SC DMV chief: Don’t wait to get Real ID-compliant cards
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Not enough South Carolina citizens are upgrading their driver’s licenses to comply with federal identification requirements for boarding a plane, entering a federal building or getting onto a military base, the state’s motor vehicles department chief told lawmakers Wednesday.
Effective Oct. 1, 2020, South Carolina residents will need REAL ID Act-compliant licenses to fly on airplanes, go into federal buildings or on military bases. During a meeting of the House Education and Public Works Committee, Department of Motor Vehicles Director Kevin Shwedo said he’s afraid people will see long lines next year as they scramble to get their new cards.
“I am betting on 6-hour lines because people are not coming in,” Shwedo told the panel.
Real IDs have been available in South Carolina for nearly a year, and DMV officials have said that more than 560,000 South Carolinians have gotten them thus far. But that’s a small portion of the 2.2 million that Shwedo said he expects to line up to get them eventually.
Last year, Shwedo and other officials unveiled the new cards, which have a gold star. Non-compliant cards are still available and have text that reads “not for federal identification.”
The cards themselves are optional, as state Rep. Bill Taylor pointed out in Wednesday’s meeting. But Shwedo said he didn’t want people not to get them, then be left clambering to get a compliant card at the last minute if they need to travel or handle federal business.
“I need your help,” Shwedo told lawmakers, asking them for assistance getting the word out to encourage people to upgrade to Real IDs, which have the same $25 cost as non-compliant driver’s licenses.
Meg Kinnard can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP .