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South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles


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  Accepted Forms of Identification
Accepted Forms of Identification

These guidelines establish standards for accepting documents submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles by all applicants applying for a first time SC BEGINNER’S PERMIT, DRIVER’S LICENSE or ID card and all applicants previously licensed in SC who are returning to SC after having been licensed in another state. It is DMV’s responsibility as a licensing state to verify the accuracy and authenticity of any document furnished to us by any applicant applying for a credential.

There are several laws that require the department to collect personal information from an applicant:

  • Name and Date of Birth (Section 56-1-80 and 56-1-90)
  • Social Security Number (Section 56-1-90)
  • Citizenship (Section 56-1-40(7) and 56-1-80)
  • Residency (Section 56-1-40(7) and Section 56-1-80(c)

Our goal as an agency is to ensure that the customer is provided with as much information to assist him/her when applying for a credential. It is not the department’s intent to refuse to issue a credential to a customer who possesses acceptable documents. However, when a person applies for a SC credential, it is DMV’s responsibility to verify that the applicant is who he or she claims to be. Our license specialists are charged with examining the presented documents to make sure that they are authentic. With all of this in mind, the attached lists of documents have been expanded to ensure our customers have been provided every opportunity to comply with South Carolina laws and procedures.

Puerto Rico Birth Certificates
Due to the high incidence of passport fraud using Puerto Rico birth certificates, the government of Puerto Rico is issuing new birth certificates beginning July 1, 2010, which will incorporate new technology to limit forgery. As of October 1, 2010, SCDMV no longer accepts Puerto Rico birth certificates unless the birth certificate has an issue date of July 1, 2010, or later. The Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration has posted guidance, including frequently asked questions and answers and instructions on how to apply for a new Puerto Rico birth certificate, on their website at www.prfaa.com 

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United States Citizens

If you are a United States citizen applying for a first time beginner's permit, driver's license or identification card, you must provide documentation showing proof of your identity and citizenship, proof of your social security number and proof of residency in South Carolina. If you are applying for an ID or beginner’s permit, you do not need to provide proof of insurance. If you are applying for a driver’s license, you must provide automobile liability insurance information from an insurance company licensed to do business in South Carolina.

 

If you are a new resident moving to South Carolina from another state, you must also meet these same requirements.

 

Different documents are required to prove identity, social security number and citizenship. For a listing of all acceptable documents to obtain a SC Driver’s license or beginner’s permit, click here for Form MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit or Identification Card.

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Proof of Identify and Citizenship

You may provide any document from the Proof of U.S. Citizenship/Proof of Identity and Date of Birth section on Form MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit or Identification Card.

 

If you were born in South Carolina and do not have a birth certificate, contact State Office of Vital Records at the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate.

 

If you were born in the United States and need to get a copy of your birth certificate, you may contact the National Center of Health Statistics to obtain contact information for your birth state.

 

 

 

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Additional Documentation Required

If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present. 

If your birth certificate indicates that you were not born in the United States, you must also provide an additional document  from the documents listed under the Proof of U.S. Citizenship section on the MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit or Identification Card above proving US citizenship.  

 

If you were born before 1918 and do not have a birth record, you must provide two documents from the following list as proof of identity and date of birth, in lieu of a birth record:

  • Social Security Check
  • Social Security Card
  • Military ID
  • Marriage License (a copy of a marriage license is acceptable)
  • Life insurance policy at least 5 years old
  • Out of state driver license or identification card

If your original birth certificate is not in English, a qualified translator must translate it. A qualified translator is a person who routinely translates documents from another language into English as part of their work responsibilities.  Examples of a qualified translator include:  a professor or instructor at an area college, university or high school who is authorized to teach a specific language; a person from a company or corporation who is authorized to translate corporate documents by the company; a translator certified to do translations professionally. The translated version of the birth certificate must be an original document.  

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Social Security Number

You must provide proof of your Social Security number, preferably with your social security card. The name on your social security card must match the name on your identity documents. All Social Security Cards will be checked for authenticity under a black light in the DMV office. If you do not have your original social security card, you may substitute any of the  documents listed under the Proof of Social Security Number section on the MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit or Identification Card, provided that the document includes your name and entire social security number.

 

If you need a replacement card, visit the Social Security Administration's website for instructions at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber

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Proof of Residency

To prove you are a resident of South Carolina, you must provide any of the documents listed under the Proof of Residency section on the MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit or Identification Card.  The documentation must contain both your name and physical address. Post Office mailing addresses are not acceptable.

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Insurance Information

Before a driver’s license can be issued or renewed, you must furnish current automobile liability insurance information. You must provide the company name of your automobile insurance company, which must be authorized to do business in South Carolina. If you or any relative in your household does not own a vehicle, you must indicate that fact on your application.

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Applicants Under 18 Years of Age

If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or legal guardian sign your application to accept responsibility for you.  If you are an emancipated minor, you must submit proof of emancipation with a court order, marriage certificate or active military orders. Only an original document or certified copy will be accepted.

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United States Citizen With Credentials From Other States

If you are a new resident to South Carolina, you must meet the same requirements as any other United States citizen. In addition to your out-of-state driver’s license or ID card, you must provide proof of identity, proof of your social security number, proof of residency and, if applying for a driver’s license, your automobile liability insurance information. Before you obtain your SC credential, you must surrender all out-of-state licenses and/or identification cards. If you have lost your out-of-state beginner permit, driver’s license or identification card, you must also complete an affidavit of lost permit or license along with your South Carolina application. Click here for MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver's License Beginner's Permit or Identification Card.

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Applicants with a Valid License from Another State

If you have a valid driver's license from another state and your documents have been verified, you may be issued a South Carolina driver’s license by passing the vision test and surrendering your out-of-state license. If your out-of-state license has expired by 9 months or more, you must successfully complete the knowledge, skills and vision tests.

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Applicants with a Valid Beginner Permit from Another State

Beginner's permits issued in other states may be used to drive in South Carolina. If you have had your out-of-state beginner's permit for at least 180 days, you may take the skills test to apply for your South Carolina driver's license. If you fail the skills test on your first attempt, you must wait two weeks to re-test regardless of your age. If you are issued a South Carolina beginner's permit, the time that you held an out-of-state beginner's permit counts toward the 180-day period. For more information about beginner’s permits, please refer to the Beginner Permit section of this website.

 

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Applicants from United States Territories

If you are an applicant from a United States Territory (Puerto Rico-PR, Virgin Islands-VI, American Samoa-AS, Guam-GU), you must provide the same documentation as any other United States citizen.

 

If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present.

 

If your original birth certificate is not in English, a qualified translator must translate it and the translated birth certificate document presented must be an original. A qualified translator is a person who routinely translates documents from another language into English as part of their work responsibilities.  Examples of a qualified translator include:  professor or instructor at an area college, university or high school who is authorized to teach a specific language; a person from a company or corporation who is authorized to translate corporate documents by the company; a translator certified to do translations professionally.

 

A qualified translator must also translate a driver’s license unless an international driving permit accompanies it. The translated driver’s license document presented must be also an original.

 

If your birth certificate or driver’s license must be translated, Form DL-4030 Translation Document is available online or at any of our DMV Branch Offices.

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International Customers Who are not US Citizens

International customers are citizens of US protectorates, immigrants, refugees, asylees, and other non-immigrants who are granted temporary entry into the United States. International customers who are not US citizens can only obtain a SC driving credential or ID at one of the following service centers:

 

International Customer Offices

Bluffton DMV, 15 Sheridan Park

Charleston DMV, 3790 Leeds Avenue

Conway DMV, 4103 Highway 701 North

Florence DMV, 3102 East Palmetto Street

Greenville DMV, 15 Saluda Dam Road

Greenwood DMV, 510 West Alexander Extension

Greer DMV, 610 Arlington Road

Irmo/Ballentine DMV, 1016 Broadstone Road

Lancaster DMV, 1694 Pageland Highway

Laurens DMV, 390 Fairgrounds Road

Myrtle Beach DMV, 1200 21st Avenue North

North Augusta DMV, 1913 Ascauga Lake Road

Orangeburg DMV, 1720 Charleston Highway

Rock Hill DMV, 305 Hands Mill Road

Seneca DMV, 13009 South Radio Station Road

Shop Road DMV, 1630 Shop Road

Spartanburg DMV, 1625 Southport Road

 

All persons authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, or the U.S. Department of State to live, work, or study in the United States on a temporary or permanent basis will be eligible to apply for a beginner's permit, driver's license or identification card.

 

The expiration date of the driver’s license will be determined by the applicant's authorized period of stay in the United States or the expiration date of the applicant's employment authorization document, but will not exceed 5-years. 

 

Applications for beginner permits, driver’s licenses and identification cards for International customer will be accepted at sixteen of our DMV offices across the state. To apply for a South Carolina credential, all International customers who are not US citizens must provide the following each time they apply for an original, renewal or duplicate credential:

  • Proof of Identity (SC Code Section 56-1-80 and 56-1-90(2))
  • Proof of Date and Place of birth (SC Code Section 56-1-80 and 56-1-90(2))
  • Current authorization to live, work or study in the U.S. (SC Code Section 56-1-40(7) and 56-1-80)
  • Social Security Card or Letter from the Social Security Administration (no more than 90 days old) stating that the applicant is not allowed to work in the United States (SC Code Section 56-1-90)
  • Proof of SC residency (SC Code Section 56-1-40(7) and Section 56-1-80(3))
  • Automobile liability insurance information (if applying for a driver’s license) (SC Code Section 56-1-80(C))

To view the SC Code of Laws regarding driver license requirements, click here.

 

At the time of application, all applicants must provide proper documentation to prove that the US Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services authorizes them to live, work or study in the United States on a temporary or permanent basis, and that they are within their current authorized period of stay, depending on current immigration and visa status.

 

Form MV-94 International Customer Checklist for Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit and Identification cards lists the documentation requirements for each of the areas listed above for the most common immigration and visa statuses.

 

If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present. 

 

If your documents are not in English, a qualified translator must translate them and the translated documents presented must be original. A qualified translator is a person who routinely translates documents from another language into English as part of his or her work responsibilities.  Examples of a qualified translator include:  professor or instructor at an area college, university or high school who is authorized to teach a specific language; a person from a company or corporation who is authorized to translate corporate documents by the company; a translator certified to do translations professionally.

 

Applicants applying for a driver’s license must also submit a valid driver’s license from their country of origin as proof of prior driving experience. A qualified translator must also translate a driver's license unless an International Driving Permit accompanies the license. Applicants who cannot show proof of prior driving experience must first obtain a beginner’s permit and hold it for 180 days before applying for a driver’s license.

 

Once international customer applicants have presented acceptable documentation at one of the sixteen international customer-processing centers, they are eligible to receive a temporary 60-day paper credential.  This paper document will authorize them to drive while their documentation is being verified in our central headquarters.  Applicants with a temporary paper credential must also carry with them at all times their immigration documents, including passport or other immigration document displaying the applicant’s photograph, name and date of birth.

 

If DMV central headquarters can verify all the documentation submitted by the applicant, a photo credential with an expiration date based on the authorized period of stay will be mailed to the applicant.

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Applicants from United States Protected Territories

If you are an applicant from a United States Protected Territory (Northern Mariana Islands-MP, Federated States of Micronesia-FM, Republic of Marshall Island-MH, Republic of Palau-PW), you must meet the same requirements as a United States citizen. However, your application must be processed in one of the 16 offices designated for processing International citizens.

 

If your name has changed since birth, you must provide all legal documents (adoption records, marriage certificate, certificate of naturalization, court ordered name change) supporting all name changes from birth to present. 

 

If your original birth certificate is not in English it must be translated by a qualified translator and the translated birth certificate document presented must be an original. A qualified translator is a person who routinely translates documents from another language into English as part of their work responsibilities.  Examples of a qualified translator include:  professor or instructor at an area college, university or high school who is authorized to teach a specific language; a person from a company or corporation who is authorized to translate corporate documents by the company; a translator certified to do translations professionally.

 

A qualitifed translator must also translate a driver’s license unless an international driving permit accompanies the license. The translated driver’s license document presented must be also an original.

 

If your birth certificate or driver’s license must be translated, Form DL-4030 Translation Document is available online or at any of our DMV Branch Offices.

 

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Countries and Territories that have Reciprocity with South Carolina

South Carolina waives the requirement for knowledge and skills testing for first time applicants from those countries that have established a formal reciprocity agreement with South Carolina, as long as the applicant’s out-of-country driving credential has not expired.

For a country to establish reciprocity with South Carolina, the Department must receive a formal request from that country or the consulate for that country. At the present time, ONLY the following countries have formal reciprocity agreements with South Carolina.

 

 

Commercial Vehicles and Non-Commercial Vehicles

   Canada Note that Canadian CDLs must first be verified through CDLIS

Non-Commercial Vehicles Only

   France

   Germany

   American Samoa

   Guam

   Puerto Rico

   Virgin Islands

   Federated State of Micronesia

   Republic of Marshall Islands

   Republic of Palau

   Northern Mariana Islands

Commercial Vehicles Only

   Mexico: Note that Mexican CDL must first be verified


PLEASE NOTE: The reciprocity agreements covering knowledge and skills testing DO NOT change the requirements to show appropriate documentation. International customers from Canada, France, Germany and Mexico, as well as from the Protected Territories, must follow the same application process as other International customers.

Form MV-94 International Customer Checklist for Issuance of Driver’s License, Beginner’s Permit and Identification cards lists the documentation requirements for the most common immigration and visa statuses.

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Adult Consent for Minors Applying For Beginner's Permit and Driver's License

If you are under the age of 18, you must have an adult sign the application for a beginner’s permit or driver’s license, unless you have been declared an emancipated minor and can provide court documents, a marriage license or military orders showing emancipated minor status. The adult must sign the application in the presence of a DMV employee. DMV employees MAY ONLY accept applications that are not signed in the presence of a DMV employee if the application is submitted by driver training schools.

 

Unless you can prove you are an emancipated minor, a parent or guardian must sign your application. Responsible adults other than a parent or guardian may sign for a minor applicant ONLY IF they complete and sign DMV form 447CM, Consent for Minor.

 

Exchange students under the age of 18 must have the signature of the member of the host family that signed the contract accepting responsibility for the exchange student. It is the responsibility of that person to determine if the contract allows the person to sign the application for a beginner’s permit or driver’s license.

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On This Page
Accepted Forms of Identification
United States Citizens
Proof of Identify and Citizenship
Additional Documentation Required
Social Security Number
Proof of Residency
Insurance Information
Applicants Under 18 Years of Age
United States Citizen With Credentials From Other States
Applicants with a Valid License from Another State
Applicants with a Valid Beginner Permit from Another State
Applicants from United States Territories
International Customers Who are not US Citizens
Applicants from United States Protected Territories
Countries and Territories that have Reciprocity with South Carolina
Adult Consent for Minors Applying For Beginner's Permit and Driver's License

Related Sites
Social Security Administration