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The SCDMV offers a "Veteran" designation on beginner's permits, driver's licenses, and identification cards if you honorably served in the United States Armed Forces. If you're interested in applying for this designation, you must present your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DOD Form DD-214) and meet standards set by the South Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs.
Discharged After January 1, 1950
If you were discharged after the above date, you must provide your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DOD Form DD-214). This indicates you were honorably discharged. The SCDMV does not accept any other proof of service.
Discharged Before 1950
If you were discharged before 1950, you must provide a Certificate of Discharge or Enlisted Separation Paper. If you were discharged before 1950, you will not have a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DOD Form DD-214), because this form did not exist until January 1, 1950.
If you're a military dependent, spouse, or civilian employee on a military base, you're not eligible for the "Veteran" designation.
Adding the Veteran Designation
There is no fee for adding the "Veteran" designation to your beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card. If you're interested in adding this marking, you must visit an SCDMV branch.
The SCMDV allows qualified military service members to waive the commercial skills test to get a commercial driver's license (CDL). This waiver allows you to apply for a South Carolina CDL without having to take the skills test. You must still pass all required knowledge tests and follow any federal regulations before receiving your CDL.
You qualify for this waiver if all of the following are true:
- Active duty military or left active duty military within the last 12 months
- Operated a military commercial motor vehicle
- Hold a valid SC license
- Did not hold a another driver's license within the last two years
If your license was suspended, revoked, cancelled, or disqualified at any point over the past two years, you're not eligible for this waiver.
Applying for the Waiver
Your Commanding Officer must sign the completed CDL Skills Test Waiver for Military Personnel Information Sheet (SCDMV Form DL-408A). You should submit it and a copy of your Active Duty/Reservist Military ID or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DOD Form DD-214) to the address below:
CDL Help Desk
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0028
You may also email the documents or fax them to 803-896-2676.
Temporarily Stationed in South Carolina
If you and your dependents are temporarily stationed in South Carolina, you are not required to get an SC driver's license if this is not your home state. But, you must have a valid license from your home state if you want to drive in this state.
Stationed Outside of South Carolina
If you're an active duty military member or a dependent, or a Department of Defense employee stationed outside South Carolina, you may renew your driver's license by mail. To renew your license by mail, submit all of the following documents:
- Mail-In Renewal Application (SCDMV Form DL-63)
Provide a special mailing address, like your APO, for the new license to be mailed to.
- Current color photograph of yourself (from the top of your head to your shoulders) without your face or head covered
- Military orders showing continuous active duty outside of SC
- Check, made out to the SCDMV, for $12.50
Mail all the documents to the following address:
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0035
Expired Driver's License
If your driver's license has been expired for less than nine months, you will renew it the same way you would if your license was not expired. If you have more than five points on your license within the two years before you renew, you will have to take the knowledge test again.
If your driver's license has been expired for at least nine months, the process is slightly different depending on your situation. If you are stationed outside of South Carolina for no less than 90 continuous days on active duty and your license expires, SC considers the license valid as long as at least one of the following is true:
- You're a military service member.
- You're a dependent of a military service member.
- You're a Department of Defense employee.
This rule only applies if your license expired during one of the following:
- You're serving outside of the state.
- You're serving outside the state and it expired within 90 days of the start of that service.
You would renew your driver's license just as you would if it was still valid, but you must visit an SCDMV branch within 90 days of discharge. When you visit an SCDMV branch, you must bring proper documentation of your discharge. If you come to renew your expired driver's license after 90 days of discharge, you must take the knowledge and road tests.
Proper Discharge Documentation for Expired Driver's License
If you're an active duty military member or a dependent of one, visit an SCDMV branch within 90 days of discharge, and have a driver's license that's been expired for at least nine months, you must present all of the following to avoid taking the knowledge or road tests:
- Valid military ID
- Copy of service record showing dates of assignment outside SC
If you've permanently discharged following your out-of-state assignment, you may submit your Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DOD Form DD-214) as proof of your discharge date.
If you're a Department of Defense employee, visit an SCDMV branch within 90 days of discharge, and have a driver's license that's been expired for at least nine months, you must present all of the following documents to avoid taking the knowledge or road tests:
- Valid military ID
- Copy of orders supporting temporary service outside SC