South Carolina Drivers License Renewal
Renewing drivers license in South Carolina is a step-by-step process. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) oversees drivers license renewal, and drivers can renew their licenses in one of two ways - in person or by mail. In general, no tests are required if your drivers license is nine months or less past its expiration date, but you may need to submit results from an eye examination. If you do not know how to renew drivers license in SC, the following information may be able to clarify the process.
How to Renew Your SC Driver's License
You can renew drivers license in South Carolina every five or 10 years by mail or in person. The drivers license renewal method you choose will impact the length of time between each renewal, and you may be asked to have your vision checked. The expiration date of your drivers license is printed on its front side near your photograph, and drivers are allowed to renew their licenses up to nine months past this date. At the present moment, the DMV no longer allows drivers to renew drivers license online in SC, even if they have an excellent driving record. For the eye examination, you will need a licensed eye care provider fill out form DL-63 prior to renewing drivers license.
You must pay a few to renew drivers license in South Carolina. The state accepts cash, personal checks, and all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) as forms of payment, and you will need to pay the drivers license renewal fee before your application is processed. If you elect to renew your license by mail, you can pay with a check made payable to the "S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles." Renewal fees are as follows:
- 5-year license: $12.50
- 10-year license: $25.00
- 5-year non-U.S. citizen license: $12.50
When renewing drivers license in South Carolina, members of the U.S. military can have a veteran designation printed on their license for an additional $1.00.
When to Renew
Your South Carolina Driver's License
The length of time between each drivers license renewal in South Carolina depends on each driver's age and the method of renewal they elect to utilize. If you are younger than the age of 65, you will need to renew drivers license every:
- Five years (mail-in).
- 10 years (in person).
If you are 65 or older, you must renew your drivers license every:
- Five years (regardless of renewal method).
If you plan on renewing drivers license in SC by mail, you will need to be sure that you meet the Department of Motor Vehicles requirements first.
Operating a car with an expired drivers license in South Carolina is illegal, and it is imperative that drivers renew drivers license within nine months of its expiration date. If you renew your license within the nine-month time frame, there will be no need to take any tests. However, if your license expires past the nine-month mark: you will need to complete the following steps:
- Take the written knowledge and road skills tests.
- Prove you are a lawful resident of South Carolina.
- Offer proof of your Social Security number if the DMV does not have it on file.
Once you complete the steps above and pay any applicable fees, you will receive a new drivers license. Since you received your license in person at a DMV office, you must undergo drivers license renewal again in 10 years.
If your South Carolina drivers license is lost, stolen or severely damaged, you must apply in person if you need an immediate temporary license (duplicate). If you know your drivers license number, you can renew drivers license by mail or in person, but if you do not, you will need to request a temporary replacement. To do this, you will need to do the following:
- Download and complete Form D-49 (Affidavit for Lost/Surrendered Driver's License) from the SC DMV website.
- Download and complete Form 447-NC (Application for a Non-Commercial Credential).
- Provide proof of identity if you have requested a replacement within the last year.
- Pay a fee of $10.
Driving with an expired drivers license is illegal, and if you choose to request a duplicate license online, you must wait until you receive a new plastic one in the mail before you can drive again.
Requirements To Renew A South Carolina License
You can renew drivers license in South Carolina up to nine months before or after its expiration date. The length of time between each SC drivers license renewal will depend on the renewal method you choose and your age. All drivers will be required to undergo an official eye exam before they can renew their license, but no other tests are needed if your license is not more than nine months past its expiration date. When renewing drivers license by mail or in person, you will need to:
- Prove your identity and lawful residency.
- Present the DMV office with an eye exam form (DL-63) or take an exam.
- Provide proof of car insurance.
- Pay the renewal fee.
If you have accumulated more than five points over the last two years, the DMV will require you to take the written knowledge and road skills examination again. Drivers should also note that the DMV will only accept original documents; copies or photographs are not accepted.
Renewing A SC Suspended License
If you currently possess a suspended South Carolina drivers license, you will not be eligible for traditional drivers license renewal. Before you can receive your license again, you must serve the full sentence of your suspension and pay off any debts you owe the state. You will also need to pay a reinstatement fee of $100. Once your debts are settled, you will need to renew drivers license by passing the written knowledge and road skills tests. If you do not know the status of your license, you can order an official copy of your driving record from the SC DMV office.
SC Drivers License Online Renewal
Unfortunately, motorists cannot renew drivers license online in South Carolina. If your drivers license is in danger of expiring, you will need to renew it in person or by mail (if eligible). Motorists who do not understand the drivers license renewal process can contact the SC DMV by phone or visit a field office in person.
Renewing Your SC Drivers License In-Person
You can renew drivers license in South Carolina by visiting your local DMV office. Motorists will be charged a drivers license renewal fee, and you will need to take an eye exam if you have not visited an optometrist already. Drivers will be asked to verify their identities with at least one of the following documents:
- Birth certificate.
- Naturalization documents.
- Utility bill.
- Military identification.
- U.S. passport.
- School identification (with photograph).
If the SC Department of Motor Vehicles does not have your Social Security number on file, you must present your Social Security card or a letter from the federal government explaining your lack of one. You are done renewing drivers license once you pay the fee and pass any necessary tests.
Non US Citizen
It is possible to renew drivers license in South Carolina as a non-citizen of the United States. However, only certain DMV locations specialize in international drivers license renewal, so drivers will need to visit the SC DMV website to see a current list of these locations. International drivers must renew in person, and when they arrive at a DMV office, they will be required to:
- Provide proof of identity and lawful residence in the U.S.
- Pass a vision examination or present a completed eye examination certificate.
- Pass a written knowledge and road skills test if they have accumulated more than five points over the last two years.
- Pay a $12.50 renewal fee for a 5-year drivers license.
If you plan on renewing drivers license, take at least one of the following documents to verify your identity:
- Foreign passport (with photograph).
- I-551 form.
- Employment authorization card.
- I-94 card with "refugee" or "asylum seeker" designation.
- Official letter from Social Security Administration.
Out-of-State Military Renewal
You can renew drivers license in South Carolina within 60 days of returning to the state if you are in the armed forces. This privilege also extends to spouses and dependents of military members if they are stationed overseas.
Out-Of-State Military: Renew Online
There is no way to renew drivers license online in South Carolina. All residents, military and non-military, must renew their license in person at a SC DMV location, or by mail if they are eligible. Only duplicate replacement licenses can be requested online.
Out-Of-State Military: Renew By Mail
You can renew drivers license in South Carolina by mail if you are an active member of the military or a dependent. To do this, send the following to the "South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles" in Blythewood:
- A completed DL-63 form (Mail-In Renewal Application)
- Copy of military orders.
- Vision certification.
- $12.50 drivers license renewal fee.
Drivers License Extensions
Presently, there is no way to extend a South Carolina drivers license past its expiration date. If your license is set to expire, you will need to renew drivers license in person or by mail.