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Charleston 101: Our guide to becoming a local resident expert

Becoming a Charlestonian is easy guide to all things Holy City.


We’re giving you the scoop on Charleston residency.

Photo by @jonpuckett

Table of Contents

Picture this: You just moved to Charleston and you need some help with the practicalities of life (we can’t just sit back and relax on Sullivan’s Island all day, unfortunately). That’s where we come in. Keep reading for Charlestonian 101, our guide to all things CHS.


Find the United States Postal Service at 83 Broad St.

Photo by @chstoday

The essentials

Voter registration

Make sure you’re eligible and registered to vote, find your polling location, and preview upcoming elections and sample ballots here.

Driver’s licenses and vehicle registration

New residents in need of an SC driver’s license will need to provide their social security number, proof of identity, citizenship, and date of birth, and two documents confirming their current physical SC address.

For dealer-purchased vehicles, titling and registration will be completed for you (generally). If your vehicle was purchased from an individual that holds the title, here’s what you’ll need to register your car in SC:

  • A completed Title Application and Statement of Vehicle Operation in South Carolina (if you don’t currently have an SC driver’s license or ID)
  • A first assignment completed on the title, including the odometer reading, date of sale, buyer’s name and address, sales price, lienholder information (if necessary), and sellers and buyers signatures
  • Note: A bill of sale may need to be presented if the assignment on the title doesn’t have a sales price section

Find out what you need to transfer a plate or request a new one here. Initial registrations may be subject to title and registration fees.

Visit an SCDMV branch to obtain an SC driver’s license or register your vehicle.


Establishing yourself with a primary care provider is one of those things you’ll be glad you did when you need one. Reach out to the professionals at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, MUSC Health, or Palmetto Primary Care Physicians, to name a few. Pro tip: Websites like DocSpot filter physicians by location, patient reviews, insurance, language, and more.


Bookshelves at CCPL’s Main Branch on Calhoun Street | Photo provided by the Charleston County Public Library

Educational needs

School registration

Prepare your student for the school year by registering them with Charleston County School District (or Berkeley County School District). Here, you’ll find school districts based on your residential area, and elementary, middle, high, and charter schools within each of the eight constituent school districts. Use this map to find school options by zone.

Get details on Charleston County School District registration and enrollment here, including a required documentation list and registration link. For information on Charleston County’s private schools, check out this list.

Library card registration

If you think libraries are only for checking out the occasional book, think again. Register for a library card at your nearest Charleston County Public Library branch or online to take advantage of:

  • Curbside services
  • Books-by-mail
  • Events
  • Private meeting spaces for groups
  • Learning programs
  • One-on-one training
  • eBooks, music, and movies
  • Computer and Wi-Fi access

To get your card, you’ll need a photo ID and proof of address. Young adults ages 12-17 are eligible for a young adult library card, and those under the age of 12 can get a card with a parent or guardian’s signature.


Here are the need-to-knows to get situated.

Photo by @sarahwestmorelandphotography

Home necessities


Thanks for thinking green. For everything you need to know about recycling in Charleston, from pickup days to container requests and accepted materials, check out this Charleston County Environmental Management page.


Moving is exciting, but no one wants to unpack by candlelight. Establish your services with Dominion Energy by creating an account or updating your address in your existing account. Pro tip: Check out this info to learn how to manage seasonal bills.

Internet providers

No connectivity issues here. Check out some of the internet providers in the 843 below. Note: Service cost and availability may vary by location.

  • Xfinity | Internet service starting at $30 per month for 12 months
  • AT&T Fiber | Internet service starting at $55 per month
  • Home Telecom | Internet service starting at $49.95 per month
  • WOW! | Internet service starting at $9.99 per month
  • T-Mobile Home Internet | Internet service starting at $50 per month

From concerts to expositions and festivals, there’s always something going on in the Holy City.

The ultimate Charlestonian initiation

Having an SC driver’s license and an 843 area code may qualify you on paper, but you’re not officially a Charlestonian until you’ve taken part in some local fun.

Rooftop bars and restaurants

You haven’t properly enjoyed a Holy City skyline unless you’ve enjoyed a drink on a rooftop overlooking the hustle and bustle of our city with your closest friends. Did someone say golden hour photo op? Here are a few spots.

Live music

Live music and Charleston go together like peanut butter and jelly. There’s no shortage of local venues like Credit One Stadium, Music Farm, The Windjammer, and Pour House, so the chances of seeing your favorite artist live in action are pretty good. Take a look at upcoming concerts.


With historic buildings like “America’s First Museum” and “America’s first theater,” Charleston has its fair share of stories to tell through the yearswhich makes sense, given that the city dates back to 1670.

Explore our history coverage to learn about ghost stories, preservation efforts, and local landmarks, and check out these interesting facts about the Holy City’s past and quirks.

Is there something youre still left wondering about to get you properly established in the Holy City? Ask us your question and we’ll do our best to answer it for you, like a good neighbor.

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