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Access online assistance services for help on how to get your new ID as soon as possible. In many states, getting a driver’s license or ID for the first time involves several steps. Therefore, knowing what you will need to do and which documents you will need to present to the DMV is important. Online assistance provides step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a new license or ID card. Take advantage of this service to simplify the process today.

2. By Mail

Some drivers prefer to complete their DMV transactions by mail. Unfortunately, this process is generally much slower than simply dealing with the DMV online. When completing DMV transactions by mail, make sure to set aside enough time for your documents to reach the DMV. If you are on a tight schedule, be mindful that the DMV will need to receive your documents, process your request and mail a response back to you. Double-check all forms, payment methods and applications before mailing them, as any error on your part may delay the process.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

There are DMV transactions that you can only complete in person at a DMV office. These are sometimes lengthy processes, and since DMV lines are often long and slow, preparing beforehand can help ensure your visit is as quick as possible. Knowing which documents you will need and filling out necessary forms before your visit can keep you from wasting your trip. In these cases, online assistance services can help by providing you with all the information you need to make your visit a success.


South Carolina ID card credentials are official documents issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that serve as authorized photo IDs in the absence of a driving license. Therefore, to obtain a new ID card, applicants must not be in the possession of a valid license to drive or a learner’s permit. Applicants will also be required to meet additional requirements, such as submitting certain documents and paying a fee. Note that the state DMV will begin issuing ID credentials that comply with the regulations of the federal REAL ID Act in 2018. However, the DMV ID requirements for standard and REAL ID credentials will remain similar. Remember, DMV issued credentials have expiration dates, so non-drivers will be required to renew their ID cards on a regular basis. Read more about the SC ID card application procedure in the sections below.

Requirements for an ID Card in South Carolina

The department issues new identification cards in South Carolina only to applicants who fulfill all DMV requirements. Note that the requirements for state ID credentials may vary slightly depending on whether or not you are a U.S. citizen, since noncitizens must submit a different set of documents. Applicants will generally be required to meet the following SC state ID requirements:

  • Be at least 5 years of age.
  • Do not hold a valid driving license.
  • Be state residents.
  • Be able to prove their lawful U.S. presence, state residency, identity and date and place of birth.
  • Be able to submit a verifiable Social Security Number or a letter of ineligibility.

United States citizens obtaining state ID credentials will be required to prove their citizenship, name and date of birth with a document such as a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or a certificate of citizenship or naturalization. As proof of residency, ID card applicants will be required to submit a document such as a weapon’s permit, a current DMV credential or a tax record. Note that, if you are applying for an SC state ID that meets the REAL ID standards, you will be required to submit two proofs of residency. U.S. citizens can complete their list of documents by including proof of their Social Security Number, such as a Social Security card.

Noncitizens getting a state ID in SC, on the other hand, will need to submit a different set of documents that will be used to verify their authorized stay within the country. Note that non-U.S. applicants may not be eligible for an SSN. In such circumstances, they will be required to submit a letter issued by the Social Security Administration as proof of their ineligibility.

Note: The submitted ID card documents must typically be presented in their original form or as certified copies.

The South Carolina ID Card Application Process

You can obtain a valid state ID by submitting an ID card form and the supporting documentation in person through a local DMV office. Keep in mind that noncitizens will be able to apply for ID card credentials only through specific DMV locations that offer ID card services to international applicants. To finalize the in-person ID card application process, you will be required to:

  • Surrender driving licenses, learning permits or DMV ID cards issued by any U.S. state (if applicable).
  • Complete the Application for an ID.
  • Have your parent or legal guardian sign the request form (if you are younger than 18 years of age).
  • Present the supporting documentation that applies to your circumstances.
  • Pay the SC DMV ID fee (if required to do so).

After verifying the validity of your identification documents, the department will process your application and mail your South Carolina ID to your home. Non-drivers that apply for state ID credentials as U.S. citizens will receive a new identification card that will last for five years. International customers generally receive an ID credential that expires at the end of their lawful U.S. presence.

For those interested in one day obtaining a driver’s license, you will need to keep in mind that a driving exam consists of two parts: a written exam and a driving assessment. To help you prepare for both of these exams, you can obtain a practice test from a trusted third part provider or enroll in a driver’s ed course near you. Both of these options provide applicants with ample resources to pass their driving test on their first attempt.

South Carolina Identification Card Fees

One of the final steps in the South Carolina ID card application procedure is paying the application fee. The price of a new ID card in SC will vary based on the applicant’s age. If you are applying for an ID card when you are at least 17 years of age, you will receive your new credential free of charge. Applicants 16 years of age or younger will be required to pay a small ID fee. Note that REAL ID cards in SC will cost the same as the standard version when they become available for purchase.

Note: In the event of a lost or damaged ID credential drivers will be able to complete the ID card replacement process with the state DMV at a specified fee.

Last updated on Friday, September 21 2018.

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