Blythewood, SC – The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted South Carolina’s request for an implementation extension to become REAL ID compliant. This extension means South Carolina’s current, unexpired driver’s licenses and identification cards will continue to be accepted to board domestic flights, enter secure federal buildings, and visit military installations through October 10, 2018. It is anticipated that this is the last extension request the state will have to submit.
“While this agency fully anticipated this extension and saw no barrier to receiving it, we’re pleased that DHS did the right thing for the people of the state,” said South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. “South Carolinians can rest assured knowing their state-issued licenses and IDs are still accepted for federal activities that will eventually require a REAL ID.”
In an email to Executive Director Shwedo, DHS said, “Acting Secretary Duke granted your state’s request for an extension through October 10, 2018.”
Meanwhile, the SCDMV continues to work towards issuing REAL ID licenses and IDs. The agency expects the new cards will be available to the public during the first quarter of 2018. The state must be printing the new cards in order to be certified as fully compliant with the federal law. Once the state is certified compliant, there will be no need for additional extension requests.
Once the state is certified compliant, you will have until September 30, 2020 to change your current license or ID to a REAL ID if interested in doing so. While you can still change your license to a REAL ID later, on and after October 1, 2020, you must have a REAL ID license or ID, valid US Passport, military ID, or other federally approved identification to board a domestic flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation. Valid US Passports are still required for international travel.
“You will have time to change your current card to a REAL ID, but you’re encouraged to begin the process now by bringing all required documents to an SCDMV branch,” said REAL ID Project Manager Melissa Cisson. “You put yourself in a better position to avoid the line and potentially be able to order your REAL ID license from home next year.”
More than 65,000 South Carolinians have brought the required REAL ID documents to SCDMV branches across the state since May 15, 2017. The agency already has on file documents for more than one million of the three million regular license holders in the state.
If you’re interested in using your South Carolina driver’s license or identification card to board domestic flights, enter secure federal buildings, or visit military installations, you should bring to the SCDMV all of the following:
The requirements for commercial driver’s license and identification card holders or international customers are different. If you fall into one of these categories and want to change your card in the future, gather the above documents and keep them in a secure location until REAL IDs are available. Due to state and federal laws, these customers will not be able to order their REAL ID online next year.
If you received your first South Carolina license or ID during or after November 2010 or moved to the state after being licensed or holding an ID in another state and changed your out-of-state license or ID to a South Carolina card during or after November 2010, the required documents may already be on file with the agency. If you believe you fall into this category, you can check the status of your documents by completing the “REAL ID Document Check” at www.scdmvonline.com or call 803-896-5000.
The most up-to-date information on REAL ID can be found on the SCDMV’s website. You’re welcome to connect with the agency on Facebook and Twitter. For specific questions about REAL ID, email REALID@scdmv.net or call 803-896-5000.