REAL ID Changes Coming to SC

August 03, 2017

Changes are coming to driver’s licenses across the nation that may affect the way you conduct business. By October 1, 2020, you will need to present a “REAL ID,” or another form of federally approved identification, if you wish to pass a TSA checkpoint, visit a military base, nuclear power plant, or a secured federal facility. Your current South Carolina commercial driver’s license (CDL) will no longer be accepted for these activities. 

The federal law that created REAL IDs was a result of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation to standardize how states issue licenses and identification cards. If you deliver goods to military installations, federal buildings, or airports, you should change your CDL to a REAL ID in the future. 

REAL IDs will not be available until 2018.

Right now, South Carolina has an extension that allows your current CDL to be used for federal purposes until October 10, 2017. This means, your current, unexpired CDL can be used as your identification to pass security checkpoints at delivery ports for military installations, federal buildings, and airports until then. The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) is working with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on further extensions while, at the same time, working towards certification to issue REAL IDs. 

The TSA will accept a valid US Passport/Passport Card, military ID, or other types of federally approved identification instead of a REAL ID CDL, but if you have questions about what a specific military base, nuclear power plant, or secured federally facility will accept, you should check with that specific facility.

What do I need to do to change my CDL to a REAL ID?

Right now, you should begin gathering all of the following documents and keep them in a secure location until REAL IDs are available:

Proof of Identity (Birth certificate or unexpired US Passport)

Proof of Social Security Number

Proof of all Legal Name Changes

Two Proofs of Current, Physical SC Address

When REAL IDs are available in 2018, you should bring all of the documents above to an SCDMV location. Your documents must be original or certified copies (not notarized). The SCDMV will not accept copied or scanned versions. For a complete list of accepted documents, go to and search “MV-93” if you’re a US Citizen.

The requirements for international customers are different. For a complete list of accepted documents, go to and search “MV-94.”

When you visit the SCDMV, you must also have your Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical qualification certificate.

In addition to the documents above, you must complete the Application for a Commercial Credential (SCDMV Form 447-CDL) and the CDL Holder’s Medical Certification (SCDMV Form DL-405A), acknowledge the FMCSA regulations, pass a vision test, pay the $15 application fee, and pay $12.50 for the new REAL ID. You will turn in your old CDL.

Changing your CDL to a REAL ID will work the same as if you were renewing your CDL, but you must provide all of the documents above.

Is there anything different if I have a hazmat endorsement?

No, but, like your CDL, the SCDMV will only issue your REAL ID for the remaining length of your hazmat endorsement. 

For example, if your hazmat endorsement expires on July 1, 2018, but you buy a REAL ID on February 1, 2018, your REAL ID will be valid from February 1, 2018 to July 1, 2018.

Depending on the length of time you have left on your hazmat endorsement, you may consider renewing your TSA background check before changing your CDL to a REAL ID.

Where can I learn more?

For more information on REAL ID, visit and search “REAL ID.” You may call 803-896-5000 or email for specific questions.