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.

COVID-19 Update

All South Carolina registered voters will be able to cast an absentee ballot in the 2020 general election. If you want to vote absentee, you can find more information here and choose “State of Emergency” as your reason.
The deadline for your absentee ballot application to be received at your county voter office is 5:00 pm on October 24 unless you are unable to go the polls due to an illness or disability.
 

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!

If you are registered to vote but don’t bring your ID to the polls, you may cast a provisional ballot.

In order for your ballot to be counted, you must sign a sworn statement. You must then bring your photo ID to the election commission before the election is certified – 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

All South Carolina registered voters will be able to cast an absentee ballot in the 2020 general election. If you want to vote absentee, you can find more information here and choose “State of Emergency” as your reason.

The deadline for your absentee ballot application to be received at your county voter office is 5:00 pm on October 24 unless you are unable to go to the polls due to an illness or disability.

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

Your ballot signature must be witnessed.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

DUE TO COVID-19: All South Carolina registered voters will be able to cast an absentee ballot in the 2020 general election.

For elections other than the 2020 general election: 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:

  • Member of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marine, American Red Cross or USO attached to the Armed Forces
    • Must be serving outside county of residence
    • Spouse and dependents residing with you are also eligible to vote absentee
  • Person who has a physical disability
  • Student attending school outside your county of residence
    • Spouse and dependents residing with you are also eligible to vote absentee
  • Government employee serving outside outside county of residence
    • Spouse and dependents residing with you are also eligible to vote absentee
  • Person who will be on vacation outside your county of residence
  • Person attending someone who is sick or who has a physical disability
  • Person who for religious reasons does not want to vote on a Saturday (Presidential Primaries only)

No, unless you are voting for the first time in South Carolina.

Learn more about federal ID requirements for first-time voters.

If you need a copy and don’t have the means to print one: Get free help printing a copy of your ID

No, but the signature on your ballot must match your other signatures on file.