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Accepted Forms of Identification

When you're getting a South Carolina beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card for the first time, you must provide your social security number and present originals or government-issued copies of all of the following documents:

  • Proof of identity, US Citizenship, and date of birth
  • Proof of your current physical SC address (For a REAL ID beginner's permit, driver's license, or ID card, you will need two proofs of your current physical SC address)
  • Proof of legal name change history (if applicable)
    If you've changed your name from what is printed on your birth certificate, you must bring in all supporting documents proving your legal name change, such as a marriage license, divorce decree, or court order issued by your county's family court. You must bring in documents showing your complete name change history. If you have a US Passport or Passport Card with your legal name, you may use this in place of your name change document(s). The SCDMV will print the name that is on your passport on your license.

The United States Citizens' Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-93) outlines a complete list of accepted documents. If you're an international customer, the requirements are different.

If you're from a US Territory, you must meet the same documentation requirements as any other US citizen. If your birth certificate or license must be translated, use the Translation Document (SCDMV Form DL-4030).

SC Driver's License

Most driver's licenses that South Carolina issues are valid for eight years. All eight-year licenses are $25.

When you apply for a license, the SCDMV will check your driving history in other states. Upon being issued an SC identification card or driver's license, any driver's licenses and ID cards previously issued to you by another state or province will be cancelled. If you're moving to SC from another state, you must turn in your old license.

REAL ID

REAL ID driver's licenses and identification cards are now available. When applying for a South Carolina license, you may choose if you'd like to purchase a license that is a REAL ID with a gold star or a standard license that says "Not for Federal Identification." 

Beginning May 7, 2025, if you have a card that says "Not for Federal Identification" or does not have a gold star, you cannot use this card as your identification to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation.

Work Zones and Driving Safety

South Carolina is putting a renewed emphasis on safe driving in construction work zones. While vehicles continue to gain new safety features for drivers and passengers, vehicle-related injuries and fatalities are rising in work zones. Too often, that is a result of drivers not following the law and not heeding the designated signs that give drivers advance warning of road work ahead. 

Orange and black signs are set up to inform drivers in advance about the work zone. If asked to merge, drivers should do so as soon as they see the sign, which helps keep workers safe.

Speeding fines are increased in work zones in South Carolina, especially if the speeding contributes to an accident in which a worker is hurt or killed. 

Please watch this presentation to learn more about work zone driving safety, the law and the risks to South Carolina workers. You also can watch this testimonial about work zone safety from the S.C. Department of Transportation on YouTube.

Work Zone Awareness

Organ Donation

You may register to be an organ/tissue donor when you apply for or renew your South Carolina beginner’s permit, driver’s license, or identification card. If you choose to donate, your identity information will be added to the South Carolina Donor Registry and a red heart will be added to your beginner's permit, driver's license, or ID card. When you choose to be an organ donor, you're entering into a legally binding agreement as outlined under the South Carolina Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

If you choose to be an organ donor before your 18th birthday, your parent or legal guardian must consent to the donation. Every time you apply for a beginner's permit, driver's license,  or ID card, you may decide if you'd like to be an organ/tissue donor. If you change your decision for authorization in the future or wish to update your information on the registry, visit Donate Life South Carolina.

Medical Symbol on Beginner's Permits and Driver's Licenses

Customers may voluntarily choose up to three qualifying medical conditions that will be placed on their internal driving record for emergency personnel to view so that they may better assist customers in times of need.

Once a customer discloses a medical condition and applies for an original or renewed beginner's permit, driver's license, or identification card, the caduceus medical symbol will be printed on the back of the card.

To add the caduceus medical symbol on a card, customers must submit all of the following:

There is no additional charge to add the caduceus medical symbol to a card. However, the standard license renewal fees apply. 

SC Code Sections 56-1-80 (A)(6)