South Carolina Real Id
South Carolina Real Id

Understanding South Carolina REAL ID: Requirements and Benefits

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In an effort to enhance the security of identification documents, the U.S. federal government introduced the REAL ID Act in 2005. This legislation establishes standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards to be considered acceptable forms of identification for federal purposes, such as boarding domestic flights or entering secure federal facilities. South Carolina, like other states, has implemented the REAL ID program to provide its residents with more secure and versatile identification options. In this article, we’ll explore the requirements and benefits of obtaining a South Carolina Real Id.

What is a South Carolina REAL ID?

A South Carolina REAL ID is a driver’s license or identification card that complies with the security standards set forth by the REAL ID Act. It features enhanced security features and requires applicants to provide specific documentation to prove their identity and residency. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) issues REAL ID-compliant cards to eligible residents.

Requirements for Obtaining a South Carolina REAL ID

To obtain a South Carolina REAL ID, residents must visit a SCDMV office and provide the following documentation:

  1. Proof of Identity: Applicants must present a document proving their full legal name and date of birth. This can be a U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, or another acceptable form of identification.
  2. Proof of Social Security Number: A Social Security card, W-2 form, or other official document showing the applicant’s full Social Security Number (SSN) is required.
  3. Proof of South Carolina Residency: Documents such as a utility bill, rental agreement, or property tax bill are necessary to demonstrate South Carolina residency.
  4. Proof of Lawful Presence: Individuals must provide evidence of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence, which can include a U.S. passport, permanent resident card, or employment authorization document (EAD).
  5. Proof of Any Name Changes: If an applicant’s name has changed due to marriage, divorce, or another reason, legal documents like a marriage certificate or court order must be provided.
  6. Additional Documentation: Depending on individual circumstances, the SCDMV may request additional documents for verification.
  7. REAL ID Application Fee: There is an application fee associated with obtaining a South Carolina REAL ID. The fee may vary based on the applicant’s age and whether they are renewing an existing license or obtaining a new one.

Benefits of a South Carolina REAL ID

  1. Travel Convenience: A South Carolina REAL ID is an acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel within the United States, providing convenience and expediency at airport security checkpoints.
  2. Access to Federal Facilities: It grants access to secure federal facilities, such as military bases, nuclear power plants, and certain government buildings, which require REAL ID-compliant identification.
  3. Compliance with Federal Law: Obtaining a REAL ID ensures compliance with federal regulations, allowing residents to engage in federal activities without any hindrance.
  4. Versatile Identification: A REAL ID can serve as a primary form of identification in various situations, including opening bank accounts, accessing medical services, and conducting official business.


A South Carolina REAL ID is more than just a driver’s license; it’s a versatile and secure form of identification that opens doors to travel and access to federal facilities. As the federal government continues to implement the REAL ID Act, having a compliant ID will become increasingly important.

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South Carolina residents should consider obtaining a REAL ID to ensure they can seamlessly navigate the changing landscape of identification requirements and enjoy the benefits of a more secure and versatile form of identification. For specific details and to schedule an appointment for obtaining a South Carolina REAL ID, residents can visit the official SCDMV website or contact their local SCDMV office.

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