REAL ID

REAL ID

REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions


Beginning Monday, May 15, 2017, South Carolina citizens who are interested in getting a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, in the future, may bring their identity documents to the SCDMV. If you received your first-ever SC license or ID during or after November 2010, you do not have to bring your documents. If you have a valid US Passport or military ID, you do not need to get a REAL ID-compliant card. You do not need a REAL ID to drive, vote, access hospitals, receive federal benefits, enter a non-secure federal building, or participate in law enforcement proceedings.


The state was authorized to begin working towards full compliance and implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005 upon Governor Henry McMaster’s signature of House Bill 3358 in early April.


If you choose to bring your documents to the SCDMV early, you may be able to order a REAL ID-compliant license online in the future.


REAL ID cards are not available at this time. They will not be available until late 2017 or early 2018.

You do not need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to do any of the following:

  • Drive
    You must have a valid driver's license to drive whether it is REAL ID-compliant or not REAL ID-compliant. 
  • 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.)

If interested in a REAL ID-compliant card, begin gathering your documents and bring them to an SCDMV branch, but there are four important things to remember:

  • Changing your current SC license or ID to a REAL ID-compliant card is optional and voluntary. If you feel you will not be boarding a commercial flight, visiting a secure federal building, or a military base, you do not need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID.
  • If you have a valid US Passport/Passport Card, military ID, or another federally approved identification, you may use that as your form of identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building or military base, but you must carry it with you for the above activities.
  • On and after October 1, 2020, you must have some form of a federally approved identification (whether that is a REAL ID-compliant SC license or ID, US Passport/Passport Card, or another federally approved identification) to board a commercial flight, even within the US, or visit a secure federal facility.
  • The SCDMV website, www.scdmvonline.com, provides real-time access to wait times at each of the agency’s branch offices. You’re encouraged to use this feature if you decide to bring documents to a branch office. It is suggested you visit a branch office when the wait times are 30 minutes or less.

If you received your first SC beginner’s permit, license, or ID during or after November 2010, you may not have to bring in your documents again. For example, if you turned 15 during or after November 2010 and received your beginner’s permit, the SCDMV should have your documents in the system. Or, if you moved to the state during or after November 2010 and received an SC license, the SCDMV should have your documentation in the system.


If you believe you fall into the category above, you may confirm your documents are on file with the SCDMV by calling the Contact Center at 803-896-5000, beginning Monday, May 15, 2017. If your documents are not on file and you’re interested in getting a REAL ID-compliant license or ID, in the future, you must bring your identity documents to an SCDMV branch office.

Beginning Monday, May 15, 2017, South Carolina residents interested in getting a REAL ID-compliant license or ID, in the future, or an original beginner’s permit, license, or ID (more information below) should bring all of the following types of documents with them:

  • Two Proofs of Current SC Address
    • Examples:  No more than three-month-old pay stub with your name and address and a no more than three-month-old water bill with your name and address
      These two proofs cannot come from the same category, such as a water bill from April and a water bill from March.
  • Proof of US Citizenship, Identity, Date of Birth
  • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Examples:  Social security card or W-2 Form with your name, your employer’s name, and your social security number on it.
  • Document(s) Supporting Legal Name Change
    • Examples:  Marriage License, Divorce Decree, or Court Order issued by your county’s family court
      You must show a complete name change history, so bring all documents that prove name changes from birth to present. If you have a US Passport/Passport Card with your legal name, you may use this in place of your name change documents.

You may only bring documents that prove your own identity. You may not bring documents in for people who are not physically in an SCDMV branch office.


You must bring original or a certified copy (not notarized) 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).

 

Some of the requirements for international customers are different. International customers will not be able to buy a REAL ID-compliant license online. They must wait until REAL ID-compliant licenses and IDs are available, visit an SCDMV branch office, and bring their identity documents in person if interested in changing their current license or ID.

 

If you’re an international customer interested in getting a REAL ID-compliant card in the future, you should keep your identity documents in a secure location until the SCDMV announces the cards are available. The documentation requirements for international customers are found on the International Customers’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-94).

 

There are 67 branch offices across the State of South Carolina, and you can view the wait times for each branch office at www.scdmvonline.com. The wait times you see online reflect customers who have checked in with the greeter and received a ticket number. They do not account for customers waiting to see the greeter. You may decide to visit an SCDMV branch office in a different location than your normal branch office due to its wait time.

 

South Carolina's Extension

 

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given South Carolina an extension until October 10, 2017. As of this posting on June 16, 2017, your current, unexpired SC driver's license or identification card can be used as your identification to enter secure federal buildings or visit military installations until October 10, 2017.

 

According to DHS, on January 22, 2018, "All non-compliant states/territories will be subject to REAL ID enforcement at TSA checkpoints." As of this posting on June 16, 2017, your current, unexpired SC license or ID can be used as your identification to pass TSA checkpoints at airports nationwide until January 22, 2018.

 

The SCDMV is working with DHS on further extensions while, at the same time, working towards certification to issue REAL ID compliant driver's licenses and IDs.


Documentation changes for all licenses

 

Beginning May 15, 2017, regardless of whether you’re interested in getting a REAL ID-compliant or non-compliant card, all applications for an original SC beginner’s permit, driver’s license, or identification card must follow the documentation standards outlined above.

 

The documentation standards are similar to what the SCDMV has always required to get a license, but the agency has updated the types of documents it will accept to prove your address. For example, beginning May 15th, the agency will no longer accept a school ID, but it will accept postmarked mail, such as a letter from a relative, as long as the letter is addressed to you.

Again, you must bring two proofs of address, from two different categories on the United States Citizens’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93) or International Customers' Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-94), to receive an original beginner’s permit, license, or ID beginning May 15, 2017, or a REAL ID-compliant card in the future.


About REAL ID

 

The United States 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. REAL ID-compliant licenses must be valid for no more than eight years.

 

The SCDMV will continuously release information regarding the status of REAL ID in this state as it’s confirmed. Images of the REAL ID-compliant cards are not available at this time. Follow the agency on Twitter, @SC_DMV, and Facebook, @SCDMV. You may email questions to REALID@scdmv.net. You may visit the US Department of Homeland Security’s website for additional information.


Helpful Link

South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control




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