Sign for SCDMV REAL ID event in the South Carolina State Museum (Photos by Paxton Rountree)

S.C. DMV’s mobile services is making it easier to get REAL IDs.

Columbia residents earlier this week were able to walk into the S.C. State Museum and walk out knowing that a REAL ID — a new driver’s license — was being mailed to them. 

The State Museum was just the latest organization to partner with the state Department of Motor Vehicles mobile service, which travels throughout the state to help residents get the ID.  The partnerships allows South Carolinians to skip the lines at the DMV and go to a more convenient location.  

The REAL ID is an ID with a gold star on the license or a marking that designates it as a REAL ID. An ID that is not a REAL ID will say “Not for Federal Identification” and is not compliant, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

By May 3, 2023, all U.S. residents will need a REAL ID to board a plane, enter a military base or federal facility, said Crystel Jones, assistant regional manager for the Midlands DMV.

Homeland Security in 2020 extended the compliance deadline for South Carolina and other states because COVID-19 cases were rising.

This is the first year since COVID that the S.C. DMV was able to bring back the mobile event, Jones said. 

The state requires the recipient’s Social Security number; another proof of identification, such as a birth certificate or passport; two proofs of address and any legal name changes. It costs $25 to purchase a REAL ID. 

It seems complicated, but the whole process should take 20 minutes or less, said Kim Fralick, regional manager for the Midlands DMV. 

The ID then will be mailed to the recipient within three to five days. This is the only difference from the process at a DMV office, where they print it out immediately.  

Mobile service events are convenient, and you can skip the lines at the DMV, Fralick said.

The mobile unit recently has visited Williamsburg, Horry, Clarendon and Richland.  

The next REAL ID event is planned for Nov. 2, at the Lexington County’s Main Library, at 5440 Augusta Road.

This was the first time this event was held at the State Museum. 

“We’d like to help bolster our other state agencies,”said David Dickson, public relations manager for the state museum. “We absolutely were thrilled to do this.”  

The museum is open to host it again, he said.


Front desk to sign up and register for REAL ID

A sign at the State Museum’s entrance lets people know about the REAL ID sign up.

There were no long lines Monday at the REAL ID sign up event.