Drivers must get new ID in 2018

4 mins read

By Sally Mahan

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted South Carolina’s request for an extension to become REAL ID compliant, meaning drivers will now have until Oct. 18, 2018, to get their new identification cards.

Under the federal REAL ID act, all driver’s licenses must be equipped with machine-readable technology, which typically comes in the form of a chip. The IDs being issued now by South Carolina are considered non-compliant.

Previous to the extension, South Carolinians without a REAL ID would not have been able to fly or get onto military bases or into secured federal buildings as of Jan. 1, 2018. Residents would have had to fly on another form of ID, such as a U.S. military identification, a passport or a permanent resident card. 

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 Oct. 10, 2018. After that time they must have a REAL ID.

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.” 

Meanwhile, the SCDMV is providing a way for SC residents to confirm if the documents needed to order and buy a REAL ID driver’s license online are on file with the agency. 

With the SCDMV’s newly designed mobile-first website, customers can log in and learn if they may be eligible for ordering a REAL ID license online when the cards become available in 2018. 

“This eliminates the need to call, wait on hold and confirm that all of the needed documents are on file for you to get a REAL ID,” said Shwedo. “Customers can now access this information throughout all hours of the day, not just during normal business hours.” 

Visit, search “REAL ID,” and begin the transaction from the REAL ID web page. 

You’ll enter your license number, Social Security number and date of birth to see if the required documents are on file. 

All of the following must be true for you to be eligible to buy a REAL ID license online next year:  

• Required documents are on file with the SCDMV;

• Driving privileges are in good standing;

• Have a regular (Class D, E, F, M, or any combination of the four) license.

If the required documents are not on file and you’re interested in changing your current SC license to a REAL ID, you must bring the following documents to an SCDMV branch now: 

• Proof of identity (birth certificate or valid US passport);

• Proof of Social Security number;

• Two proofs of current, physical SC address;

• Proof of all legal name changes.

If you have an identification card, commercial driver’s license, or are an international customer, REAL ID licenses and IDs will not be available for online ordering.

Visit or email questions to

Latest from Blog


 Affordable housing still a dream for many  When it comes to giving thanks, many place safe…


Mark Pritchard took this photo of three dolphins swimming in tight formation in Jenkins Creek from…