Anyone who is planning to fly (even domestically), visit a military base, or enter a federal building that requires identification will need to upgrade to a REAL ID. You do NOT need a new ID to do any of the following: drive, vote, access health services at a hospital, participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations, enter a federal facility that does not require an ID (i.e. a post office), or apply for/receive federal benefits (Veterans Affairs, Social Security, etc.).
What is the difference between the ID you have now and the new REAL ID? The difference is that the new driver’s licenses and IDs will have a common barcode and a star in the upper right-hand corner, which signifies that the ID has been approved by the TSA, allowing you to board any aircraft. With the new security features, it is also more difficult to create a counterfeit ID, protecting citizens from those who wish to enter our country for the intent of causing harm.
When do you need a new ID?
South Carolina has been given an extension until October 10, 2017 to update the REAL ID system. As of today, your current, unexpired ID will get you through TSA security at airports, and you can board planes until January 22, 2018. After this date, you’ll need to update to the REAL ID if you are to fly or enter federal buildings and military bases. This date is coming upon us quickly, and because South Carolina is not expected to issue REAL IDs until 2018, the state of South Carolina is working on getting a further extension through October 2018, according to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you have not updated to the new ID after January 22nd, you will not be permitted to fly or enter secure facilities unless you have another form of identification such as a passport, military ID, or other federally approved identification.
If you don’t plan on flying or entering the secure facilities mentioned above, you will not need to update your driver’s license or ID.
In the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, the 9/11 Commission Report recommended that the government standardize forms of identification to increase security. The REAL ID Act of 2005 applies to anyone entering a military base and other secure federal buildings, federal agencies, and anyone planning to fly.
Until the IDs come out in 2018, you’ll want to make sure the SCDMV has the information needed in order to update to the REAL ID. If they don’t have these documents on file, you’ll want to take them to your local DMV as soon as possible. The documents are: proof of identity (birth certificate or passport), proof of social security number (social security card), two proofs of current, physical address (current, unexpired license or ID and no more than 90-day-old bank statement with same name and address), and proof of all legal name changes (marriage license or court order issued by your county’s family court). Note: you will need originals or certified copies of the documents; regular copies not accepted.
We will update you with any new information as it becomes available. We hope this helps you stay up to date on the REAL ID process!