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:

Required information

SC Code of Law Sections

1.   Proof of Identity (Name and Date of Birth)

56-1-80 and 56-1-90

2.   Citizenship

Section 56-1-40(7) and 56-1-80

3.   Social Security Number

Section 56-1-90

4.   Proof of SC Residency

Section 56-1-40(7) and Section 56-1-80(3)

5.   Automobile liability insurance information if applying for a driver’s license

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 SC laws and procedures.

  • Form MV-93 United States Citizens Checklist for First Time Issuance of Driver's License, Beginner's Permit or Identification Card.
  • Form MV-94 International Customer Checklist for Issuance of Driver's License, Beginner's Permit and Identification Cards. 

Click here for information on the requirements for international customers who are not United States citizens.

Back to Top

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 SC.

 

If you are a new resident moving to SC from another state, you must also meet these same requirements in addition to surrendering all out-of-state driver’s licenses and ID cards.

  • If you have a valid driver's license from another state and your documents have been verified, you may be issued a SC 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.

For a listing of all acceptable documents that are required 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.

 

Proof of Identity and United States 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.

  • South Carolina Birth Certificates - 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.
  • Out-of-State 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. 
  • 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.  

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Name Changes - 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.

Born Abroad - 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 Form MV-93

 

Documents in Foreign Language - 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:  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. If your birth certificate must be translated, Form DL-4030 Translation Document is available online or at any of our DMV Branch Offices. 

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 Form MV-93 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

Proof of Residency

To prove you are a resident of SC, you must provide any of the documents listed under the Proof of Residency section on Form MV-93.  The documentation must contain both your name and physical address. Post Office mailing addresses are not acceptable.

Insurance Information

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

 

If you are applying for an ID or beginner’s permit, you do not need to provide proof of insurance.

Applicants Under 18 Years of Age

If you are under 18 years of age, you must have a parent or legally appointed 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.

Back to Top

Applicants from United States Territories and Protected Territories

If you are from a United States Territory or Protected Territory you must meet the same documentation requirements as any other United States citizen. 

  • Territories: Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and Northern Mariana Islands
  • Protected Territories: Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Marshall Island, and Republic of Palau.  Your application must be processed in one of the offices designated for processing International citizens. Click here for a list of the DMV offices designated for international customers.    


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.

Back to Top

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.

 

* Except for Puerto Rico, all of these territories established a reciprocity agreement with South Carolina and FMCSA

 

Non-commercial License

Commercial License

Class D

Motorcycle

TERRITORIES

American Samoa

YES

YES

YES

Guam

YES

YES

YES

Puerto Rico

YES

YES

    NO *

U.S. Virgin Islands

YES

YES

YES

PROTECTED TERRITORIES

Northern Mariana Islands

YES

YES

YES

Federated States of Micronesia

YES

YES

YES

Republic of Marshall Islands

YES

YES

YES

Republic of Palau

YES

YES

YES

 

Only these countries have established a reciprocity agreement with

South Carolina and/or FMCSA

 

Non-commercial License

Commercial License

Class D

Motorcycle

Canada

YES

YES

YES

France 

YES

YES

NO

Germany

YES

YES

NO

Mexico

NO

NO

YES

South Korea

YES

NO

NO

Taiwan

YES

NO

NO

The reciprocity agreements covering knowledge and skills testing DO NOT change the requirements to show appropriate documentation. International customers 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.

 

South Korea and Taiwan require their citizens to obtain certification letters respectively from the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea or the Consulate General of the Republic of China (Taiwan) before they come into a DMV office for credentials. The applicant must provide the letter from the appropriate consulate to the DMV certifying that their South Korean or Taiwanese driver’s license is valid. This letter is only valid within 30 days from the date on the letter.  This letter should be accepted in lieu of the translation document that is generally required for a driver’s license that is in a foreign language.

 

NOTE: DMV Form 4030 is still a requirement for a DL applicant from Korea or Taiwan if they have a birth certificate that needs to be translated.

Back to Top