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If your license has been recently lost or stolen, you will need to replace it as soon as possible. Without a valid license, you will not be able to drive legally in your state or present a valid form of identification when necessary. The two most common methods of replacing your lost or stolen license are visiting your local licensing location in person or applying for a replacement online. Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to replace your license or ID by mail. However, the fastest and most efficient way to replace your driving credential is online. To learn how to replace your license online, you can refer to our helpful drivers license guide. In addition to helping you through the replacement process, our guide will also teach you how to renew and change the name or address on your license.

2. By Mail

Most states offer a mail-in application option to residents who have lost their license while out of the state. In most cases, military service members stationed outside of the state will also be able to apply for a replacement by mail. To apply, you will need to mail in a primary and secondary proof of identification, such as a birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, Social Security card or W-2 form. You will also need to send proof of a residential address such as a deed, voter registration card or utility bill. Depending on your state, you will be required to provide any combination of the aforementioned documents, in addition to other documents and information. You will also need to keep in mind that it may take several weeks to obtain your replacement license, as mail can often be delayed or unreliable.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

Finally, you can replace your lost or stolen license at your local DMV or licensing office. You will be required to bring all the documents previously mentioned as proof of identification and residency. If you are uncomfortable mailing these important documents to the DMV, then an in-person visit is more secure. However, you may need to reschedule an appointment if you forget your passport, citizenship certificate, car title or any other documents that you are using as proof of identification or residency. Additionally, if you make any mistakes on your form, you will not be able to receive your replacement license or ID the same day you apply for it at the DMV.


A South Carolina driver’s license replacement is an important task that should be at the top of your list if your license has been lost, mutilated or stolen. A duplicate driver’s license in South Carolina is not offered by mail but can be obtained via two formats: online and in person. However, only one replacement for a lost, stolen or damaged license is allowed within a 12-month period. Additional requests may require you to submit additional paperwork such as a police report to verify a theft.

Also, note that an investigation by the DMV is often initiated if a driver requests more than three lost driver’s license copies within one renewal cycle. An SC driver’s license renewal cycle is 10 years if you renew in person and five years if you renew online. Continue reading to learn how to get a copy of your driving credential and other pertinent information about securing a credential copy.

When is a Replacement Drivers License Required in South Carolina?

An SC driver’s license replacement is necessary if you lose your documentation, have your license stolen or if your physical card is damaged. Law enforcement officers will often not accept identification that is undecipherable, broken or has peeling paper at the edge.  You could be given a traffic citation for failure to present your valid license.  Therefore, replacing driver’s license cards sooner rather than later is ideal. Wondering, where and how you can complete the process before experiencing penalties? The next section explains how to get a license copy and includes instructions and necessary documents needed to make the process as easy as possible.

How to Replace Your Driver’s License Online in South Carolina

To apply for SC replacement drivers license services online, your current DMV account must be in good standing even if your license has been lost or stolen. You cannot have a suspended license or any outstanding reinstatement holds on your record. If you do, the online system will reject your application. If an outstanding reinstatement fee stands between you and getting a copy online, use the “Pay Reinstatement Fees” option to clear up your account and then you may proceed with your original transaction. Another requirement to get a duplicate online is that you must be a U.S. citizen. If you are a non-citizen, you will need to apply for a duplicate driver’s license replacement in person at any SC DMV branch office that processes non-citizen applications.

A valid credit card or checking account is required to complete the online application. Some SC duplicate driver’s license requests cannot be processed online, including those for beginner’s permits, commercial class A, B or C licenses, photo ID cards and any license that is route-restricted or provisional.

How to Replace Your South Carolina Drivers License in Person

Online SC lost driver’s license replacement services are not an option for all South Carolina drivers, but it is considered the most efficient way to replace documents. To accommodate those who cannot apply online, you may replace your credentials in person at a DMV office. When you visit the DMV to get a copy of driver’s license in South Carolina, you may be asked to produce certain documents before your request is granted. These documents fall into the four categories below. A sampling of the approved documents accepted by the DMV follows each category in the list below.

  • Proof of Citizenship/Identity, Name and Date of Birth: birth certificate, valid US passport or Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Proof of Social Security Number: Social Security card, Social Security Form SSA-1099, tax documents.
  • Proof of South Carolina Residency: school records, current employment records, utility bills or lease agreements.
  • Insurance Information: provide the DMV with the name of insurance company, telephone number of insurance company and policy number.

How to Report a Missing Drivers License in South Carolina

If you suspect your lost driver’s license was stolen, you should request a duplicate license immediately in addition to reporting the crime to your local police department. SC DMV does not take any action as a result of such reports unless fraudulent activity or use of the stolen or lost driver’s license is noted. The South Carolina Driver’s Manual recommends that drivers make copies of important documents including their driver’s license and car registration and store them somewhere other than inside their vehicle or wallet. That way, in the event of theft, the information is still accessible and can help make driver’s license replacement and other tasks easier.

South Carolina Drivers License Replacement Fees

The fee to replace driver’s license in SC is the same regardless of the reason or replacement. Whether it is to replace a license that was lost or one that is damaged, the current cost to replace drivers license may also be accompanied by other fees, particularly if you choose to renew your license at the same time.

If you plan to replace documentation in person at the DMV office and you do not have the payment, you will have to come back to the DMV and ultimately spend more time to get copy of driver’s license documentation. The standard fee for a replacement of a drivers license is $10.

Last updated on Wednesday, December 5 2018.

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