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How to Obtain ID Cards in South Carolina

A South Carolina ID card is an option for any state resident who needs photo ID but does not meet eligibility for driving privileges. ID cards are issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). Obtaining a DMV ID card requires going to an office, completing an application and submitting identification proof. Applying for identification cards online in SC is not possible. Renewing or updating an ID card online is also not an option. The application and other ID card information must be mailed or presented in person. Learn how to complete the ID card application credentials before starting.

Eligibility Requirements for a South Carolina DMV ID Card Application

To apply for ID card documentation in South Carolina, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least five years of age
  • Live in South Carolina
  • Not hold any other form of SC identification card, such as a drivers license or learners permit

To complete the ID card application, eligible applicants can visit any South Carolina DMV branch if they are U.S. citizens. ID cards are also available for non-U.S. citizens who are legally living in South Carolina. However, international customers must visit one of the SCDMV offices that serves non-U.S. citizens.

A South Carolina ID card is free for anyone who is 17 years of age or older. Applicants who are 16 years of age or younger will need to pay a small fee for their new ID card.

Documents and Forms Required for a South Carolina ID Card Application

If you meet the above eligibility requirements to apply for an ID card in South Carolina, then you must show several documents that prove your identity, age and residency. Such documents include a birth certificate, Social Security card and two documents showing your address in South Carolina. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, then your birth certificate may need to be translated if it is in a language other than English. Additionally, all the documents listed above must be original or certified copies, not photocopies.

To get an ID card, items addressed to a P.O. box are not sufficient proof of your residency. If you are getting a REAL ID card, then you will need two proofs of residency. For a standard DMV ID card that is not used for federal identification purposes, you only need one proof of residency. To apply for a new ID card, you can use the following documents to prove your South Carolina residency:

  • An unexpired learners permit, drivers license or vehicle registration
  • An unexpired concealed weapons permit
  • A voter registration card
  • Tax records (state or federal)
  • School records
  • A Social Security check or annual statement

Other acceptable documents include utility bills, financial statements, mortgage statements, insurance documents, pay stubs or a letter delivered to your residence by the U.S. Postal Service. However, to qualify for the ID application, such documents cannot be older than 90 days old.

State ID card applicants who currently hold an SC driver license, learners permit, other ID card or any other form of state identification must surrender their cards at the DMV. In South Carolina, residents are not allowed to have more than one DMV identification card at a time.

In addition, getting a new identification card in South Carolina requires you to complete the Application for an ID. When filling out the identification card application, you only need to complete the sections pertaining to ID cards, not driving licenses or permits.

How to Renew ID Card in South Carolina

An SC identification card expires five years after the issue date. To renew your personal ID card, you can visit a South Carolina DMV office or complete the Application for Identification Card and return it by mail. You can no longer choose the option to renew ID card online in South Carolina. When you renew an ID card, you only need to make a payment if the cardholder is younger than 17 years of age. ID cards are free for SC residents who are 17 years of age and older.

If you have an expired ID card, you may need to complete several additional steps to reinstate the card. Identification cards that have become invalid less than nine months prior to their expiration date can be renewed as if they are not expired. When your ID card has been expired for more than nine months, you must present the DMV two documents showing your current South Carolina address, your Social Security number and other proof of your identity including your name and age.

How to Replace or Update an ID Card in South Carolina

You can replace ID card credentials at a South Carolina DMV if your card is lost or stolen. A lost ID card does not need to be reported to the police unless it was stolen with other personal information or you feel that it is being used for fraudulent purposes. If you need to replace a lost ID card, then you can also update information on your card. If your address or legal name has changed, then be prepared to show documentation proving such changes when you go to the DMV.

What You Can do With a South Carolina ID Card

A South Carolina DMV identification card allows you to do many things that you would be able to do with a state drivers license, learners permit or other state-issued card. You can use your identification card to prove your age, name or address. For example, ID cards can be presented at a bank to open an account or at a polling station to register to vote. Your ID card can be used in place of a drivers license in many situations. It cannot, however, be used to drive or practice driving any motor vehicle, including mopeds and other motorized vehicles that the SCDMV requires a driver’s license to operate.