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REAL ID required in South Carolina beginning Oct. 1

Beginning October 1, 2020, a South Carolina driver’s license or identification card must have a gold star to show that it’s a REAL ID in order to board a commercial flight, enter a secure federal building or visit a military installation.

The REAL ID will serve as a driver’s license and an ID, according to the SC Department of Motor Vehicles. You will either hold a REAL ID license or REAL ID ID which has no driving privileges. A gold star in the upper right corner of your license or ID designates it as a REAL ID.

You may also hold a standard driver’s license that reads “Not for Federal Identification,” or a standard ID with no driving privileges that reads “Not for Federal Identification.” Whether you buy a REAL ID or not, you must still have an unexpired U.S. Passport for international travel.

Purchase your REAL ID online

Some South Carolina residents may be eligible to purchase their REAL ID online. Check your eligibility here.

Purchase your REAL ID in person

If you are not eligible for online purchase, you can visit any SCDMV branch to buy one. If you’re visiting a branch to change your current license or identification card to a REAL ID, you must bring the following with you:

  • 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

Note that you must have original or government-issued copies of all documents. The SCDMV will not accept copied or scanned versions.

A REAL ID is optional

A REAL ID is only needed after October 1, 2020 to board a domestic commercial flight, enter a secure federal building or visit a military installation. 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, such as a U.S. Post Office
  • Access a hospital or receive life-saving services
  • Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations such as serving on a federal jury or testifying in federal court

For more information on obtaining a REAL ID, visit the SCDMV online.

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