Applying for a South Carolina Driver’s License

If you would like to apply for a South Carolina driver’s license or identification card, you must do so in person at one of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) branch locations that accepts international customers. Currently, the following SCDMV branch locations are accepting international customers:

Charleston – Leeds
3790 Leeds Ave
North Charleston, SC 29405
Charleston – Orleans
946 Orleans Road
Charleston, SC 29407

Before you visit the SCDMV, please do the following:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the South Carolina driver’s manual. This can be found on the forms and manuals page of the SC DMV website (scroll to the Manuals section, click on Driver’s Manual). You may be tested on this material.
  2. Visit the SCDMV website for International Customers. From this page, you can download the International Customers Checklist (SCDMV Form MV-94). This checklist provides the documents and forms that you will be required to present with your application.
  3. Obtain a DMV verification letter from the Center for Global Health. To request the letter, you will submit the DMV Letter Request through your Terra Dotta portal. This should be done at least 5 business days in advance. You will be notified by email once the DMV letter request has been processed. You will then return to your Terra Dotta portal to download the DMV letter from the DMV Letter Request record. You can then print the letter to bring with you to the DMV.
  4. Be prepared to pay any fees. Visit the SCDMV Fees website for more details on current fees.

If you do not want to apply for a driver’s license, but you do want to apply for a South Carolina identification card, you still must go to the DMV to apply. If you get a driver’s license, you do not need to also get an identification card. The driver’s license also functions as the identification card.

All applicants for a South Carolina driver’s license are required to present a Social Security card. If you do not have a Social Security card, and you are not eligible for a Social Security number, you must bring a letter from the Social Security Administration indicating that you are not eligible for a Social Security number. You must visit the Social Security office in person to request this letter.

You may need to schedule an appointment or schedule a road test before you visit an SCDMV branch location. Refer to the SCDMV website for more details on their current operating procedures.