Beginning in January, the Department of Motor Vehicles will require identification for anyone getting title or registering their car in South Carolina.
“In simple terms, the law now requires you to prove who you are when you title and register a vehicle for the first time,” said Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. “It shouldn’t be a problem for most vehicle owners. All they have to do it show their driver’s license.”
Acceptable identification includes a valid South Carolina driver’s license or identification card, an out-of-state driver’s license or identification card, a passport with a visa, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), or a permanent residency card. If a South Carolina credential is not presented, individual customers will have to prove the vehicle presence in South Carolina.
A copy of the ID would have to be included on any mail-in registration forms. That could include the cover and first page of a passport.
The new rules were passed earlier this year by the state Legislature. Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens) said the DMV asked for the change. He said the officials were worried that some drivers whose licenses had been suspended in other states were taking advantage of weak DMV rules and registering their cars in South Carolina.
“It stands to reason that if you can’t get a vehicle registered in the state that you live in, where you hold a driver’s license, then there’s got to be a problem,” Martin said, “That means there’s a reason why we wouldn’t want to register you.”
Anyone registering a car for their business would also be affected. Business owners would have to provide their federal identification number and proof of a physical place of business.