SC Recreational Fishing and Hunting License

Required of All Applications

Identification: Applicants for all SC hunting and fishing privileges must present a state issued identification card at the time of application. This card should be in your possession at all times when hunting or fishing.

Social Security Number: The disclosure of your social security number or alien identification number is required to obtain SC hunting and fishing licenses. This complies with SC Code of Laws Section 63-14-1080 and Federal law 42 USCA 666(a) (13), which requires a licensing agency to provide this information to the Child Support Enforcement Unit of the Department of Social Services to establish, modify and enforce child support orders.

Resident: is a person who is a domiciled (permanent) resident of South Carolina. Proof of residency at license vendors is your unexpired State of South Carolina Driver's license or Identification Card. Other manners of proving residency can be submitted to a SCDNR license office.

License Duration Minimum
Age Application
Annual /Temporary 30 days 16 years + License Vendor
3 Year 30 days 16 years + License Vendor
Lifetime 180 days 16 -63 years Adobe PDF File
Senior 180 days 64 years + Adobe PDF File
Gratis 180 days Born before 7/1/40 Adobe PDF File
Disability 365 days 16 years + Adobe PDF File
Commercial 365 days Any DNR Office

Nonresident - is a person who does not meet the definition of resident or who resides outside of the state.

Change of Address: All licenses remain valid for the privileges issued if the holder moves out of state. However, if the licensee applies for privileges not covered by the license, and no longer meets the requirement for a resident, he must purchase the additional licenses as a non-resident.

Military personnel and their dependents stationed in SC - 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.

Military personnel who are residents of SC- stationed outside of the state and home on leave, may upon presentation of their earnings and leave 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 non-game fish devices or for taking shrimp over bait.

Students – enrolled full time in a SC educational institution are eligible for resident privileges. A valid student ID must be presented when applying for privileges.

Duplicate Licenses – are issued upon affidavit from the licensee that the original license was lost or destroyed and payment of a $3.00 fee. Duplicates are available at all license sales vendors, SCDNR license offices and online. Duplicate/replacement tags are issued only through SCDNR offices. No duplicates are issued for federal duck stamps; a new stamp must be purchased.

Freshwater Fishing License – is required unless you are fishing in a privately owned pond. A license is required when fishing in commercial pay ponds, unless the pond is permitted by SCDNR.

Georgia & South Carolina Reciprocal License Agreement – All channels of the Savannah River, from its mouth to the confluence of the Tugaloo and the Seneca rivers, and the Chattooga River to the boundary line between Georgia and North Carolina are included in an agreement between Georgia and South Carolina to use valid freshwater sportfishing licenses and permits that have been issued by either state. This agreement also applies to the following impoundments: Thurmond, Russell, Hartwell, Yonah, Tugaloo, Stevens Creek and the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, but not to any tributary streams to those impoundments nor tributary streams to the Savannah, Tugaloo and Chattooga rivers.

All persons holding a valid license from Georgia or South Carolina will be allowed to fish in the waters covered by this agreement.

NOTE: Contact Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division at 770-918-6406 for information on Georgia size and catch limits or visit

License in Possession – All licenses, permits, stamps and tags must be in possession of privilege holder while engaging in activities for which privilege documents were issued. Identification indicating name and address must also be in possession of privilege holder. Persons hunting on their own lands are required to have all applicable licenses, permits, stamps or tags in their possession.

License Year – The license year begins July 1st and ends June 30th of the following year. Regardless of the date sold, annual licenses expire June 30th.

Migratory Bird Permit (HIP) - a Harvest Information Permit (HIP) survey must be completed to obtain the Migratory Bird Permit. This permit is required of those age 16 and older hunting migratory bird in the state. Hunters 64 years of age or older who hold a SCDNR lifetime hunting, lifetime combination, Senior license, Gratis license or Catawba license are not required to obtain a migratory bird permit.

Migratory Waterfowl Permit (State Duck Stamp) – in addition to a migratory bird permit, is required of those age 16 and older hunting waterfowl (brants, ducks and geese) in the state. Hunters who hold a SCDNR lifetime migratory waterfowl hunting add-on (State Duck Stamp), Senior license, Gratis license, Catawba license or Disability license do not need to obtain an annual migratory waterfowl permit (State Duck Stamp), the migratory waterfowl permit (State Duck Stamp) is one of the privileges in your license. Federal Duck Stamp is required.

Special Tags – All age groups are required to obtain and possess special tags when engaged in the following activities:

Saltwater Fishing License – is required when harvesting marine resources, including finfish, oysters, clams, shrimp, and crab. A saltwater recreational fishing license is required unless fishing on a licensed public fishing pier; fishing on a licensed charter vessel while under hire; using 3 or fewer drop nets, 3 or fewer fold-up traps, or 3 or fewer handlines with no hooks and single bait per line (chicken necking); or shrimp baiting (which requires a shrimp baiting license).

Youth Requirements – No child under 16 years of age is required to obtain a hunting or fishing license unless that child engages in the taking of game or fish for commercial purposes or possesses any non-game fish devices. Special permits and tags are required for hunting antlerless deer, hunting turkey or using non-game fish devices.

Where to Buy Hunting & Fishing Privileges:

Hunter Education Requirements – All residents and non-residents, born after Jun. 30, 1979, must successfully complete a SCDNR-approved hunter education course and present the certificate of completion before a hunting or combination license can be obtained.

A hunter education card alone is not a valid hunting license. For more information on hunter education, call 803-734-3995 or 1-800-277-4301.

Apprentice Hunting License – Hunting license applicants who do not have a hunter education certification may use a onetime exemption and apply for an annual Apprentice Hunting License. The apprentice hunter must be accompanied by a SC licensed hunter who is not licensed as an apprentice hunter, is at least 21 years of age, has not been convicted of a hunting or hunter education violation or received deferred adjudication of the same, and stays within a distance that enables uninterrupted, unaided, visual and oral communication with the apprentice hunter and provides adequate direction to the apprentice.

3-Year Licenses – are available at all license sales vendors, SCDNR offices, through the internet or by calling 1-866-714-3611. 3 year license available are

3 year licenses are valid statewide for 3 consecutive license years, expire June 30th of third year.