REAL ID – you’ll need yours, don’t wait til last minute

Beginning October 1, 2020, your South Carolina driver’s license or identification card must have a gold star to show it’s a REAL ID in order to use it as your identification to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation*. Purchase yours today and avoid longer lines in the future.

*You must have a reason to visit a military installation, and, even with a REAL ID, you may be subject to additional visitor control measures once on site.

New South Carolina driver’s licenses and identification cards, some of which are compliant with REAL ID, are now available for purchase. There’s been no change in the price of any card the SCDMV issues. The new cards are valid for no more than eight years.

A REAL ID will be your license or your ID. You are not issued separate cards. Either you will hold a REAL ID license, REAL ID ID (no driving privileges), standard license that says “Not for Federal Identification,” or a standard ID (no driving privileges) that says “Not for Federal Identification.” A gold star on your license or ID designates it as a REAL ID.

Regardless of whether you buy a REAL ID or not, you must still have an unexpired US Passport to travel internationally.
If you’re visiting a branch to change your card to a REAL ID, you must have the correct documentation with you to do so. You’re encouraged to check the wait times at branches before leaving home.

Documents needed to buy a REAL ID

If you’re interested in changing your current card to a REAL ID and are ineligible for online purchasing, you must bring to the SCDMV:

Proof of Identity
Examples: Government-issued birth certificate or unexpired US Passport

Proof of Social Security Number
Examples: Social security card or W-2 Form that has your social security number and name and your employer’s name

Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address
Examples: Current, unexpired South Carolina driver’s license or identification card and a no more than 90-day-old utility bill with the same name and address
View a complete list of all accepted address documents on the United States Citizens’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93).

Proof of all Legal Name Changes
Examples: Marriage license or court order issued by your county’s probate or 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 current, legal name, you may use that as your name change document.

You must have original or government-issued 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).

If you are a veteran who has honorably served in the country’s armed services, please bring your Discharge Certificate (DOD Form DD-214) that shows you were honorably discharged to add the “veteran” designation to your driver’s license or identification card.

To learn more, click here.