Photo's courtesy of SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles


About SCDMV
SCDMV Leadership
Agency Reports
Office Locations
Moving to SC ..
Forms and Manuals
Vehicle Plate Gallery
Important Driving Tips
Freedom of Information Act
For Attorneys
For Members of the Media
News Releases
DMV Fees
Returned Checks
SCDMV Job Opportunities
SCDMV Historical Information
SCDMV Fraud Hotline
Procurement and Contract Services
SC Illegal Immigration Reform Act
Contact Us
Links

Buy a plate today

Buy a plate today

 


  General Driver License Information
Driver License Classes

Regular (non-commercial) driver's licenses are issued in the following classes depending on the type and intended use of the vehicle.  Click the following link if you are interested in Commercial Driver Licenses (CDL).

Class D
A Class D driver’s license allows you to drive non-commercial passenger vehicles, such as cars and trucks, which do not exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. With a Class D driver’s license, you may also operate a three-wheel vehicle (excluding a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car).

Class E
A Class E driver’s license allows you to operate non-commercial, single unit vehicles that exceeds 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class E vehicles include trucks and motor homes.  With a Class E driver’s license, you may also operate a three-wheel vehicle (excluding a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car).

Class F
A Class F driver’s license allows you to drive non-commercial, combination vehicles that exceed 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight. Examples of Class F vehicles include trucks and motor homes with a towed trailer or vehicle and any combination of vehicles used exclusively for recreation such as truck and camper combinations if the gross combination weight exceeds 26,000 lbs. With a Class F driver’s license, you may also operate a three-wheel vehicle (excluding a two-wheel motorcycle with a side car).

Class G
A Class G driver license allows you to operate a moped as that vehicle is defined by S.C. Code of Laws, Section 56-1-1710.

Class M
A Class M license allows you to operate a two-wheel motorcycle, a two-wheel motorcycle with a detachable side car, or a three-wheel vehicle.

 

Back to Top
New Driver Licenses and Identification Cards

On October 19, 2010, SCDMV began issuing new driver license and identification card credentials. The new credentials, which are more tamper resistant and designed to deter fraud, are now available in every DMV office. 

 

The new credential has three levels of security to protect the integrity of the card. While the appearance of the credential has changed, the requirements and fees have not changed. You do not need to replace your current driver’s license or identification card until it expires. Once you are issued a new credential, however, you cannot change back to the old credential.

 

More information about the new credential:

Frequently Asked Questions  

New Credential Images

SCDMV New Credential Brochure  

Retailer Information

 

Back to Top
Reminder for Motor Home Owners

If you plan to operate a motor home that has a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) that exceeds 26,0000 lbs., you must obtain a Class E license. If you operate any combination of vehicles exclusively used for recreation (example: a motor home and tow a trailer or other vehicle that has a Gross Combination Weight (GCW) that exceeds 26,000 lbs., you must have a Class F license. You may take the Class E and F knowledge tests at any SCDMV field office which provides full driver license services. Due to the space required for a Class E or F skills test, these tests must be taken at one of the 35 SCDMV field offices that offer commercial driver license testing.

 

During the basic skills portion of the Class F test, motor home operators will be allowed to disconnect the towed vehicle. However, the towed vehicle must be reconnected for the road test portion of the skills test. 

 

For more information about Class E and F driver licenses, click here.

Back to Top
Identifications Cards

Identification cards are issued to any persons at least 5 years of age and who are residents of South Carolina, and do not have a valid South Carolina driver's license or beginner's permit. You may apply for an ID card by completing Form 447-NC and presenting proper identification at your local DMV office. The card expires five years after the issue date. Identification cards are free to citizens who are 17 years of age or older. There is a $5.00 fee for persons between the ages of 5 and 16.

If you wish to renew your identification card and it is expired:

·         LESS than nine months from the expiration date on the identification card, the renewal process is the same as if it was not expired. 

 

·         MORE than nine months from the expiration date on the identification card than you MUST:  
1) present proof of residency document; and  
2) be prepared to present proof of identity and proof of social security number only if DMV is not able to locate these source documents in their system.  

        

 

  

 

 

Back to Top
Getting and Maintaining Your Driver License

South Carolina issues both five-year and ten-year licenses. If you are a United States citizen and you visit a DMV branch office to obtain an original or renewal license, you will receive a ten-year license unless you are 65 years of age or older. Persons who are 65 years of age or older may not obtain a ten year license, but will be issued a five year license.

When you apply for a driver's license, SCDMV will run automatic checks against the Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) and the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS) databases to check your prior driving history in other states. The checks are performed when a customer applies for an original credential, renews a credential, is reexamined or moves from a beginner permit to a license. They are designed to insure drivers have only one valid license at a time.

Follow the links below to obtain information on getting an initial driver license, renewing your license, and other driver services.

Back to Top
Veteran Designation

SCDMV offers a “VETERAN” designation on driver licenses, identification cards and beginner permits for individuals who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces. To apply, veterans must present an acceptable document based on the SC Code of Laws 56-1-140 and the standards set by the South Carolina State Office of Veterans' Affairs.

·         If your military discharge date was AFTER January 1, 1950, you must provide Form DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty), which indicates an honorable discharge. No other proof of service will be accepted.

·         If your military discharge date was BEFORE 1950,  you must provide a “Certificate of Discharge” or “Enlisted Separation Paper.  Veterans discharged before 1950 will not have a Military Form DD-214 because that form did not exist until January 1, 1950. 

Military dependents, spouses or civilian employees on military bases are not eligible.

The cost to add the VETERAN designation to a driver license, identification card or beginner permit is $1.00. If you add the designation without changing or renewing your license, you will pay only the $1.00 fee. However, if you conduct another license transaction, you will pay $1.00 plus the required transaction fee. Each time you change or renew your credential, you must pay an additional $1.00 fee to add the designation.

Because state law requires documentation of military service, veterans applying for the designation must visit a DMV office. To get the best service in the shortest amount of time, DMV recommends that customers visit offices on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Customers should also remember that the days before and after a holiday are extremely busy at DMV.

Back to Top
Lost or Stolen Driver License

If your driver's license has been lost or stolen, you should report it to the local police. The Department of Motor Vehicles does not take any legal action in these cases unless there is reason to suspect that there is fraudulent use of this license.

To obtain a replacement for your regular Class D passenger vehicle license, we encourage you to use our Public Services site and complete the transaction online.  Replacement credentials for identification cards, beginner’s permits, or commercial driver’s licenses are not available online at this time. If you choose to go to a DMV office you must complete Form DL-49, Lost or Surrendered Driver’s License, and, depending on the class license you hold, a Form 447-NC or Form 447-CDL, Application for South Carolina Credential.  Additional documentation may be required to obtain more than one replacement license in a 12-month period.

International customers must provide proof of legal status in the United States. Please refer to the Accepted Forms of Identification page of this web site.

Back to Top
Damaged Driver Licenses, Beginner Permits or ID Cards

If your driver license credential is damaged or otherwise separating, you should replace it as soon as possible. Damaged driver license credentials may not be accepted as proof of identity by law enforcement, airport security, financial institutions or other businesses.

 

Back to Top
Name or Address Changes

South Carolina law requires you to change your name or address on department records within 10 days of your actual name or address change. When you change your name or address with the department, all of the vehicle and driver records that relate to you will be updated.

To change your address you may use our Public Services site, apply by mail or visit your local DMV office.  If you apply by mail you must complete Form 4057.

To change your name you must visit a DMV office, complete Form 4057, and present proper documentation such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order.  You cannot change your name by mail or online.

When you submit a change of name or address, the following documents will be changed, but you will not receive a new credential that reflects your new name or address unless you pay the required fee and complete any other required forms.

  • Driver's License - Complete Form 4057, and depending on the class license you hold, either Form 447-NC or Form 447-CDL, and pay the $10.00 fee.
  • Beginner's Permit - Complete Form 4057, Form 447-NC and pay the $2.50 fee.
  • Identification Card - Complete Form 4057, Form 447-NC and pay the $5.00 fee if you are between 5 and 16 years of age.
  • Vehicle Registration - Complete Form 4057. There is no charge.
  • Vehicle Title - Complete Form 4057, and Form 400, submit the title reflecting your old name or address, and pay the $15.00 fee.

You may obtain any of these new credentials by mail by completing the required forms and sending the appropriate fees to:

DMV Alternative Media Office
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0035

Back to Top
Copy of Driving Record

To obtain driver information in South Carolina you must have consent from the driver or be eligible to obtain the information for a permissible use under the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act of 1994. Some permissible uses under DPPA are: use by a government agency, businesses to verify information, court proceeding, investigation, insurer, commercial driver's licenses, etc. A complete list of permissible uses can be found by going through the Cornell Law School website.  Use form MV-70. The cost is $6.00 per driver record.

Back to Top
Selective Service

SCDMV now provides information regarding all males 18 to 25 years old to the United States Selective Service when they apply for, renew or replace a driving credential or identification card. The new procedure, which is required by federal law, began June 28, 2004.

Male applicants who are 18 to 25 years old and hold a South Carolina DMV credential must authorize DMV to transmit their information to Selective Service. If they refuse to give their consent, they will not be able to apply for, renew or replace their driving credential or identification card. Applicants who are 13 to 17 years of age will be issued a credential, but they will also be informed that their information will be automatically transmitted to Selective Service on their 18th birthday unless they surrender their credential before their birthday. Eligible males who do not register with Selective Service will not be entitled to some government services such as student loans or grants, government jobs and some job training.

If you previously registered with Selective Service through another agency, you must still ensure that DMV records reflect that registration. If you are 18 to 25 years old and DMV records do not indicate Selective Service registration, you will not be able to apply for, renew or replace your driving credential or identification card.

Applicants who are United States citizens and 18 years of age or older may submit their information to DMV through the agency’s Public Services website or by mailing Form 447-SEL to DMV. Applicants who are not United States citizens must visit a DMV branch office.
Back to Top
Driver License Fees
Knowledge Tests $2.00 each
Beginner's Permit $2.50
CDL Application $15.00
5 Year Driver's License (65 years old and older, CDL, and special licenses) $12.50
10 Year Driver's License (Field Office Only) $25.00
Duplicate Driver's License $10.00 (online and in field offices)
ID Cards $5.00 fee is only charged to persons between 5 years and 16 years of age
Copy of Driving Record $6.00
Back to Top
Returned Checks

DMV will no longer provide services to customers who write bad checks. Many services will remain unavailable until the customers pay all dishonored checks and fees. 

 

If DMV receives a returned check notification from your bank, you will be notified by mail that you need to pay the outstanding fees. You must pay the amount of the check, plus a $30.00 returned check fee. After the fees are paid, DMV will not accept a personal check from you and a “cash only” alert will be placed on your record for three years from the date all check fees are paid. You may remit payment at any DMV office or by mail to the Headquarters Finance Department at the following address:

 

SC Department of Motor Vehicles

Attention: DCU

Post Office Box 1029

Blythewood, South Carolina 29016-1029

 

DMV does not accept cash by mail. Until all fees are paid, you will no longer be able to renew your driver license or vehicle registration. You will not be able to replace a lost or stolen driver license or license plate, apply for a Disabled Placard, or purchase a copy of your driving record.

  

DMV will notify the South Carolina Department of Revenue (DOR) regarding customers that have not remitted payment for a returned check. DOR may collect money for a customer’s unpaid check through his or her state tax refund. 

 

If you have questions regarding returned checks, please contact the DMV Contact Center at (803) 896-5000 or email help@scdmvonline.com.

Back to Top
Donate Life

When you apply for or renew a South Carolina driver’s license, beginner’s permit, or identification card, you may consent to being an organ/tissue donor. If you choose to donate, your identity information will be added to the South Carolina Donor Registry and a notation will be added to your credential. By consenting to be an organ/tissue donor, you are entering into a legally binding agreement with Donate Life South Carolina and organ/tissue donation no longer requires consent from any other person unless the donor is under the age of 18.  

Any South Carolina resident may register to be an organ/tissue donor. However, if a resident consents to be an organ/tissue donor before his or her 18th birthday, the parent or legal guardian will be required to consent to the donation. Each time you apply for, renew, update or request a duplicate credential for any class driver license, beginner permit or identification card, you must indicate whether or not you consent to be an organ/tissue donor. For more information about organ donation, please visit the Donate Life South Carolina website.

Donate Life, created by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor of South Carolina in 1996, promotes organ and tissue donation through education and assists South Carolinians navigating the transplant process by providing emergency financial assistance. Each time you apply for, renew your credential, or make any other transaction at the DMV, you may also make a donation to Donate Life.

Back to Top

On This Page
Driver License Classes
New Driver Licenses and Identification Cards
Reminder for Motor Home Owners
Identifications Cards
Getting and Maintaining Your Driver License
Veteran Designation
Lost or Stolen Driver License
Damaged Driver Licenses, Beginner Permits or ID Cards
Name or Address Changes
Copy of Driving Record
Selective Service
Driver License Fees
Returned Checks
Donate Life

Related Sites
Selective Service
Cornell Law School
Donate Life South Carolina