Procrastinators can breathe a sigh of relief again! The deadline to submit an application to obtain your REAL ID has been postponed from October, 2021 until May 3, 2023. You can either apply for it online, if you qualify, or go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
REAL ID is the program through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure the identities of anyone boarding a commercial flight or going into Federal government buildings and other secure Federal facilities such as military bases. If you decide not to obtain the REAL ID designation (which is a gold star) on your driver’s license, you will have to use a valid US Passport or Military ID to fly commercially or enter a Federal facility.
If you renew your license online, you might or might not be able to obtain the REAL ID at the same time, if they have all the documents they need. Otherwise, you must visit a SCDMV site. To see locations and wait times, click here.
The documents required are not as onerous as many believed. They fall into 4 categories:
- Two Proofs of SC Address. Examples are driver’s license, Social Security check or annual statement, voter registration card, a utility bill (such as cell phone bill, cable bill, water bill, etc.)
- Proof of US Citizenship/Proof of Identity and Date of Birth. Examples are a birth certificate or unexpired US Passport.
- Legal Documents Supporting Name Change. If you changed your name since birth, you can use your valid unexpired US Passport with your current name or a marriage license, etc.
- Proof of Social Security Number. Examples are your Social Security Card, your SSA-1099 annual statement used for taxes, payroll stub or W-2 form with your name and your employer’s information.
To see the complete list of acceptable documents, click here.
SCDMV has published a list of Frequently Asked Questions. To access it, click here.
(Image credit: Homeland Security)