South Carolina

Voters in South Carolina need to confirm their identity with photo ID when they vote in person.

If you don’t have an acceptable photo ID, there may be other ways you can confirm your identity.

Most voters do not need a copy of their ID to vote by mail.

Is out-of-state ID accepted?

No!
You cannot use an ID issued by another state.

Is student ID accepted?

No!
You cannot use an ID issued a student ID.

Is an expired ID accepted?

No!
You cannot use an expired ID.

South Carolina ID Requirements for Voting In Person

ACCEPTABLE PHOTO IDS

You can use the following photo IDs if they are unexpired:

  • South Carolina driver’s license
  • South Carolina DMV ID card
  • US Passport
  • Military ID

If you are registered to vote but don’t have one of the photo IDs listed above, you are eligible to receive a South Carolina Voter Registration Card from the state. You can use this photo ID card to cast your ballot.

Voters who are unable to get an acceptable ID because of a “reasonable impediment” can:

  • Tell the poll worker that you don’t have a photo ID and could not get one.
  • Present your current voter registration card (without photo)
  • Sign a sworn statement explaining why you do not have a photo ID
  • Vote a provisional ballot that will be counted unless someone proves to the election commission that you are lying about your identity or about having the stated impediment.

Check the FAQs below to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

A reasonable impediment is any valid reason that is beyond your control and creates an obstacle to getting an acceptable photo ID.

Some examples: lack of transportation, lack of birth certificate, disability or illness, conflict with your work schedule, family responsibilities, a religious objection to being photographed.

To vote under the reasonable impediment exception:

  • Bring your non-photo voter registration card with you
  • Tell the poll worker that you don’t have a photo ID and could not get one
  • Sign a statement of reasonable impediment explaining why you do not have a photo ID
  • Vote a provisional ballot

Your provisional ballot will be counted unless someone proves to the election commission that you are lying about your identity or about having the stated impediment.

If you are a registered voter and do not have a photo ID that is acceptable for voting, you are eligible to receive a free photo ID from your county’s Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office OR your local DMV.

VoteRiders can help you apply for a free ID and secure any documents that you need. Get free help now!

Voters in South Carolina must confirm their identity with photo ID when they vote in person.

If you cannot obtain a photo ID, bring your non-photo voter registration card with you to the polls. You will be allowed to vote after signing an affidavit stating you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining an acceptable photo ID.

If you forget to bring your photo ID with you to vote, you may vote a provisional ballot. You need to take additional steps for your ballot to count.

For your ballot to be counted, you must show a valid photo ID to the county election commission prior to certification of the election – usually the Thursday or Friday after the election.

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help getting ID.

You do not need a “REAL ID” to vote in South Carolina.

Your driver’s license or state ID card will show a star if it meets REAL ID requirements under federal law.

Get in touch with VoteRiders if you have questions or need free help securing ID.

South Carolina ID Requirements for Voting By Mail

Your ballot signature must be witnessed but you do not need a copy of your ID to vote by mail.

If it is your first time voting in a federal election in South Carolina, please see the federal ID requirements for first-time voters. A federal election is when you vote for the President, your Congressional Representative or your Senators.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

You must provide an acceptable excuse to request and vote an absentee ballot. You may request and vote an absentee ballot if you are a:

  • Person with employment obligations that prevent you from voting during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
  • Person attending a sick or physically disabled person, which prevents you from voting during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
  • Person confined to a jail or pretrial facility pending disposition of arrest or trial, which prevents you from voting during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
  • Person who will be absent from your county of residence during early voting hours for the duration of the early voting period, and during the hours the polls are open on election day.
  • Person with physical disabilities.
  • Person 65 years of age or older.
  • Member of the Armed Forces and Merchant Marines of the United States, as well as your spouse and dependents residing with you.
  • Person admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient on the day of the election or within a four-day period before the election.

Learn more about procedures related to Military and Overseas Citizens.

You must provide your name, date of birth and last four digits of your Social Security Number.

Return the application by U.S. mail or personal delivery to your county voter registration office as soon as possible. Information about requesting and returning an absentee ballot application as well as returning an absentee ballot for another voter can be found here.

NOTE: If it is your first time voting in a federal election in STATE, please see the federal ID requirements for first-time voters. A federal election is when you vote for the President, your Congressional Representative or your Senators.

No, but the signature on your mail-in ballot must match your signature on file with the state.

Your ballot signature must be witnessed.

If you discover a problem with the signature or some other aspect of your absentee ballot, you can call the county election office and correct it up until the close of polls on Election Day.

Note that the state will not notify you of an absentee ballot defect.