New Photo ID Requirements Not Yet in Effect

Legislation requiring voters to provide photo ID when voting was signed into law on May 18, 2011.  However, the provisions of this law are not yet in effect.  Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, any change to S.C. election law must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice or a federal court before taking effect.  Currently, a federal court is considering whether to approve these changes.  Please check regularly for updates on the status of the photo ID law.

Currently, voters must provide one of the following forms of ID to vote:

  • S.C. Driver’s License
  • S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ID Card
  • S.C. Voter Registration Card

If and when the photo ID laws gains federal approval, voters will have to provide one of the following current and valid forms of photo ID to vote in person:

  • S.C. Driver’s License
  • S.C. DMV ID Card *
  • S.C. Voter Registration Card with photo**
  • Federal Military ID with photo
  • U.S. Passport

*    Now available free of charge from DMV for persons age 17 and older

**  Not currently available. Will become available only after federal approval of photo ID law.

The photo ID law contains exceptions for voters who have a religious objection to being photographed and for voters who have a reasonable impediment to obtaining photo ID.  Voters claiming a religious objection or reasonable impediment must complete an affidavit provided to them at their polling place before voting.

The rules for registering to vote  will not change.  Click here to learn how to register to vote.