South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits

State Taxes
Education Benefits
Employment Benefits
Unemployment Compensation Benefits
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits
Health and Insurance Benefits
Parks and Recreation Benefits
Miscellaneous Benefits
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities
South Carolina Military Resource Locator
Resources

Summary of South Carolina Military and Veterans Benefits: The State of South Carolina offers special benefits for its military Service members and Veterans including income tax exemption on retirement pay, property tax exemptions, state employment preferences, education and tuition assistance, vehicle tags, as well as hunting and fishing license privileges. Eligibility for some benefits may depend on residency, military component and Veteran disability status.

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South Carolina Military and Veterans State Benefit Highlights and Eligibility



What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans State Tax Benefits?

South Carolina Retired Military Pay Income Tax: An individual taxpayer who has military retirement income, each year may deduct an amount of his South Carolina earned income from South Carolina taxable income equal to the amount of military retirement income that is included in South Carolina taxable income. The deductions are phased in over five years beginning in 2016. The term “retirement income” means the total of all otherwise taxable income not subject to a penalty for premature distribution received by the taxpayer or the taxpayer's Surviving Spouse in a taxable year from a qualified military retirement plan.

In the case of married taxpayers who file a joint federal income tax return, the deduction allowed by this section shall be calculated separately as though they had not filed a joint return, so that each individual's deduction is based on the same individual's retirement income and earned income.

An individual taxpayer who is under the age of 65 who has military retirement may deduct $14,600 for 2019. Taxpayers must have other earned income, other than the military retirement, to take the deduction.

An individual taxpayer who is age 65 and older who has military retirement may deduct $27,000 for 2019. For taxpayers age 65 and older, there are no requirements for other earned income.

This is a benefit that phased in through 2020 and will ultimately allow an individual taxpayer who is under the age of 65 to claim a $17,500 exemption and an individual taxpayer who is age 65 and older to claim a $30,000 exemption.

Learn more about South Carolina Retired Military Pay Income Tax

South Carolina Income Tax on Military Disability Retired Pay: South Carolina law provides that federal tax exempt moneys received from pension or compensation provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or disability pay from the Armed Forces will not be included in South Carolina taxes.

Learn more about South Carolina Income Tax on Military Disability Retired Pay

South Carolina Income Tax Exemption on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation: Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a tax free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of military Service members who died in the line of duty or eligible survivors of Veterans whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease.

Learn more about South Carolina Income Tax Exemption on U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Disability Dependency and Indemnity Compensation

row of veteran tombstones with american flags South Carolina State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP): For the purposes of a Surviving Spouse, “retirement income” also includes a retirement benefit plan related to the deceased Spouse's military service. A Surviving Spouse receiving military retirement income that is attributable to the deceased Spouse shall apply this deduction in the same manner that the deduction applied to the deceased Spouse. If the Surviving Spouse also has another retirement income, an additional retirement exclusion is allowed.

An individual taxpayer who is under the age of 65 who has military retirement may deduct $14,600 for 2019. Taxpayers must have other earned income, other than the military retirement, to take the deduction.

An individual taxpayer who is age 65 and older who has military retirement may deduct $27,000 for 2019. For taxpayers age 65 and older, there are no requirements for other earned income.

Learn more about South Carolina State Tax Exemption for Military Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP)/ Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP)/ Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP)

South Carolina Complete Property Tax Homestead Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled Veterans, Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor Recipients: South Carolina provides property tax exemptions for the following Veterans and Surviving Spouses:

Disabled Veterans:

  • Veteran residents who have been rated as one hundred percent permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs – qualify for tax exemptions on:

    • Home and land up to 5 acres (Exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

    • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the Veteran or with a Spouse (One vehicle exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

Former Prisoners of War:

  • Veteran resident that were a former Prisoner of War – qualify for tax exemption on:

    • Home and land up to 1 acre (Exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

    • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the Veteran (One vehicle exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

Medal of Honor Recipient:

  • Veteran residents that are a Medal of Honor recipient – Qualify for tax exemption on:

    • Home and land up to 1 acre (Exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

    • Two private passenger vehicles owned or leased by the Veteran (One vehicle exemption passes on to Surviving Spouse if they maintain sole ownership)

South Carolina Department of Revenue, Property Tax Exemptions for South Carolina Veterans, Medal of Honor Recipients and Prisoner of War Brochure

Learn more about the South Carolina Complete Property Tax Homestead Exemption for Permanently and Totally Disabled Veterans, Prisoners of War and Medal of Honor Recipients

South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service Members Tax Exemption for Training: Income received from National Guard or Reserve members for customary annual training, weekend drills, and other inactive duty training is generally exempt from South Carolina Income Tax.
helicopter Who is eligible for the South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service Members Tax Exemption for Training? The following Service members are eligible:

  • Members of the National Guard or Reserves may deduct all inactive duty pay from the United States or any state for weekend drills and other inactive duty training they attended.

  • Members of the National Guard and active duty Reserve members may also deduct up to 15 days of customary annual training pay, referred to as “active duty training” or “ADT”.

  • Inactive duty Reserve members may also deduct up to 14 days of customary annual training pay, referred to as “active duty training” or “ADT”, plus up to two days of travel time listed on official orders.

  • Full-time Active Guard and Reserve (AGR) employees may deduct up to 15 days of annual training they attended and up to 24 days of weekend drills (a maximum of 39 days) at the daily rate of pay.

Learn more about the South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service Members Tax Exemption for Training

South Carolina Income Tax Deduction for Retired Reserve Component Service Members: Retirement income paid by the U.S. government for service in the Reserves or National Guard is not taxed for South Carolina purposes. You may deduct the entire amount of any stipend paid by the state of South Carolina for National Guard service. Determine the percentage of your military retirement income which is excludable by dividing the length of time you served in the Reserves and/or National Guard (not full time) by the length of time of your total military service as follows:

Inactive Reserve time
+ Inactive National Guard time = _______ % exclusion
Total Military time (active and Inactive)

Determine the excludable amount of your military retirement income by multiplying it by the percentage of exclusion as follows:

_______ % exclusion x total taxable military retirement income shown on federal return = excludable military retirement income

Learn more about the South Carolina Income Tax Deduction for Retired Reserve Component Service Members

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Education Benefits?

3 people in cap and gowns at a graduation ceremony South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program: South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program (SCNG CAP) will pay grants up to $4,500 per academic year towards a student's cost of attendance at state public and independent schools with a cap of $18,000 per Service member. A SCNG CAP recipient shall not qualify for more than one hundred thirty (130) attempted semester hours or related quarter hours from the time of initial eligibility.
Who is eligible for South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program? Army and Air National Guard Service members are eligible for assistance. Assistance is only available for the first undergraduate degree only. Only those identified as critical need and in good standing are eligible.
South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program Application

Learn more about South Carolina National Guard College Assistance Program

South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children: Provides for free tuition to the Children of certain war Veterans attending South Carolina state supported colleges and universities as well as state supported post high school technical education institutions.
Who is eligible for South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children?
To be eligible the Child’s Veteran parent must have been a resident of this State at the time of entry into service, during service and still resides in this State or has been a resident of this State for at least one year and still resides in this State or, if the Veteran is deceased, resided in this State for one year before his death, and provided the Veteran served honorably in a branch of the military service of the United States during a war period, In addition the Child’s Veteran parent must have been one of the following:

  • Was killed in action

  • Died from other causes while in the service

  • Died of disease or disability resulting from service

  • Was a prisoner of war as defined by Congress or Presidential proclamation during such war period

  • Is permanently and totally disabled, as determined by the Veterans Administration from any cause

  • Has been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor

  • Is missing in action

  • The applicant is the Child of a deceased Veteran who was a prisoner of war or permanently and totally disabled; or

  • Has been awarded the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat

For questions or to apply contact 803-647-2434.
SECTION 59-111-20
South Carolina Division of Veterans' Affairs, Application for Tuition Assistance for certain Veterans' Children

Learn more about South Carolina Education Assistance, Free Tuition for Certain Veteran's Children

South Carolina Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children: It is the purpose of this compact to remove barriers to educational success imposed on Children of military Families because of frequent moves and deployment of their parents by:

  • Facilitating the timely enrollment of Children of military Families and ensuring that they are not placed at a disadvantage due to difficulty in the transfer of educational records from the previous school district or variations in entrance or age requirements.

  • Children sitting on the steps of a school Facilitating the student placement process through which Children of military Families are not disadvantaged by variations in attendance requirements, scheduling, sequencing, grading, course content or assessment

  • Facilitating the qualification and eligibility for enrollment, educational programs, and participation in extracurricular academic, athletic and social activities

  • Facilitating the on-time graduation of Children of military Families

  • Providing for the promulgation and enforcement of administrative rules implementing the provisions of this compact

  • Providing for the uniform collection and sharing of information between and among member states, schools and military Families under this compact

  • Promoting coordination between this compact and other compacts affecting military Children

  • Promoting flexibility and cooperation between the educational system, parents and the student in order to achieve educational success for the student

Primary Points of Contact:
Yolande Anderson, South Carolina Commissioner Designee
Director, Family and Community Engagement
South Carolina Department of Education
Address: 1429 Senate St, Rm 302B, Columbia, SC 29201
Email: yanderson@ed.sc.gov
Phone: 803-734-1598

Learn more about South Carolina Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Employment Benefits?

soldier adjusting a mortar tube Military Leave for Military Duty for South Carolina State Employees: State employees receive 15 workdays of paid military leave for training. An employee who serves on active duty in a combat zone and who has exhausted all available leave for military purposes is entitled to receive up to 30 additional days of military leave in any one year. In addition, an employee may use up to 45 days of annual leave and up to 90 days of sick leave in a calendar year to serve on active duty as a result of an emergency or conflict declared by the President of the United States. ( S.C. Code Section 8-7-90 )
Who is eligible for Military Leave for Military Duty for South Carolina State Employees? South Carolina National Guard and Reserve Service members are eligible to take Military leave for military duty.

Learn more about Military Leave for Military Duty for South Carolina State Employees

South Carolina State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference: Preference will be granted to eligible members for employment and/or an appointment in public departments or public works operating on a merit system.
Eligible members:

  • Must be Honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the U.S.

  • Must possess the skills and knowledge required for the position involved

Learn more about South Carolina State Employee Veterans Hiring Preference

Federal Veterans Hiring Preferences: By Federal law, Veterans who are disabled or who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during certain specified time periods or in military campaigns are entitled to preference over non-Veterans both in hiring into the Federal civil service and in retention during reduction in force. Veterans may be entitled to 5 or 10 points included in any scoring process for examination or interviews.

5-point Hiring Preference: Five points are added to the examination score or rating of a Veteran who served:

  • During a war; or

  • During the period April 28, 1952 through July 1, 1955; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred after January 31, 1955, and before October 15, 1976; or

  • During the Gulf War from August 2, 1990, through January 2, 1992; or

  • For more than 180 consecutive days, other than for training, any part of which occurred during the period beginning September 11, 2001, and ending on August 31, 2010, the last day of Operation Iraqi Freedom; or

  • In a campaign or expedition for which a campaign medal has been authorized. Any Armed Forces Expeditionary medal or campaign badge, including El Salvador, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, Southwest Asia, Somalia, and Haiti, qualifies for preference

10-point Compensable Disability (CP) Preference: Ten points are added to the examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of at least 10 percent but less than 30 percent

10-Point 30 Percent Compensable Disability Preference (CPS): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and who has a compensable service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more

lady talking on a cellphone 10-Point Disability Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of:

  • A Veteran who served at any time and has a present service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability retirement benefits, or pension from the military or the Department of Veterans Affairs but does not qualify as a CP or CPS; or

  • A Veteran who received a Purple Heart

10-Point Derived Preference (XP): Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of Spouses, Surviving Spouses or Mothers of Veterans as described below. This type of preference is usually referred to as "derived preference" because it is based on service of a Veteran who is not able to use the preference. Both a Mother and a Spouse (including Surviving Spouse) may be entitled to preference on the basis of the same Veteran's service if they both meet the requirements. However, neither may receive preference if the Veteran is living and is qualified for Federal employment.

Ten points are added to the passing examination score or rating of the Spouse of a disabled Veteran who is disqualified for a Federal position along the general lines of their usual occupation because of a service-connected disability. Such a disqualification may be presumed when the Veteran is unemployed and

  • Is rated by appropriate military or Department of Veterans Affairs authorities to be 100 percent disabled and/or unemployable; or

  • Has retired, been separated, or resigned from a civil service position on the basis of a disability that is service-connected in origin; or

  • Has attempted to obtain a civil service position or other position along the lines of their usual occupation and has failed to qualify because of a service-connected disability.

Preference may be allowed in other circumstances but anything less than the above warrants a more careful analysis.

A campaign medal holder or Gulf War Veteran who originally enlisted after September 7, 1980, (or began active duty on or after October 14, 1982, and has not previously completed 24 months of continuous active duty) must have served continuously for 24 months or the full period called or ordered to active duty. The 24-month service requirement does not apply to 10-point preference eligible Veterans separated for disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, or to Veterans separated for hardship or other reasons under  10 U.S.C. 1171 or 1173 .

Learn more about Federal Veterans Hiring Preferences

South Carolina Public Employees Receive Credit in State Retirement System for Military Service: An active member of the South Carolina Retirement System may establish up to six years of service credit for any period of military service in the Armed Forces for which they do not already have service credit in South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS), Police Officer Retirement System (PORS) or General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) by making an actuarially neutral payment to the Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA).

The cost calculation is based in part on the participants current age and service credit, as well as their career highest fiscal year earnable compensation at the time PEBA receives the service purchase request.

The cost, which is determined by PEBA’s independent actuary, will not be less than 16 percent of the career highest earnable compensation for each year purchased. The Service members discharge from service must be under conditions other than dishonorable. Under guidelines set forth by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), arrangements may be made in advance to continue contributing to the retirement account while on active duty military leave or make the contributions after returning from military.

Learn more about South Carolina Public Employees Receive Credit in State Retirement System for Military Service

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act: Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) protect civilian job rights and benefits for Veterans and members of Reserve components. USERRA also makes major improvements in protecting Service member rights and benefits by clarifying the law, improving enforcement mechanisms, and adding Federal Government employees to those employees already eligible to receive Department of Labor assistance in processing claims.

 Absence from Work for Military Duty: USERRA establishes the cumulative length of time that an individual may be absent from work for military duty and retain reemploymentchinook picking up a humvee rights to five years (the previous law provided four years of active duty, plus an additional year if it was for the convenience of the Government). There are important exceptions to the five-year limit, including initial enlistments lasting more than five years, periodic National Guard and Reserve training duty, and involuntary active duty extensions and recalls, especially during a time of national emergency. USERRA clearly establishes that reemployment protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration, or nature of an individual's service as long as the basic eligibility criteria are met.

Disability Accommodation: USERRA provides protection for disabled Veterans, requiring employers to make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability. Service members convalescing from injuries received during service or training may have up to two years from the date of completion of service to return to their jobs or apply for reemployment.

Return to Work without Loss of Seniority: USERRA provides that returning service-members are reemployed in the job that they would have attained had they not been absent for military service (the long-standing "escalator" principle), with the same seniority, status and pay, as well as other rights and benefits determined by seniority. USERRA also requires that reasonable efforts (such as training or retraining) be made to enable returning Service members to refresh or upgrade their skills to help them qualify for reemployment. The law clearly provides for alternative reemployment positions if the Service member cannot qualify for the "escalator" position. USERRA also provides that while an individual is performing military service, they are deemed to be on a furlough or leave of absence and are entitled to the non-seniority rights accorded other individuals on non-military leaves of absence.

Extension of Health and Pension Plans: Health and pension plan coverage for Service members is provided for by USERRA. Individuals performing military duty of more than 30 days may elect to continue employer sponsored health care for up to 24 months; however, they may be required to pay up to 102 percent of the full premium. For military service of less than 31 days, health care coverage is provided as if the Service member had remained employed. USERRA clarifies pension plan coverage by making explicit that all pension plans are protected.
Who is eligible for Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act?
Veterans, Reservists, or National Guard members who leave a position for training or active military service.

The Department of Labor, through the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) provides assistance to all persons having claims under USERRA, including Federal and Postal Service employees.
VETS Regional Office Locations

Learn more about the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Unemployment Compensation Benefits?

South Carolina Unemployment Insurance: South Carolina's Department of Employment and Workforce administers the Unemployment Insurance (UI), providing temporary assistance and partial wage replacement to unemployed South Carolina workers. Unemployment Compensation soldier covered in mud aiming a rifle in the prone position(UC) is money paid to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The program, funded by employer paid taxes, aids in maintaining the economic stability within a community by safeguarding the income and purchasing power of the unemployed worker.

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims process is made up of three steps:

Initial claims are filed online through the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, MyBenefits UI Claim Portal . You should also make sure to download the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, Applicant Reference Guide for Individuals Filing for Unemployment Insurance Benefits and read it thoroughly.

If you don't have computer access, you can apply online at one of the many South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, Service Locations across the state. If you need assistance applying for benefits, claims representatives are available through TelClaim, at 1-866-831-1724 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

The following information will be needed to file a claim:

  • Your Social Security number

  • Your work history for the past 18 months including:

    • Employers’ business names

    • Employers’ addresses

    • Employers’ phone numbers and

    • Your salary for each employer

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, your alien registration number and documentation.

  • If you served in the military in the past 18 months, DD214 (Member 4 copy).

  • If you are a federal civilian employee, SF-50 or SF-8 Form.

If you are filing from out-of-state please go to the South Carolina's Department of Employment and Workforce, Filing an Out-of-State Claim webpage .

Learn more about South Carolina Unemployment Insurance

South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment: In 2014, the Governor of South Carolina, in partnership with the South Carolina National Guard and the Department of Employment and Workforce, formed a statewide military employment initiative aimed at reducing the unemployment rate among South Carolina's Operation Palmetto Employment logomilitary community. A network of counselors provides comprehensive statewide Veterans' job placement services including:

  • Resume preparation

  • Mock interviewing

  • Education and training; and

  • Job fairs, and other related services

Who is eligible for South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment Services? Unemployed Service members, Family members or Veterans

Learn more about South Carolina Operation Palmetto Employment

SC Works Centers, Veteran Services : SC Works centers across South Carolina have staff, many of whom are Veterans or servicemembers themselves, who are specifically trained to assist military jobseekers find civilian employment.

Disabled Veterans Outreach Program (DVOP) representatives provide intensive case management services to targeted Veterans with emphasis in meeting the employment needs of Veterans who are economically or educationally disadvantaged.

Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) conduct employer outreach to help Veterans gain employment and provide individualized job development services to Veterans. They market job-seeking Veterans as individuals who have highly valuable skills and experience, and serve as advocates for Veterans with businesses, industries and other community-based organizations.

Through the support and assistance from our LVERs and DVOPs, Veterans are able to receive priority employment services, which includes group and individual career coaching, job referrals, resume preparation and job training programs and services.

Veterans not only receive priority service in SC Works Centers, but also through SC Works Online Services (SCWOS). For the first 24 hours that a job is listed on SCWOS, only jobseekers that have identified themselves as a member of the military community can view and apply for the position.
South Carolina Works Centers Directory
SC Works Online Services (SCWOS)

Learn more about SC Works Centers, Veteran Services

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Benefits?

'Veteran' Designation on South Carolina Driver’s Licenses: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles offers a "VETERAN" designation on driver’s licenses, identification cards and beginner’s permits for individuals who served honorably in the United States Armed Forces. To apply, Veterans must South Carolina Drivers License with Veteran Designationpresent an acceptable document based on the SC Code of Laws 56-1-140 and the standards set by the South Carolina State Office of Veterans' Affairs.
Who is eligible for the 'Veteran' Designation on South Carolina Driver’s Licenses? All Service members with an honorable discharge are eligible.

Applicants must present one of the military documents listed below:

  • Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214) that must show a characterization of service or discharge status of ‘honorable’ or ‘general under honorable conditions’.

    If you were discharged before 1950, you must provide a Certificate of Discharge or Enlisted Separation Paper because the DD214 did not exist until January 1, 1950.

  • National Guard Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB Form 22) that must show:

    • a characterization of service or discharge status of honorable or general under honorable conditions; and

    • at least twenty years of qualifying military service in the National Guard

  • Letter from a Military Reserve component notifying you of your eligibility for retirement pay at age sixty because of your twenty-years of service.

  • Veteran Identification Card issued by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

    A Veterans Health Identification Card is not acceptable .

There is no fee for adding the Veterans designation to licenses or permits. Those interested must visit a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles location with appropriate documentation of Veteran status.
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Office Directory

Learn more about 'Veteran' Designation on South Carolina Driver's Licenses

South Carolina Military Commercial Driver’s Skills Test Waivers: The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles allows qualified military Service members to waive the commercial skills test and/or knowledge tests to get a commercial driver's license (CDL) based on their commercial motor vehicle experience and/or training. Someone who already holds a CDL cannot use this program to upgrade their CDL. You must follow any federal regulations before receiving your CDL.

Qualifications for both Waivers: If you have the experience operating a military commercial motor vehicle (CMV) as a Service member, you may apply for a waiver that allows you to apply for a South Carolina CDL without having to take the skills test.

  • Active duty military or left active duty military within the last 12 months

  • Operated a military commercial motor vehicle (CMV)

  • Hold a valid SC license

  • Did not hold another driver's license within the last two years

Even Exchange Waiver, (Waiver of Knowledge and Skills tests): If you meet all the previous qualifications and have one of the following Military Occupational Specialty Codes you could exchange your CMV training and experience for a South Carolina CDL without having to take knowledge and skills tests by applying for an even exchange waiver:

Army: 88M, 14T, 92F

In addition:

  • You must have operated the same type of military CMV for the class license you are seeking for 3,000 miles or more during the 2-year period immediately preceding your application, or your military discharge date.

  • You must still pass all required knowledge tests and follow any federal regulations before receiving your CDL.

If your license was suspended, revoked, cancelled, or disqualified at any point over the past two years, you are not eligible for either of the waivers.

To Apply: To apply your commanding officer must complete and sign the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, CDL Waiver Application for Military Personnel (SCDMV Form DL-408A). You must submit the application and a copy of your Active Duty/Reservist Military ID or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty (DD214, WD-AGO, DD256, or NGB22). Applications and documentation may be submitted by mail, fax or email.

Address: SCDMV, CDL Help Desk, PO Box 1498, Blythewood, SC 29016-0028
Fax: 803-896-2676
Email: CDLHelpDesk@scdmv.net

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, CDL Waiver Application for Military Personnel (SCDMV Form DL-408A)
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Commercial License Webpage

Learn more about the South Carolina Military Commercial Driver’s Skills Test Waiver

Extension of South Carolina Driver’s Licenses for Military Personnel and their Dependents: South Carolina considers the license valid as long as at least one of the following is true:

  • solider throwing a granade You're a military Service member

  • You're a dependent of a military Service member

  • You're a Department of Defense employee

This rule only applies if your license expired during one of the following:

  • You're serving outside of the state

  • You're serving outside the state and it expired within 90 days of the start of that service

You would renew your driver's license just as you would if it were still valid, but you must visit an SCDMV branch within 90 days of discharge. When you visit an SCDMV branch, you must bring proper documentation of your discharge. If you come to renew your expired driver's license after 90 days of discharge, you must take the knowledge and road tests.

Learn more about the Extension of South Carolina Driver’s Licenses for Military Personnel and their Dependents

Renewal of South Carolina Driver’s License Online or by Mail if Stationed Outside of South Carolina: Active duty military and their dependents, and Department of Defense employees who are stationed outside of South Carolina may renew their driver's license online or by mail.

To renew online go to the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicle, Driver's License Renewal Page .

To renew your license by mail, submit all the following documents:

To :
SCDMV
Alternative Media
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0035

Learn more about Renewal of South Carolina Driver’s License by Mail if Stationed Outside of South Carolina

South Carolina Military and Veteran License Plates: The State of South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles offers 34 distinctive license plate designs to honor the service and sacrifice of Service members, Veterans, Retirees and eligible Family members. A short description of some of these license plates is listed below. Each license plate has specific eligibility and documentation requirements. A short description of some of these license plates are below

South Carolina Medal of Honor License Plate: You must submit a completed Application for Military Plate ( South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, South Carolinia Medal of Honor License PlateApplication for Military License Plate Form MV-37 ) and present a letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs certifying that you are a recipient of the Medal of Honor. The plate is available for the following branches of service: Air Force, Navy, and Army. You may only have one of these plates. It is free. Vehicles that have a Medal of Honor plate are exempt from the payment of municipal parking meter fees. ( SC Code Section 56-3-1855 )

South Carolina Purple Heart License Plate: South Carolina Purple Heart license plates are available to SC residents who are Purple Heart recipients. You must complete Application for Military Plate ( South Carolina South Carolina Purple Heart License PlateDepartment of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37 ) and must submit a DD214, Purple Heart Citation, or a letter from the US, Regional, or County Veterans Administration certifying that you are a recipient of the Purple Heart. You may receive two of these plates for free. You may get a third plate for $30 plus the regular registration fee. The plate is available by mail only. This plate allows free parking at municipal parking meters ( SC Code of Laws 56-5-2585 ) but does not allow parking in designated handicapped (wheelchair) parking spaces.

South Carolina Veteran License Plate: The Veteran license plate is available to South Carolina residents who have served in the United States Armed Forces active or South Carolina Veteran License Platereserved components. To apply for the plate, you must present your DD214, indicating that you were honorably discharged, along with a completed Application for Military Plate ( South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37 ). Only four plates within the Veteran plate class to include Veteran, Veteran Motorcycle and Veteran Wheelchair may be issued to vehicles registered in your name. The cost for this plate is the regular registration fee. No additional fees are required.

South Carolina Disabled Veteran License Plate: This plate is a free and permanent license plate that is available to people who submit proper certification from the Veterans Administration and who are certified as permanently handicapped by their physicians. You must submit an Application for Military Plate ( South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37 ) and a letter or other documentation from the US, Regional, or County Veterans Administration certifying that you are a war-time disabled Veteran who is entitled to compensation for the loss of use of one or both legs or arms, has a permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a degree as to constitute virtual blindness and is entitled to a special monthly statutory award by reason thereof, or is a South Carolina Veteran classified as totally and permanently disabled due to service-connected disabilities as determined from the medical records on file with the county or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To get this plate, you must be certified permanently handicapped by a licensed physician on the Disabled License Plate and Placard Application ( South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Disabled Placard and License Plate Application Form RG-007A ) and provide a prescription order from a licensed physician. You may only get two plates, whether that's two vehicle plates, two motorcycle plates, or one of each. You cannot have four plates. A Surviving Spouse of a certified disabled Veteran may get or keep the license plate until remarried. However, the Surviving Spouse must also be certified as disabled by a licensed physician. This plate allows free parking at municipal parking meters ( SC Code Section 56-5-2585 ) and allows parking in designated handicapped (wheelchair) parking spaces.

Gold Star Family License Plate: The Gold Star Family license plate is available to immediate Family members (parent, Spouse, sibling or Child) of fallen Service membersGold Star Family License Plate as certified by the Affidavit of Relationship on the application form ( South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, Application for Military License Plate Form MV-37 ). To apply for the plate, you must present one of the following documents: DD2064 DoD. Certificate of Death (Overseas) or a DD1300 DoD. Report of Casualty. Each qualifying Family member may receive, for vehicles registered in their name, a maximum of two plates. There is no fee for this plate. You may get a personalized version of the plate that contains letters or numbers or both and the “&” symbol. Text is limited to six characters including spaces and will be granted based on availability.

Learn more about South Carolina Military and Veteran License Plates

South Carolina Municipal Parking Fee Exemption for Eligible Veterans: South Carolina offers an exemption of municipal parking meter fees when the Veteran's vehicle bears a Disabled Veteran (" V" tag), Purple Heart or Medal of Honor license plate.

Learn more about South Carolina Municipal Parking Fee Exemption for Eligible Veterans

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Health and Insurance Benefits ?

South Carolina National Guard Medical Coverage under Workers’ Compensation Laws during State Active Duty: A member of the state military forces receives compensation as a state employee while on state active duty and is therefore covered under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws for medical care, disability and death benefits. ( SC Code Section 42-7-40 )
Who is eligible for Maine National Guard Medical Coverage under Workers’ Compensation Laws during State Active Duty?
National Guard Service member injured or killed in the line of duty on state active duty.

Learn more about South Carolina National Guard Medical Coverage under Workers’ Compensation Laws during State Active Duty

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides valuable life insurance benefits to Veterans, Active and Reserve Component Service members and their Families to provide financial security given the extraordinary risks involved in military Service. The VA provides the following life insurance benefit programs:

  • Service Member's Group Life Insurance (SGLI)

  • Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI)

  • Family Members Group Life Insurance (FSGLI)

  • Service Members Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Projection (TSGLI)

  • Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance (S-DVI)

  • Veterans Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI)

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Life Insurance

TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance: TRICARE Reserve Select is a premium-based plan, available worldwide for Selected Reserve, (Reserve and National Guard) and their Families who meet the following qualifications:

  • Not on active duty orders

  • Not covered under the Transitional Assistance Management Program

  • Not eligible for or enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program or currently covered under FEHB, either under their own eligibility or through a Family member.

The plan provides comprehensive health care coverage when you're not activated and covered by active duty TRICARE benefits.

Learn more about TRICARE Reserve Select Health Insurance

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Parks and Recreation Benefits?

South Carolina Reduced Fee State Park Passes for Disabled Residents and South Carolina National Guard: The “ALL Park Passport” or “SELECT Park Passport” are available for purchase at half price for, South Carolina senior citizens (age 65 and older), legally blind or 100 percent disabled residents and Kayaks propped on rope between 2 treesactive members of the South Carolina National Guard.

All Park Passport: The All Park Passport is $49.50 and provides unlimited entry to all South Carolina state parks for everyone in the pass holder's vehicle. The hangtag pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.

The All Park Passport also comes with the following value-added benefits:

  • Free admission to regularly scheduled historic home tours at Redcliffe, Rose Hill and Hampton plantations (maximum four people per visit)

  • Free admission to the historic lighthouse at Hunting Island State Park (maximum four people per visit)

  • Free admission to the historic Atalaya castle at Huntington Beach State Park (maximum four people per visit)

  • Free weekend admission to the Atalaya Arts & Crafts Festival held every September at Huntington Beach State Park (maximum four people)

Select Park Passport: The SELECT Park Passport is $37.50 and provides unlimited entry for everyone in the vehicle to 35 South Carolina State Parks. No other benefits are included with the SELECT Park Passport. The hangtag pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and can be transferred from one vehicle to another.

Parks NOT included with the SELECT Park Passport are the Hunting Island State Park, Huntington Beach State Park, Myrtle Beach State Park, Edisto Beach State Park, Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site, Devils Fork State Park, Table Rock State Park, Sesquicentennial State Park, Paris Mountain State Park, Givhans Ferry State Park, Jones Gap State Park and Landsford Canal State Park.

The pass can be purchased at any South Carolina state park, at the South Carolina State Park Service central office in Columbia, at the State House Gift Shop located in the South Carolina State House or by calling 803-734-0156. Applicants must be able to provide documentation proving eligibility.

The central office is located at:

South Carolina State Parks
1205 Pendleton Street
Suite 201
Columbia, SC 29201

Provided the qualifying person is present, all persons occupying a vehicle with the Park Passport displayed will be admitted to state parks without additional charge of admission. A park employee may request identification of the passport holder at the time the passport is presented.

Learn more about South Carolina Reduced Fee State Park Passes for Disabled Residents and South Carolina National Guard

Free South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Resident Veterans: The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources offers free Disability Combination licenses and Disability Fishing licenses to Veterans who are disabled. These licenses are good for three years.

Disability Combination licenses authorizes:

  • Freshwater Fishing

  • Freshwater Set Hook

  • Saltwater Fishing

  • State Hunting

  • Big Game Hunting

  • Wildlife Management Area Permit

  • Migratory Waterfowl Permit (State Permit)

The Disability Fishing Licenses authorizes:

  • Freshwater Fishing

  • Saltwater Fishing

Who is eligible for Free South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Resident Veterans? Resident Veterans with a 1% or more disability percentage are eligible. License must be applied for directly from SC Department of Natural Resources. Applicants must Include a copy of their unexpired state identification card and a current copy of your disability certification from one of the following programs that declares you disabled.

  • Social Security Administration

  • SC Retirement System

  • Railroad Retirement Board

  • U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

  • Federal Civil Service

  • Medicaid

Mail application and documentation to:

Address: SCDNR License Office
PO Box 11710
Columbia SC 29211-1710
SCDNR Phone: 803-734-3833

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Resident Hunting and Fishing License Pricing (Includes information on Disability Licenses)
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Website
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Disability Recreational Hunting and Fishing Application

Learn more about Free South Carolina Hunting and Fishing Privileges for Disabled Resident Veterans

South Carolina Resident Hunting and Fishing License Privileges for Nonresident Military personnel and their Dependents: Service members and their dependents stationed in South Carolina for thirty days or longer, or who are domiciled in this state, are eligible for resident privileges. Valid military identification must be presented when applying.

Fisherman reeling in a fish Learn more about South Carolina Resident Hunting and Fishing License Privileges for Nonresident Military personnel and their Dependents

Hunting and Fishing License Exemptions for Active Duty Service Members Stationed outside South Carolina and are Home on Leave: Active duty or military personnel who are residents of SC stationed outside of the state and home on leave, may upon presentation of their Leave and Earnings Statement (which must declare SC as their home state), be allowed to fish and hunt throughout the state without purchasing a hunting, freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing license. Permits are required to hunt big game, migratory birds, migratory waterfowl and hunt on WMA lands. Tags are required to hunt antlerless deer and turkey, use nongame fish devices or for taking shrimp over bait.

Learn more about Hunting and Fishing License Exemptions for Active Duty Service Members Stationed outside South Carolina and are Home on Leave

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What are my South Carolina Military and Veterans Miscellaneous Benefits?

South Carolina National Guard Veteran Advisors : South Carolina National Guard (SCNG) Veteran Advisors provide responsive assistance to all Veterans, Service Members, and Family Members related to all benefits and entitlements they are eligible for by coordinating with regional partners to maximize local resources South Carolina National Guard Veteran Advisors logoand minimize delays in services. The advisors offer assistance in the following areas:

  • VA Claims and/or Compensation

  • Employment Services

  • Education Benefits

  • Medical Issues or Documents

  • Behavioral Health Concerns

  • Financial Issues and Advice

  • Family Services

  • Legal Services

  • Housing Assistance, VA Home Loans

  • Records: Separation, Medical, or Awards

  • Health and Wellness

  • Retirement

  • Unit Leadership Assistance

  • Or any other matters associated with your service

Please click the “Learn more about South Carolina National Guard Veteran Advisors” link below for a directory of regional advisors.

Learn more about South Carolina National Guard Veteran Advisors

Lawyers 4 Vets Program, Free Legal Assistance for Veterans: Lawyers 4 Vets is a pro bono legal clinic to assist those who have served our country with the legal issues that they face, eliminating one more barrier keeping them from the productive civilian life they deserve.

The clinic will connect lower-income Veterans with local attorneys who will provide one-on-one pro bono legal advice or representation.

The clinic is held on the third Thursday of each month from 9:00 am-12:00 pm at the Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn VA Medical Center in Columbia.

Lawyers 4 Vets will assist Veterans with:

  • South Carolina Child support orders and modifications

  • Expungement of SC criminal records, and/or pardon applications

  • Simple will and/or healthcare power of attorney (available for Veterans and their Spouse)

Counties that are included in the service areas for outreach are Anderson, Florence Greenwood, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, and York.
Lawyers 4 Vets Program Flyer

Learn more about the Lawyers 4 Vets Program, Free Legal Assistance for Veterans

Presentation of The State Flag to Families of Deceased Members of the South Carolina National Guard: Provides that the State Adjutant General's Office shall present to the Family of each deceased member of the South Carolina National Guard a flag of the State of South Carolina, appropriate for use as a burial flag, upon application of a member of the Family of the deceased. For more information, call 803-734-0200.

Learn more about Presentation of The State Flag to Families of Deceased Members of the South Carolina National Guard

South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund (SCMFRF): Provides monetary grants to Families of South Carolina National Guard members and South Carolina residents serving in the U.S. Armed Forces Reserve components who were called to active duty as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Grants are distributed based on need, status and service-connected injury or illness.

South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund grants are intended to help Families defray the costs of food, housing, utilities, medical services, and other expenses that become difficult to afford when a wage-earner has temporarily left civilian employment to be placed on active military duty. Status Based Grants are given at the flat rate of $500, the Casualty-Based Grant is a flat rate of $1,000 and the Needs Based Grants is given to a maximum of $2,000. Individuals may receive a grant only one time in each fiscal year and only one time for each active duty order.
South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund Application
South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund Brochure

Learn more about the South Carolina Military Family Relief Fund (SCMFRF)

Recording of Discharges for South Carolina Veterans: A certified copy of the recorded discharge may be obtained upon request. Any person desiring a certified copy of any discharge or certificate of lost discharge, may apply to the County Clerk of Court or the County Veterans Affairs Officer in which the discharge or certificate of lost discharge is registered and shall be furnished a certified copy. Fees for furnishing a certified copy of discharge or DD214 may be established by each County but may not exceed fifty cents.

Learn more about Recording of Discharges for South Carolina Veterans

Marriage, Birth, Death and Divorce Verification when such is required by Official State and Federal Agencies: Provides for the verification of marriage, birth, death, and divorce records without cost when such is required by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the South Carolina Division of Veterans Affairs, the County Veterans Affairs Offices, or any out of state Veterans Affairs entities. For more information, call 803-734-0200.

Learn more about Marriage, Birth, Death and Divorce Verification when such is Required by Official State and Federal Agencies

South Carolina State Veterans Nursing Homes: There are three state Veterans nursing homes in South Carolina: The E. Roy Stone Jr., Pavilion, which is located in Columbia, the Richard Michael Campbell Veterans Nursing Home in Anderson, and the Veterans Victory House in Walterboro. To obtain additional information, or to apply for admission, contact your local South Carolina, County  Veterans Affairs Office or the nursing home directly.

Contact Information:E. Roy Stone Veterans Pavilion

  • E. Roy Stone Veterans Pavilion – (co-located with the C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center)

    2200 Harden Street, Columbia, SC

    29203 803-737-5301 / Fax: 803-737-5364

 

 

 

 

 

  

Who is eligible for care at the South Carolina State Veterans Nursing Homes? Admission to these facilities is limited to Veterans who have been separated fromthe U.S. Armed Forces under honorable conditions must be a South Carolina resident for at least one year and are in need of long term nursing care.
South Carolina, County Veterans Affairs Officer Directory

Learn more about the South Carolina State Veterans Nursing Homes

South Carolina M.J. “Dolly” Cooper State Veterans Cemetery: The M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery, located on 57 acres, near Anderson South Carolina, opened in December 2007. As of 30 June 2017, 2,722 Veterans, Spouses and dependents, have been buried with another 5,718 registered M.J. "Dolly" Cooper State Veterans Cemetery(pre-certified) with the cemetery for burials in the future. “Pre-certified” means the cemetery has determined eligibility after receiving, reviewing and keeping on file copies of a Veteran’s DD214 or discharge document and marriage certificate so when a need arises, scheduling a burial can be done without delay.
Who is eligible for Burial at the South Carolina M.J. “Dolly” Cooper State Veterans Cemetery? Generally speaking eligibility requirements mirror the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration Burial Eligibility Requirements . To qualify for a plot in a state Veterans’ cemetery, the applicant must be a Veteran or an eligible member of the immediate Family of a Veteran who meets the requirements:

  • The Veteran must have an Honorable discharge from the Armed Forces.

  • The Veteran must have been a resident of South Carolina either

    • When the Veteran entered the Armed Forces (Home of Record); or

    • When the Veteran died; or

    • For five years (and can prove it).

The cemetery will bury any Veteran and any eligible Family member if the Family member can be buried in a space above or below the Veteran. Veterans will be buried without charge, a fee of $300 will be charged for the burial of Family members.
M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery Eligibility Fact Sheet
M.J. “Dolly” Cooper Veterans Cemetery Eligibility Pre-Certification Application

Learn more about the South Carolina M.J. “Dolly” Cooper State Veterans Cemetery

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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Facilities in South Carolina

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in South Carolina: The VA has numerous resources available for Veterans and Family members. Please see the local location listing for your nearest facility.

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Facilities in South Carolina

Beaufort National Cemetery U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cemeteries in South Carolina: The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) National Cemetery Administration maintains three national cemeteries in South Carolina. Please see the local location listing for the nearest cemetery.

Learn more about U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Cemeteries in South Carolina

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Military Installations in South Carolina

South Carolina State Flag

Please see the South Carolina Military Resource Locator for additional information

Active Duty
Army
Fort Jackson

Air Force
Shaw Air Force Base

Joint Base
Joint Base Charleston

Marines
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island

National Guard
South Carolina Army National Guard

South Carolina Air National Guard
169th Fighter Wing

United States Army Reserve (USAR)
81st Readiness Division




Resources


Army National Guard Benefits

Air National Guard Benefits

South Carolina Department of Veterans' Affairs

South Carolina State Human Resources

Retirement Living, Tax Information South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Revenue, Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans Brochure

South Carolina Legislature

South Carolina Department of Revenue

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Facility Directory South Carolina

South Carolina Code of Laws

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Document Review Date: 17 June 2020