REAL IDs Now Available

by | July 25, 2018 7:19 pm

Last Updated: July 25, 2018 at 1:45 pm

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 secured federal building, or visit a military installation. Purchase yours today to avoid longer lines in the future.

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.

It is optional to change to a REAL ID

You only need a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card if you plan to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation on and after October 1, 2020 and you do not have another federally approved identification (valid US Passport or military ID) to use for those purposes.

You do not need a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card to do any of the following:

  •          Drive
  •          Vote
  •          Apply for or receive federal benefits for which you’re entitled (Veterans Affairs, Social Security    Administration, etc.)
  •          Enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (i.e. a post office)
  •          Access a hospital or receive life-saving services
  •          Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations (serve on a federal jury, testify in federal court, etc.)Secure federal buildings or military installations may have different identification requirements. If you’re visiting a secure federal building or military installation, you must contact that specific facility to learn its exact identification requirements. You must have a reason to visit a military installation. In most circumstances, the public is not allowed on base unless there’s a valid reason to visit. You may be able to purchase your REAL ID driver’s license online. Not everyone is eligible for purchasing their REAL ID online. You may click the green button to see if you’re eligible. If you do not see an option to buy, you are not eligible for purchasing your REAL ID license online.You should only visit an SCDMV branch to buy a REAL ID if you’re due for renewal and are ineligible for online ordering. 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:
  • 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.
  • REAL ID commercial driver’s licenses, identification cards, and licenses for international customers are not available online.
  • If you’re eligible, you’ll be taken through a series of questions and see an option to buy a REAL ID license. If able to order and purchase your REAL ID license online, it may take up to 15 business days to arrive at the address on file.
  • Buy my REAL ID license online
  • If you have a valid US Passport, military ID, or another federal identification that’s accepted to pass airport security, you may use this instead of changing your SC license or ID to a REAL ID.
  • 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
  • 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.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.If you have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you may visit an SCDMV branch to purchase a REAL ID CDL as long as you have all required documents listed above.  ID HoldersIf you’re 5 to 16 years old, your ID is $5. If you’re 17 or older, your ID is free. If you have an ID you do not have driving privileges and cannot drive a vehicle.

      International CustomersIn addition to all of the required documents above, you must provide proof of your authorized length of stay within the US. If you’re interested in the documentation requirements for international customers, see the International Customers’ Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-94).South Carolina’s StatusThe US Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005 as a result of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to standardize government-issued identifications, like driver’s licenses. This is a federal law that affects federal agencies, federal buildings, and military bases. A REAL ID license is valid for no more than eight years.

    • The US Department of Homeland Security has deemed South Carolina as fully compliant with all provisions set forth in the REAL ID Act of 2005. Federal agencies may continue to accept, for official purposes, all unexpired SC driver’s licenses and identification cards between now and September 30, 2020.
    • International customers must visit an SCDMV branch that completes international customer transactions. If you’re eligible for a license or ID, you will receive a card that is valid for the same length of time as your authorized length of stay in the US, but it will not be valid for more than five years.
    • The requirements for international customers to buy a REAL ID are different than what’s above.
    • If you have an identification card, you may visit an SCDMV branch to change your card to a REAL ID identification card as long as you have all required documents listed above.
    • In addition to the documents above, bring your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical qualification certificate. You must also acknowledge the FMCSA regulations, complete the CDL Holder’s Medical Certification (SCDMV Form DL-405A), pass a vision test, pay the $15 application fee, and pay $12.50 for the new REAL ID CDL. You will turn in your old CDL. The REAL ID CDL is valid for five years unless you have a hazmat endorsement.

      Changing your CDL to a REAL ID CDL works the same as if you were renewing your CDL, but the SCDMV must have all required documents needed to purchase a REAL ID.

    • CDL Holders
    • You must have original or government-issued copies of all documents. The SCDMV will not accept copied or scanned versions.

If you do not think you have a need to fly or visit a federal building, you do not need a REAL ID. If you have a valid US Passport or military ID, or another federally approved identification, you may use that as your identification when you travel instead of changing your license or identification card to a REAL ID.

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