SCDMV requests extension for REAL ID process

Sample REAL ID card shows gold star in the corner (Source: Live 5)
Sample REAL ID card shows gold star in the corner (Source: Live 5)

SOUTH CAROLINA (WCSC) - With the holidays around the corner, state officials are reminding residents about the REAL ID Act and the application process.

In September, the State of South Carolina submitted an additional extension request with the federal government, said SCDMV spokeswoman Lauren Phillips. This will allow S.C. driver's licenses and identification cards to be accepted at airports, federal buildings and military facilities through October 2018.

The REAL ID Act may not apply to everyone, however, you do have to have this kind of identification or a U.S. Passport if you want to do any of those federal activities.

"I think it's a great idea," said Rosemary Greenwood, of West Ashley. "I really do because then everyone is on the same plane, and I think it will be a lot easier for people who need to be watched."

After 9/11 the federal government looked at ways to increase security with state ID cards and driver's licenses, in an attempt to prevent future terrorism and/or unlawful entry in and out of the country.

According to the Department of Homeland Security website, roughly 50% of the states are "compliant" with REAL ID. The other half, is still "under review" by the government, meaning those cards haven't been printed.

Meanwhile, Virginia was the first state to request an extension.

Phillips said Thursday state officials see no barrier in order to receive an additional extension, moving it from January 22, 2018 to October 2018.

"We're going to when we get back from our little vacation," Greenwood said.

"I think the extension is definitely a good idea," said Valerie Matyskiel, of Mt. Pleasant. "I don't think many people are educated."

Matyskeil thought she had a REAL ID driver's license since she renewed recently, but found out that wasn't the case.

According to Phillips, REAL ID cards won't be printed until early next year, possibly during the first three months of 2018.

Residents will be able to tell the difference because it will have a gold star on the card.

While Matyskeil flies quite often, she does have the option to forgo the card and just use her passport.

"Yes, I would rather us my passport," she said.

REAL ID will go into effect October 1, 2020, however, it is optional to change your S.C. driver's license or ID card to a REAL ID license or identification. If you choose not to change, you must have a valid U.S. Passport, military ID, or another federally approved identification to take part in the activities mentioned above.

State officials urge residents not to wait until last minute.

More than 62,000 South Carolinians have already taken the steps to become REAL ID ready since May 15, 2017. That's in addition to the nearly 900,000 people who have already had their document scanned and on file.

When you go to apply for a REAL ID, you must bring the following documents:

  • Proof of identity (Government-issued birth certificate or valid U.S. Passport)
  • Proof of social security number (Social Security Card)
  • Two proofs of current, physical S.C. address
  • Proof of all legal name changes to the SCDMV now (if applicable)

Anyone who received their first South Carolina driver's license or identification card on or after November 1, 2010 will have already had their documents scanned in, and saved. To see if you fall in this category, click here.

Once the documents have been scanned and saved in the system, you may also be eligible to order your REAL ID online, if you meet all of the minimum criteria:

  • Have all documents mentioned above on file
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have D, E, F, M classification or a combination
  • Have a good standing driving record, with no more than five points in the last two years

**If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL) you will not be able to order a CDL online. Instead, you must visit an SCDMV branch with the required documents.

Phillips said the cost of the REAL ID will be $25.

You do not need a REAL ID driver's license or identification card to do any of the following:

  • Drive
  • Vote
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits for which you’re entitled (Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, etc.)
  • Enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (i.e. a post office)
  • Access a hospital or receive life-saving services
  • Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations (serve on a federal jury, testify in federal court, etc.)

Recently SCDMV launched a way for residents to renew their driver's licenses online.

Again, you must meet certain requirements in order to do so, but instead of paying $25 in person at the DMV, you will only pay $12.50 for a five-year license.

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