Licenses and IDs are Changing

If you want to use your South Carolina driver's license or identification card to pass airport security, enter secure federal buildings, or visit military installations, you soon must change it to a REAL ID license or ID.

REAL ID Document check
If you’re interested in changing your current card to a REAL ID license in the future, bring all of the following documents to an SCDMV branch now:

  • Proof of Identity
    • Examples:  Birth certificate or valid US Passport
  • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Examples:  Social security card or W-2 Form that has your social security number and name and your employer's name
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address
    • Examples:  Current, unexpired SC license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old utility bill with the same name and address    
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes
    • Examples:  Marriage license or court order issued by your county's probate or family court
      You must show a complete name change history that links your birth certificate name to your present day name. If you have a valid US Passport or US Passport Card with your legal name, you may use that as your name change document.

Find an SCDMV branch
You must have original or certified copies of all documents. The SCDMV will not accept copied or scanned versions. You can find a complete list of accepted documents on the United States Citizens’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93).

If you bring all of the required documents now and have a regular (Class D, E, F, G, M, or any combination of those) license, most people may be eligible to get a REAL ID license online in the future.

REAL ID licenses and IDs will not be available until the first quarter of 2018.

Do you belong to a group that may find the SCDMV's REAL ID brochure helpful? Download a copy now.


Order REAL ID License Online


If you bring all of the above documents to the SCDMV now, you put yourself in a better position to be able to order your REAL ID driver's license from home when the cards are available in 2018. In order to purchase your REAL ID license online in the future, all of the following must be true:

  • All required documents are on file with the SCDMV
  • You have a regular (Class D, E, F, G, M or any combination of those) license
  • You can pay with a valid card
  • You are a US Citizen
  • Your social security number and the name associated with it match
  • Your license is not expired
  • You did not renew your license by mail the last time you renewed
  • Your driving privileges are not suspended
  • You are not a convicted violent offender
  • You have not had five points or more against your driving record in the past two years
  • You do not have a Conditional or Special Restricted license

There's been no change in the price of a driver's license. A REAL ID license or a non-compliant/standard license will cost $25. It's the same price as a license now. 

Identification Card Holders


If you have an identification card, you should begin gathering all of the documents listed above and keep them in a secure location until REAL IDs are available.


You will not be able to order a REAL ID identification card online, so you must visit an SCDMV branch with all required documents when the new cards are available in 2018.

 

CDL Holders

 

If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL), you should begin gathering all of the documents listed above and keep them in a secure location until REAL IDs are available. You will not be able to order a CDL online, so you must visit an SCDMV branch with all required documents.

 

When you visit the SCDMV, you must also have your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical qualification certificate.

 

In addition to the documents above, you must provide liability insurance information from a company licensed to do business in this state, acknowledge the FMCSA regulations, complete the CDL Holder’s Medical Certification (SCDMV Form DL-405A), pass a vision test, pay the $15 application fee, and pay $12.50 for the new REAL ID. You will turn in your old CDL.

 

Changing your CDL to a REAL ID will work the same as if you were renewing your CDL, but you must provide all of the documents above.

 

International Customers

 

The requirements for international customers to get a REAL ID are different than what's outlined above. In addition to all of the documents above, international customers must provide proof of their authorized length of stay within the US. If you’re interested in the documentation requirements for international customers, please see the International Customers’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-94).  

 

International customers must visit an SCDMV branch that completes international customer transactions to receive their REAL ID when the cards are available in 2018. For this reason, you should gather all required documents and keep them in a secure location until the cards are available in 2018. When the cards are available, bring all required documents to an international customers branch, and you may receive your REAL ID then. You will not be able to order your REAL ID license online.


You Do Not Have to Change Your Card


If you have a valid US Passport or US Passport Card, military ID, or another federally approved identification, you may use this as your form of identification to pass a TSA checkpoint at airports nationwide. Federal buildings and military installations may have different, specific identification requirements.

 

If you're visit a secure federal facility or a military installation, you should contact the building or military installation you're visiting for specific identification requirements.

If you know you will not be boarding a commercial flight or visiting a secure federal facility or military base, you do not need to change to a REAL ID.

 

You do not need a REAL ID driver's license or identification card to do any of the following:

  • Drive
  • Vote
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits for which you’re entitled (Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, etc.)
  • Enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (i.e. a post office)
  • Access a hospital or receive life-saving services
  • Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations (serve on a federal jury, testify in federal court, etc.)

About REAL ID

The US Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005 as a result of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to standardize government-issued identifications, like driver’s licenses. This is a federal law that affects federal agencies, federal buildings, and military bases. A REAL ID license is valid for no more than eight years.

 

If you do not think you’ll have a need to fly or visit a federal building, you do not need a REAL ID. If you have a valid US Passport or military ID, or another federally approved identification, you may use that as your identification when you travel instead of changing your license or identification card. Federal buildings and military installations may have different, specific identification requirements. You should contact the facility directly to see what it will accept.

 

South Carolina's Status

 

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted the state's request for an implementation extension to become REAL ID compliant. This extension means South Carolina's current, unexpired SC driver's licenses or identification cards will continue to be accepted as your identification to board domestic flights, enter secure federal buildings, and visit military installations through October 10, 2018. It is anticipated that this is the last extension request the state will have to submit. 

 

In the meantime, the SCDMV is working towards certification to issue REAL ID licenses and IDs. The SCDMV and State of South Carolina anticipate being fully compliant and issuing REAL ID licenses and IDs during the first quarter of 2018.

 

October 1, 2020 Deadline

When the state is certified compliant, your current, valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card may be used as your identification to board domestic flights, enter secure federal buildings, and visit military installations until October 1, 2020.

On October 1, 2020¸ you must have a REAL ID license, ID, or another type of federally approved identification, such as a valid US Passport or military ID, to board a commercial flight or visit a federal building. If you’re planning to visit a military base, you’re encouraged to check with the individual base for what it will accept as valid identification.

The SCDMV will continuously release information regarding the status of REAL ID as it’s confirmed. Follow the agency on Twitter, @SC_DMV, and Facebook, @SCDMV. You may email questions to the SCDMV. The US Department of Homeland Security has additional information.