REAL ID Deadline is Less Than One Year Away

People at a DMV office speaking with DMV officials.

South Carolinians must have a REAL ID in less than one year or they will be turned away from boarding a domestic, commercial flight, entering a secure federal building, or visiting a military installation unless they have another form of federally approved identification.

Beginning May 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require federally approved identification, such as a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board a flight within the United States or access certain federal facilities.  Other federally approved forms of identification include a valid passport or military identification card. You must still have a valid US Passport or Passport Card to travel internationally.

“We’ve been talking about REAL ID implementation for a number of years now and we have no reason to believe there will be a further delay in the REAL ID enforcement date of May 3rd, 2023. Come in now and make the switch to a REAL ID credential,” said Kevin Shwedo, Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). “The longer people wait, the more demand it puts on our branch offices, and the longer wait times will be. Customers can spend significantly less time at the DMV to get a REAL ID if they first see if they’re eligible to do it online. If you are eligible, it saves you a trip to a DMV office. If you’re not eligible for upgrading online, we highly recommend coming in this summer to get a REAL ID.”

The SCDMV has issued more than two million REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards. The agency issues an average of more than 43,000 REAL ID compliant cards per month.

Changing your current license or identification card to a REAL ID works the same as renewing your card. Visit an SCDMV branch office with your social security number and all of the following required documents:

  • Proof of identity and citizenship (government-issued birth certificate or valid US Passport);
  • Two proofs of current, physical SC address, and;
  • Proof of all legal name changes (if applicable).

Customers must complete a vision screening or vision examination to obtain or renew a driver’s license or beginner’s permit. Vision screens can be performed in any SCDMV branch at the time of application. In-state licensed eye care professionals can also electronically upload vision examinations to the SCDMV online.

Customers may also be eligible to purchase a REAL ID online if they have the proper supporting documents on file with the SCDMV. Customers can complete a document check online and find out if they are eligible for online purchase by visiting scdmvonline.com/REAL-ID.