South Carolina issues both five-year and ten-year driver's licenses. If you're 65 or older, you'll receive a five-year license. If you're younger than 65, you'll receive a ten-year license.

When you apply for a license, the SCDMV will automatically check your driving history in other states. If you're moving to SC from another state, you will need to turn in your old license.

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Beginner's Permit

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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 present originals or certified copies of all of the following documents:

  • Proof of Identity, US Citizenship, and Date of Birth
  • Proof of a Social Security Number
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address
  • Proof of Legal Name Change History (if applicable)
    If you've changed your name from your birth certificate to present day, you must bring in all supporting documents proving your legal name change. This includes a marriage license, divorce decree, or court order issued by your county's family court. You must bring in documents showing a 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 on your passport on your license.
  • Liability insurance information (not required for a beginner's permit or ID)

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 or Protected 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).

REAL ID

The SCDMV anticipates REAL ID driver's licenses and identification cards will be available in 2018.

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 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.