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Accepted Forms of Identification

When you're getting a South Carolina beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card, for the first time, you must provide your social security number and present originals or government-issued copies of all of the following documents:

  • Proof of identity, US Citizenship, and date of birth
  • Proof of your current physical SC address (For REAL ID, you will need two proofs of your current physical SC address)
  • Proof of legal name change history (if applicable)
    If you've changed your name from what is printed on your birth certificate, you must bring in all supporting documents proving your legal name change, such as a marriage license, divorce decree, or court order issued by your county's family court. You must bring in documents showing your complete name change history. If you have a US Passport or Passport Card with your legal name, you may use this in place of your name change document(s). The SCDMV will print the name that is on your passport on your license.

The United States Citizens' Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93) outlines a complete list of accepted documents. If you're an international customer, the requirements are different.

If you're from a US Territory, you must meet the same documentation requirements as any other US citizen. If your birth certificate or license must be translated, use the Translation Document (SCDMV Form DL-4030).

SC Driver's License

Most driver's licenses South Carolina issues are valid for eight years. All eight-year licenses are $25.

When you apply for a license, the SCDMV will check your driving history in other states. Upon being issued an SC identification card or driver's license, any driver's licenses and ID cards previously issued to you by another state or province will be cancelled. If you're moving to SC from another state, you must turn in your old license.

REAL ID

REAL ID driver's licenses and identification cards are now available. When applying for a South Carolina license, you may choose if you'd like to purchase a license that's a REAL ID with a gold star or a standard license that says "Not for Federal Identification." 

Beginning May 3, 2023, if you have a card that says "Not for Federal Identification" or does not have a gold star, you cannot use this card as your identification to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation.

Organ Donation

You may register to be an organ/tissue donor when you apply for or renew your South Carolina driver’s license, beginner’s permit, or identification card. If you choose to donate, your identity information will be added to the South Carolina Donor Registry and a red heart will be added to your license, beginner's permit, or ID. When you choose to be an organ donor, you're entering into a legally binding agreement as outlined under the South Carolina Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

If you choose to be an organ donor before your 18th birthday, your parent or legal guardian must consent to the donation. Every time you apply for a license, beginner's permit, or ID, you may decide if you'd like to be an organ/tissue donor. If you change your decision for authorization in the future or wish to update your information on the registry, visit Donate Life South Carolina.