SCDMV Branches adjust days of operation
March 25, 2020
Please NOTE: This news release is dated March 25, 2020.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) remains open, but the agency is adjusting hours of operation at select branches beginning Wednesday, March 25, 2020. These reductions result from staffing limitations and the agency's commitment to enforcing social distancing recommendations in our branch offices. Despite the reduction in operating hours at several locations, the SCDMV is committed to “ensure the proper function and continuity of state government operations,” in accordance with the Governor's Executive Order No. 2020-11.
"In these uncertain and rapidly changing times, the SCDMV remains committed to serving citizens throughout our state,” said SCDMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. "We will optimize employee manning to sustain five-day a week service at 44 of our branch offices. We will reduce the number of days we are open at some locations, but will ensure that every location remains open to customers at some point during the week. We are implementing this plan for the foreseeable future, but other reductions may be needed based on reduced employee availability."
The following branches will only be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday until further notice:
The following branches will only be open Tuesday and Thursday until further notice:
The following branch is open Monday and Friday until further notice:
The following branch is open Tuesday and Wednesday until further notice:
The following branch will be open Thursday only until further notice:
The rest of the 44 branch offices remain open with normal business hours.
"The SCDMV is balancing its commitment to employees and commitment to customers with these modified days of operation. We are committed to providing SCDMV services throughout the state while ensuring the health and safety of our employees and customers alike," said SCDMV Director of Branch Services Courtney Saxon. "We greatly appreciate everyone's patience during this transition."
Changes implemented during COVID-19 pandemic:
- If a customer is required to take a non-commercial driving test as the result of clearing a suspension or being expired for nine months or more, he or she may complete the knowledge portion of the re-examination at the SCDMV, be issued a permit, and then be allowed to take his or her skills test through a third party tester. Previously, customers would have been required to take the skills tests at the SCDMV, but with current safety restrictions in place, customers are now allowed to take their skills test through a third party. Click here for a list of non-commercial third party testers.
- All road tests have been suspended through at least April 3, 2020. However, the SCDMV continues to offer the pre-trip and basic skills portion of commercial driver's license (CDL) test. If customers take these portions of the CDL test during this time period, the test scores will be banked.
- Offices are functioning on a one-in, one-out model. The number of customers allowed inside a branch at a given time will directly correspond to the number of staffed counters.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has granted a waiver for certain regulations applicable to interstate and intrastate commercial driver's license (CDL) and commercial learner's permit (CLP) holders and to other commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
- Extends until June 30, 2020, the maximum period of CDL validity due for non-hazmat CDLs due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020.
- Extends until June 30, 2020, the maximum period of CLP validity for CLPs that are due for renewal on or after March 1, 2020, without requiring the CLP holders to retake the general and endorsement knowledge tests.
- Waives the requirement that CLP holders wait 14 days to take the CDL skills test.
- Waives the requirement that CDL holders, CLP holders, and non-CDL drivers have a medical examination and certification, provided that they have proof of a valid medical certification that was issued for a period of 90 days or longer and that expired on or after March 1, 2020.
This waiver does not apply to a CDL or CLP holder if the driver's license expired before March 1, 2020. Drivers who claim relief under this waiver from the requirement for a valid medical certificate must have proof of a valid medical certificate that expired on or after March 1, 2020, and carry a paper copy of their expired medical certificates. Finally, this waiver does not apply to medical examiner's certificates originally issued for less than 90 days.
South Carolinians are encouraged now more than ever to complete their SCDMV-related business online at SCDMVonline.com or by mail. Below is a list of some transactions that came be completed from the comfort of home.
- Check eligibility for a REAL ID license and purchase REAL ID license if eligible
- Renew a driver’s license
- Purchase a replacement driver’s license
- Purchase a collision report or motor vehicle record
- Update residence or special mailing address
- Update an emergency contact for law enforcement and first responders
- Purchase a replacement vehicle registration card
- Purchase a replacement title
- Pay reinstatement fees and check if eligible for the payment plan
- Exchange a license plate for a specialty license plate
- Renew registration (if received mailer explaining that a late fee is due)
SCDMV employees will continue to staff agency headquarters in Blythewood to ensure transactions like the ones listed above continue to be processed in a timely manner. Employees at the agency's headquarters will also support Motor Carrier Services, Member Services, dealerships, and other SCDMV partners.
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has worked to ensure the essential operations the agency provides remain fully functional while considering the impact of COVID-19 on South Carolina. For these reasons, the guidelines below are now in place.
- Since some state residents are not able to pay vehicle property taxes in counties that are or will be closed to the public, and because closure of county offices will delay issuance of tax bills, the SCDMV will suspend the collection of late fees for vehicle registration renewals. The agency will also suspend the suspension of driver’s licenses for failure to pay property taxes for registration renewals that expire March 2020 through June 2020.
- Treat all traceable temporary license plates and 30-day temporary license plates with expiration dates of March 2020 through June 2020 as valid until July 1, 2020. Vehicles that have expired temporary plates that are not properly titled and registered within 45 days after July 1, 2020 will be considered as having expired registrations.
- All non-commercial vehicles with registrations that expire March 2020 through June 2020 will be valid until July 1, 2020.
- All identification cards, non-commercial driver’s licenses, beginner’s permits, non-hazmat commercial driver’s licenses, and commercial learner’s permits with expiration dates of March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be treated as valid until July 1, 2020. All public and private businesses, companies, agencies, and organizations of any kind are urged to accept these documents as valid.
- It must be understood that expired driver’s licenses, beginner’s permits, commercial driver’s licenses, or commercial learner’s permits and vehicle license plates may not be recognized outside of South Carolina.
- People are encouraged to keep a copy of this guidance with them if impacted by one of the items above. You can upload and print the guidelines to maintain in your vehicle by clicking here. Those with CDLs or CLPs are encouraged to upload and print these guidelines and keep a copy in their vehicle.