Migratory Bird - Licensing and Permits

How do I buy a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp?

Federal stamps are available at select US Post offices, by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (782-6724) or online at www.duckstamp.com.

What is the Migratory Bird Permit?

Each year, before hunting migratory game birds, including doves and waterfowl, hunters 16 years of age and older are required to obtain a Migratory Bird Permit. Hunters are asked to complete a short survey, also known as the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey, about migratory game bird hunting in SC for the previous year. The survey is part of the license sales process when a hunting privilege is included. A HIP certification from another state is not valid in SC and hunters are required to register for HIP in each state they hunt migratory game birds.

Hunters 64 years of age or older who hold a lifetime hunting, lifetime combination, senior, gratis or Catawba license are not required to obtain a migratory bird permit unless hunting on federal land.

A waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must carry:

  1. A valid South Carolina Annual Migratory Waterfowl Permit ($5.50) or Lifetime Migratory Waterfowl Permit ($110) endorsement on their license;
  2. A valid federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp ($15) signed in ink across the face of the stamp;
  3. A valid South Carolina Migratory Bird Permit (No Cost) endorsement on their license;
  4. One of the following hunting licenses:
    • Resident Annual State Hunting License, $12
    • Resident 3-Year State Hunting License, $36
    • Lifetime State Hunting, $300
    • Resident Annual Apprentice Hunting License, $12
    • Resident Annual Combination License, $25
    • Resident 3-Year Combination License, $75
    • Lifetime Combination License, $500
    • Resident Annual Sportsman license, $50
    • Resident 3-Year Sportsman license, $150
    • Senior License, $9 (Includes Migratory Waterfowl Permit)
    • Gratis License, No Fee (Includes Migratory Waterfowl Permit)
    • Nonresident Annual State Hunting License, $125
    • Nonresident 10-Day State Hunting License, $75
    • Nonresident 3-Day State Hunting License, $40
    • Nonresident Annual Apprentice Hunting License, $125
  5. In addition to the above licenses and permits, when hunting on a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) one of the following endorsements on their license:
    • Resident Annual Wildlife Management Area Permit, $30.50*
    • Resident 3-Year Wildlife Management Area Permit, $91.50*
    • Nonresident Annual Wildlife Management Area Permit, $76

*The WMA permit is included in the Resident Annual and 3-Year Sportsman License.

License Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I find a license vendor?

There are 500 license vendors across the state, these include hunting and fishing supply stores, sporting goods stores, some discount chain stores and regional SCDNR offices. A list by county of license vendors is available.

2. How can I buy a license online or by telephone?

Licenses may be purchased online. Licenses may also be purchased by calling 1-866-714-3611. This toll-free number is available 24 hours a day/7 days each week. Payment must be made with a Discover Card, Mastercard or Visa Card. In addition to the cost of the licenses and permits, there is a $3.00 nonrefundable charge for each transaction.

3. What information do I need to buy a license?

You will need your SCDNR customer Identification number (if available), driver’s license or state issued identification card, hunter education certificate (if required) and social security number. This information will be needed regardless of where you purchase your license.

4. How do I buy a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp?

Federal stamps are available at select US Post offices, by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (782-6724) or online at www.duckstamp.com. Electronic stamps bought in other states are not valid in SC.

5. What licenses can I use immediately?

A license or permit that does not require a tag or stamp can be used once purchased. Customers buying licenses by phone receive an order number that is valid for 14 days or until they receive their SCDNR license by US mail.

6. How do I replace a lost license?

A duplicate license may be obtained from any license vendor, the fee is $3.00. The duplicate license will display all licenses bought up to that point. Replacement tags must be obtained through a SCDNR regional office. If you lose your federal waterfowl stamp you must purchase a new stamp.

7. Do I qualify as a resident?

A person who is a domiciled (permanent) resident of South Carolina for at least 30 consecutive days is considered a resident. Proof of residency at license vendors is your unexpired State of South Carolina Driver’s License or Identification Card. Other means of proving residency can be submitted to a SCDNR regional office.

Ownership of South Carolina real estate or payment of county property taxes for real estate by a person living outside of the state does not qualify the owner as a resident.

The following also qualify as residents:

  1. Military personnel and their dependents stationed in SC for 60 days or longer. A valid military ID must be presented when applying for your license.
  2. Students enrolled full time in a SC educational institution. A valid student ID must be presented when applying for your license.

8. When does my license expire?

The license year begins July 1, 2014 and ends June 30, 2015. Regardless of the date sold, annual licenses expire June 30, 2015. 3-Year Hunting Licenses will expire on June 30 of the third year.

9. Are there any additional residency requirements for other licenses?

To qualify for a 3-Year or lifetime license you must be a domiciled (permanent) resident for at least 180 consecutive days. A disability license requires you to be a domiciled resident for at least 365 consecutive days. Additional information and applications for lifetime and disability licenses are available in the SCDNR Rules & Regulations publication, from a SCDNR Regional office or online.

10. Who needs a hunter education card?

Anyone born after June 30, 1979, must present proof of the successful completion of a hunter education course before a license with a hunting privilege can be purchased. Hunters under 16 years of age are not required to have hunter education. For more information see hunter education or call 1-800-277-4301.

11. I want to hunt with a licensed hunter but cannot take a hunter education course before the hunt. Can I still buy a hunting license?

A one-time exemption to the hunter education requirement is available to hunters by applying for an Apprentice License. This license can only be used when you are accompanied in the field 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, stays within a distance that enables uninterrupted, unaided visual and oral communication with the apprentice hunter and provides adequate direction to the apprentice hunter.