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If you recently changed your name due to a marriage, divorce or other circumstance, you are legally required to update your drivers license. Typically, you cannot complete a drivers license name change online. Most states require you to visit a DMV office in person with a marriage certificate, divorce certificate or court order. Nevertheless, it is important to know exactly what documents you need to bring and what fees you need to pay during the transaction. To help you be fully prepared for the process, our informative guide contains all the details you need to know to update your driving license with your new name. You will also get information on drivers license renewal, replacement and other important procedures.

2. By Mail

Certain states allow drivers to update their names on their drivers licenses via mail. If your state offers this method, you will need to send your completed application, payment (via check or money order), proof of ID and proof of name change to your local DMV. Some states may have additional rules regarding what documents you can and cannot send via mail, such as whether documents can be copies or originals, and whether such copies must be notarized. Mail-in name change requests typically take the longest to process, and delays are common if the DMV discovers mistakes on the application.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

Most states require you to visit a DMV office in person in order to change your name on your drivers license. Before you do this, you will have to update your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA). It can take a few days for the SSA to process your request. When visiting the DMV to change your name, you must make sure to have all the proper identifying documents, including proof of your name change. This can include court orders, marriage certificates and divorce decrees. Note that not having all of the required documents, forms and payment will result in a rejected application.


A South Carolina drivers license name change must be obtained any time life changes cause a driver in the state to alter his or her legal name. However, before applying for an SC DMV name change, drivers are required to change their legal name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) because the SC DMV uses the new Social Security number to verify the applicant’s identity before issuing a replacement drivers license.

SC drivers must change name on driving license accounts at an SC DMV customer service center by the state-issued deadline. Failure to notify the state and the federal government can lead to problems later. Review the following sections to learn more about how to change name on drivers license records in South Carolina, including the forms and supporting documents needed to complete the transaction.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your South Carolina Drivers License

Obtaining a legal name change on drivers license documents in NC should happen as soon as possible after a name-changing event takes place. The most common reasons for an SC DMV name change request are changes in marital status, such as marriage and divorce. Most couples choose to identify their union by using the same last name, whether that is one spouse’s last name or a totally new surname created from combining the two surnames.

Many individuals request to go back to using their maiden name or another previous last name after a divorce takes place. Sometimes that is not a choice, as judges frequently write name change requirements into the divorce decree.

Some drivers simply want to change name on SC driving license material for personal reasons. This can happen following a religious conversion or a connection with a meaningful ethnic or historical group. Transgender motorists changing name on drivers license card may also choose to complete additional paperwork to change the gender marker appearing on their driving record. While most of us are free to choose a new name for virtually any legal reason, everyone must update government records as soon as possible.

South Carolina Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

You only have 10 calendar days to notify the SC DMV of a change of name on driving license after the marriage, divorce, adoption or other event takes place. Remember that you should change name on SC driving licenses only after filing your SSA name change and allowing 24 to 48 hours for the change to appear in the database.

That three-day process leaves approximately one week to fulfill the state requirement of completing your within 10 the allotted time. The name change requirement also applies to those with a state-issued identification card.

How to Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

Changing your name on driving license records in South Carolina is not possible until after you have filed your name change with the SSA. Although your Social Security Number will remain the same, you will be issued a new card with your altered name. This provides a vital link between your old and new identities and is the type of verification the SC DMV requires later on. For that reason, the full name on your SC drivers license name change and your SSA name change must match exactly in order and spelling.

The SSA offers name change updates by mail or by appearing in person at a local SSA branch office. Many SC DMV name change candidates prefer to conduct this SSA transaction in person to avoid waiting for original documents to be returned in the mail. This helps avoid drivers license name change delays because both the SC DMV and the SSA can only process requests accompanied by original versions of the following applicable documents:

  • The original court order authorizing a name change
  • The original marriage license or certificate (not a souvenir version)
  • S. passport issued in the new name
  • Original adoption decree
  • Valid SC drivers license bearing the old name

The SC DMV name change process is a one-time-only opportunity at the time of marriage. You may change your middle and/or last name once and cannot do it again without obtaining a court order.

Online Drivers License Name Changes

Online drivers license name changes are not available in South Carolina at this time. The state also prohibits changing your name by mail, even though both types of services are available for those changing their address with the DMV.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

If you are a South Carolina drivers license name change applicant, then you must appear in person at any SC DMV branch office to obtain a new license featuring your changed name. Bring your current SC drivers license and whichever documents are applicable from the SSA list provided above. You must also sign and complete an application.

Changing your name on driving license records includes having a new photo taken. You will be issued a receipt to carry until your new card arrives in the mail.

South Carolina DMV Name Change Fees

South Carolina DMV name change fees follow the same standard as other drivers license replacement costs. The current fee to obtain a change of name on driving license documents in SC and obtain a duplicate credential is $10.

Last updated on Wednesday, December 5 2018.

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