2012 brings a new law to SC DMV offices

Titling and registering a car in South Carolina is getting a facelift.

Right now, to get a title or register a vehicle, all you need to do is fill out the application form which state lawmakers felt left the door open to people committing fraud.

But with the passage of Senate bill 38, a person or a business getting a title or registration will have to show photo identification at the department of motor vehicles offices.

Acceptable forms of ID include 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.

The law takes affect January 1st, and some say it's long overdue.

"I think it's probably a good thing," said Jeff King of Myrtle Beach. "Because it prevents people from registering vehicles who aren't legal residents of the state."

"It's a wonderful idea," said Myrtle Beach resident Dennis Young. "It eliminates a lot of fraudulent transactions that's going on with our DMV."

But Conway resident Angeline Kinlaw-Williams said showing an ID to register a car is the same as asking South Carolinians to show ID to vote.

"I think it's bad because we already have the rights of doing everything so why should we be forced to take pictures," she said. "You have people in poverty. You have elderly, people that can't afford to take any pictures. So why should they have to?"

Last Friday, the Federal Justice Department blocked a the state's voter ID law and Kinlaw-Williams questions the legality of this move. "Stop taking the citizens rights that they already have."

"As far as whether anyone will be left out, there are several alternative forms of ID that can be provided," said State DMV spokesperson Lotte Devlin. "While there may be some unusual circumstances, the DMV will deal with these on a case by case basis to ensure that vehicles can be properly and legally titled and registered in the state."

Devlin also said the state didn't necessarily have a problem with fraud.

"The state wanted to make sure the people registering their car were who they said they were."

The DMV also said people can still mail-in their application, but a copy of your ID has to be included.