REAL IDs Now Available to Public

March 01, 2018


South Carolina’s new licenses and identification cards available to the public

Governor Henry McMaster was joined Wednesday, February 28 by SCDMV Director Kevin Shwedo to announce that South Carolina’s new driver’s licenses and identification cards, including those compliant with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, are now available for purchase SCDMV branches statewide.

“We are grateful for Col. Shwedo’s team at the SCDMV that has done a tremendous job of quickly and diligently getting our new licenses and identification cards ready for distribution, said Gov. Henry McMaster.

“After months of testing, we’re incredibly pleased with the product South Carolinians will now hold to prove their identity,” said SCDMV Director Kevin Shwedo. “This is the state’s most secure card to date, and it was a fantastic team of SCDMV employees who made sure the public roll out of the new REAL ID licenses and IDs was as smooth as possible.”

Learn more about REAL ID

While the state now produces REAL ID licenses and identification cards, you’re reminded that you have plenty of time to change your card to a federally approved card. The State of South Carolina is under an extension for REAL ID implementation through October 10, 2018, but since the REAL IDs are now available for the public, the state anticipates being certified “fully compliant” with the federal law in the immediate future. Once the state is certified compliant, you can continue to use your current, unexpired license or ID to board domestic, commercial flights, enter secure federal facilities, or visit military installations through September 30, 2020.

If you brought all required REAL ID documents to an SCDMV branch or if you know that all required documents to purchase a REAL ID are on file with the agency, you may now be able to order your REAL ID license from the comfort of home. You will follow a series of questions to see if you’re eligible for online ordering. If so, you may purchase your REAL ID license for $25. The SCDMV will use your current photograph and mail your new license to the address on file. You must destroy your old card when you receive your new one. It will immediately become invalid.

The SCDMV now produces two styles of licenses:  REAL IDs and standard, non-compliant cards that say, “Not for Federal Identification.” There’s no change or difference in price of each card or any card the SCDMV issues.

In order to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation on and after October 1, 2020, you must carry the card with the gold star or another federally approved identification such as a valid US Passport or military ID.

If you already have a South Carolina license or ID and the SCDMV does not have the required REAL ID documents on file, you will only be able to purchase a card that says, “Not for Federal Identification” assuming you’re otherwise eligible for a license or ID.

To be eligible to purchase a REAL ID, the SCDMV must have on file all of the following:

  • Proof of Identity (Government-issued birth certificate or valid US Passport)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address
  • Proof of All Legal Name Changes

Remember, you do not have to rush to the SCDMV to change your card. Unless your driver’s license or ID is expiring there’s almost no reason to wait in line to change your card right now. You’re encouraged to remember that cards are different, but you should not burden yourself with an immediate visit.

Come to the SCDMV prepared with all of the correct documentation between now and September 30, 2020, and when wait times are low, if you want to change your current card to a REAL ID. You may view real-time wait times online.

For the most up-to-date information, follow the SCDMV on Facebook and Twitter. For specific questions about REAL ID, email REALID@scdmv.net or call 803-896-5000.