficulty, Chief Stewards may waive your second SCCA Driver School. Another example is a driver who previously held an SCCA National license but has not raced for a few years. Depending on this individual’s previous racing record and the length of the layoff, it’s possible the Divisional Licensing Administrator may waive the driver back to a Regional or National license. Or, the Administrator may require a “retread” to complete a Drivers School or a private racing school before a waiver will be considered. If you have previous racing experience and would like a waiver, document your experience and present your request to your Divisional Licensing Administrator.