Getting a REAL ID

If you’re interested in getting a REAL ID driver's license or identification card in the future, bring all of the following documents to an SCDMV branch now:

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  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical South Carolina Address
    • Examples:  Current, unexpired SC license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement with the same name and address
  • Proof of US Citizenship, Identity, and Date of Birth
    • Examples:  Original or certified copy of your birth certificate or valid US Passport
  • Proof of Social Security Number
    • Examples:  Social security card or W-2 Form that has 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 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.

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).

The requirements for international customers are different. If you’re interested in the documentation requirements for international customers, please see the International Customers’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-94).  

If you bring all of the required documents now, you may be able to get a REAL ID license online in the future.

REAL ID licenses and IDs will not be available until 2018.

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


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.

You Do Not Need a REAL ID

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 and visit a secure federal building or military installations at any time.


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


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 or visit federal buildings.


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 licenses and IDs. 


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

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 visit a federal building, military base, or board a commercial flight until October 1, 2020. It is optional to change your license or ID to a REAL ID.

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 facility. 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.