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 office, you must 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 SCDMV 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. Request a DMV verification letter from MUSC. You can request a DMV letter through your Terra Dotta portal. Navigate to the Requests tab, then click DMV Letter Request. The request should be submitted at least 5 business days in advance. Once the request has been processed, the letter will be available for you to download through your Terra Dotta portal. You will then need to print the letter to take 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 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.