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How to Replace a Driver License in South Carolina

Drivers may obtain a replacement drivers license in South Carolina from the SCDMV. Motorists with a lost drivers license must obtain a copy as soon as possible to continue driving legally. Drivers will also need to replace drivers license ID if it is damaged. To get a copy of drivers license documents, motorists must pay a replacement fee and complete the necessary forms. All drivers can replace lost drivers license credentials by visiting an SCDMV office. However, many applicants can get a drivers license replacement online instead. Learn how replacing drivers license credentials works to get started.

How to Replace Drivers License in South Carolina Online

Many South Carolina drivers are eligible to get a duplicate drivers license online rather than visiting a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) office. A DMV duplicate license can only be obtained online if a motorist holds a regular Class D license. Drivers cannot replace a lost beginners permit, ID card, commercial drivers license (CDL), provisional license or route restricted license online. To be eligible for replacing a drivers license online, drivers must also meet the following requirements:

  • Not currently hold a suspended driver’s license
  • Not have outstanding fees for reinstating a suspended license
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Know the driver license number or DMV customer number
  • Pay the driver’s license replacement fee using a credit card or checking account

Updating drivers license information, such as a change of address, is necessary if any details have changed. Most drivers are eligible to update their address online using the SCDMV website. However, in order for the copy of a drivers license to show their new address, motorists must first change their address in a separate transaction. Applicants may not update drivers license information and obtain a South Carolina drivers license copy during the same transaction.

Note that you can only obtain one drivers license copy from the South Carolina DMV website during a 12-month period. If you have already obtained a duplicate drivers license in the last 12 months, then you will need to visit an SCDMV office in person when replacing your lost drivers license for a second time in one year. Be aware that the DMV closely monitors how many times you apply for a drivers license copy, regardless of whether you apply online or in person. You may be subject to a DMV investigation if you obtain more than three drivers license copies in one license renewal period, which is typically five years.

How to Replace a South Carolina Drivers License at the DMV

Drivers who are ineligible to replace a drivers license online can obtain a copy at a South Carolina DMV. International customers wondering “Where can I get a copy of my drivers license?” are informed that they must visit an SCDMV branch that serves non-U.S. citizens, as not all branches can complete the process. If a driver needs to update driver’s license information when getting a copy of his or her license, then he or she may need to fill out additional forms at the DMV.

To get a driver’s license replacement in person, motorists will need to pay a fee and complete an Affidavit for a Lost/Surrendered Driver’s License (SCDMV Form DL-49). Applicants must also complete the Application for a Beginner’s Permit, Driver’s License or Identification Card (SCDMV Form 447-NC) to get a regular license or permit. Drivers who need a duplicate CDL license will need to complete the Application for a Commercial Driver’s License (SCDMV Form 447-CDL) instead.

The affidavit for a lost South Carolina driver license requires motorists to confirm that they are obtaining a replacement drivers license in a legal way. The affidavit will require applicants to certify that they are legally allowed to obtain a drivers license replacement, that they have attempted to locate the lost license and that, if found, they will surrender the previously issued license to the DMV. These certifications are important because it is illegal for any South Carolina resident to hold more than one drivers license, permit or ID card at a time.

Why Replace a Drivers License in South Carolina

A damaged driver’s license may not be accepted by law enforcement, banks, airport security or businesses that need to check a customer’s age and identity. Most importantly, motorists without a copy of drivers license credentials after losing their original ID can get cited by a police officer if pulled over in a traffic stop and they cannot produce proof of their driving privileges. A replacement drivers license is also necessary in the case of applying for a passport, as such a task requires a primary proof of identification, which a license usually provides.

When to File a Police Report for a Lost Drivers License in South Carolina

In the event of a stolen drivers license, you may need to file a report with a South Carolina police department. Reporting a lost driving license is especially important under certain circumstances. First, if you have already obtained a duplicate drivers license in the last 12 months, then the SCDMV may require you to bring a police report. Your application for a replacement drivers license will be validated by showing the police report. Second, you should file a police report for a lost drivers license because it can protect you from fraudulent activity that may occur if someone else uses your identification. The SCDMV can take legal action if it believes that your lost driving license is being used for fraudulent activities. However, the DMV is not required to take action regarding your lost license if there is no reason to believe fraudulent activity is taking place.

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