Licenses Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about general information regarding hunting and fishing licenses.
If you are unable to find the answer to your question below, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, SCDNR has a comprehensive list of other frequently asked questions.
Please visit our Licensing and Applications page to find specific forms.
Where are the SCDNR Regional Offices?
SCDNR has three full-service regional offices located in West Columbia, Charleston and Horry counties. These offices offer hunting and fishing licenses, permits and tags and process all boating transactions, to include transfers, new boats, boats coming from out-of-state, renewals, and duplicate decals and registration cards.
Additionally, SCDNR has three express offices located in Clemson, Florence and York. These offices offer hunting and fishing licenses, permits and tags and options to renew your boat, purchase duplicate boat or motor decals, receive new registration cards.
If you own a boat or motor, you must notify SCDNR by completing the change of address form.
If you do not have an active boat or motor associated with your customer ID number, you may update your address at the time you purchase your new hunting or fishing license. Please use this time to verify your personal information is correct, to include county of residence, phone number and email address.
I own a store and I am interested in selling hunting and fishing licenses.
In order to sell hunting and fishing licenses, the current owner must have the following:
- Been in business at the current location for at least six months.
- Have a computer that operates on at least Windows 10.
- Have internet service.
- Carry hunting and fishing supplies in store.
To begin the process of becoming a license vendor, please contact the license coordinator at (803) 734-3833 or email email@example.com. You will need to complete a license vendor application and license vendor agreement. Once these documents have been received and verified, the license coordinator will schedule a time to visit your store for approval and set-up. SCDNR provides the business with a license printer and all necessary supplies to issue hunting and fishing licenses.
Where can I purchase a hunting or fishing license?
License, tags, and permits are available 24/7 online at Go Outdoors SC or at one of over 500 license vendors located across the state, including SCDNR regional offices, during business hours.
What information do I need to purchase a license?
You must have a valid driver’s license or picture ID when purchasing a hunting or fishing license. If you are purchasing a resident license, you must present a valid South Carolina driver's license or South Carolina state issued ID Card. If you are purchasing a hunting license and you were born after June 30, 1979, you must present your hunter education course certificate of completion. If you are purchasing a license for the first time, you will also need your full social security number. If you have purchased a license previously, you will need your customer ID number.
Why do I have to provide a Social Security Number to purchase a license?
As part of the Child Support Enforcement Act, you are required to provide your social security number to purchase a hunting or fishing license. SCDNR does not release any of your personal information for commercial or solicitation purposes. All information collected by SCDNR is maintained in a secure environment. Once you have provided all required information a customer ID number is created, which will be used for all future purchases.
Recreational licenses expire either one year or three years from date of purchase. Hunting tags (deer tags, bear tags, turkey tags), commercial licenses, shrimp licenses, special permits and nongame fish tags are valid for one season only and must be purchased for each season. Annual tags and permits will expire on June 30 each year.
It is the responsibility of each person before engaging in any hunting or fishing activity to verify they have a valid license, permit or tag for that activity. Privileges for various licenses may expire on different dates if not purchased at the same time.
Am I eligible to purchase a resident hunting or fishing license?
To qualify as a South Carolina resident, you must have a valid South Carolina driver's license or South Carolina state issued ID card. The date of issue on your South Carolina driver’s license or state-issued ID card determines the length of your residency. There are residency requirements that determine the type of hunting or fishing license you can purchase.
For temporary, annual and three-year hunting and fishing licenses you must have been a resident for 30 days. For a lifetime license you must have been a resident for 180 days. For a disability and commercial licenses, you must have been a resident for 365 days.
If you hold a driver's license from another state, you are considered a nonresident and must purchase nonresident licenses. Ownership of property does not automatically qualify you as a resident. Active-duty military and their dependents stationed in SC for 60 days or longer and full-time students are exempt.
At what age is a hunting or fishing license required?
Individuals 16 years old and older are required to purchase hunting and fishing licenses.
If you were born after June 30, 1979, you must successfully complete a hunter education course before you are allowed to purchase a hunting license.
I purchased my license online but didn’t print my payment receipt, what can I do?
You may hunt and fish using your order number and a picture ID until your license arrives. Hard copies are typically mailed within five to seven days from your date of purchase.
You must have your hunting and nongame fish tags in your possession prior to using them. Tags are mailed typically three to five days from your date of purchase.
If you do not have your order number, you may contact the licensing staff at (803) 734-3833 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. to provide you with your order number.
I lost my license; how can I get a duplicate copy?
You may purchase a duplicate license for $3.00 at any SCDNR regional office or at one of the 500 license sales vendors located across the state.
There is no charge for duplicate lifetime, disability or commercial licenses. You can request a duplicate lifetime or disability license by calling (803) 734-3833 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am an international customer; how do I purchase a hunting or fishing license?
You may purchase a license as an international customer through the license portal by presenting a passport, international driver’s license or international identification card. Nonresident fees will apply.
I am in the military stationed in South Carolina; can I purchase a resident license?
Military personnel and their dependents stationed in South Carolina for 60 days or longer are eligible to purchase resident licenses.
Residents of South Carolina stationed outside of the state can present their official leave papers and hunt small game only and fish in fresh and saltwater without purchasing a license. Any other licenses and tags needed can be purchased at resident prices.
I am a nonresident attending school in South Carolina; can I purchase resident licenses?
Full-time students can present their student ID as proof of attending a South Carolina school and are eligible to purchase resident licenses.
What is required to apply for a disability license?
Residents of South Carolina may apply for a disability license by mail or in person at a SCDNR regional office. In order to qualify for a disability license, you must be a resident for 365 days, have a completed Disability License Application, a photocopy of your South Carolina driver's license or South Carolina state-issued ID card, proof, dated within the past 12 months, that state you are disabled and receiving benefits from one of the following agencies:
- Federal Civil Service
- Medicaid or Railroad Retirement
- SC State Retirement System
- Social Security Administration
- Veterans Affairs (the VA)
The license will be valid for 3 years and includes the privileges of hunting, big game, WMA permit, migratory waterfowl permit and fresh and saltwater fishing.
I am disabled and just moved to South Carolina.
To qualify for a disability license, you must be a resident for 365 days. You can apply for your disability license one year from the date of issue on your South Carolina driver's license or state-issued ID card.
How do I renew my disability license?
In order to renew your disability license, you must submit a completed Disability License Application, a photocopy of your SC driver's license or SC state issued ID card and current proof, dated within the past 12 months, that you are disabled and receiving benefits.
I am 64 years or older; how can I apply for a Lifetime License?
If you have been a resident for 180 days, you may apply for a lifetime license by mail or in person at a SCDNR regional office.
You must complete a lifetime license application, have a photocopy of your South Carolina driver’s license or state-issued ID card and $9.00.
The license never expires and includes the privileges of hunting, big game, WMA permit, migratory waterfowl permit, set hook permit and fresh and saltwater fishing.
I am over 64 years old and just moved to South Carolina.
To qualify for a lifetime license, you must be a resident for 180 days. You can apply for your lifetime license one year from the date of issue on your South Carolina driver's license or state-issued ID card.
I lost my disability or lifetime license; how can I get another copy?
You may request a duplicate copy of your license in-person at any SCDNR regional office, by calling (803) 734-3833 or emailing email@example.com.
Am I required to complete hunter education?
If you were born after June 30, 1979, you are required to complete a hunter education course prior to purchasing a hunting license. After successful completion, you will present your certificate when purchasing a hunting license. A lifetime license including hunting privileges purchased for a minor born after June 30, 1979, is not valid until the individual completes a hunter education course.
SCDNR accepts hunter education certifications issued by all other states.
Find more information on the hunter education webpage.
What if I have not completed hunter education and I would like to hunt?
If you have not completed the hunter education course, you can purchase an apprentice license. As an apprentice, you must be accompanied by a licensed hunter 21 years or older who has no hunting violations and stay within hearing and speaking distance of them. Depending on the species you are hunting, you must have the required licenses, tags and permits to accompany the apprentice license which only covers hunting.
If you complete the hunter education course before the apprentice license expires, the apprentice license will then act as a regular state hunting license, and you no longer have to accompany another hunter. You must carry the certificate of completion of the hunter education course.
How can I apply for turkey tags?
Prior to the season opening, you may request turkey tags when purchasing your license and they will be mailed in February. Immediately prior to and during turkey season, you can pick your tags up at a SCDNR regional office. You may also request your tags online or at one of our license sales vendors. If you request them online or at the license sales vendor during the season, it will take five to seven days to receive your tags from the date of purchase.
You must have the tags in your possession before hunting turkey. A tag must be placed on the turkey at the point of harvest and must remain on the bird until processed.
How can I apply for deer tags?
You can request deer tags in person at a SCDNR regional office, online or through mail. If you plan to request tags through the mail, you will need to complete and submit the Recreational Hunting and Fishing Tag Application.
If you request tags online or through the mail, you cannot use them until they are in your possession. A tag must be placed on the deer at the point of harvest and remain on the deer until processed.
Where can I purchase a Federal Duck Stamp?
A Federal duck stamp is required in addition to a hunting license, migratory bird permit and migratory waterfowl permit to hunt ducks and other migratory waterfowl.
The Federal Duck Stamp is now issued as an Electronic Federal Waterfowl Stamp Endorsement. The endorsement is valid for 45 days from date of purchase. Within those 45 days you will be mailed a stamp. If you do not receive your physical stamp within 30 days, you may call 1-800-852-4897 to check on the status of your order. Electronic Federal Waterfowl Stamp Endorsements cost $28.00, and can be purchased at a SCDNR Regional office, at one of our license sales vendors or online through our license sales portal.
How can I request duplicate nongame fish, bear, deer and shrimp baiting pole tags?
You can request duplicate tags for $1.00 per tag at any SCDNR regional office. Duplicate nongame fish tags for nonresidents are $5.00.
You may also request duplicate tags in the mail by completing the Request for Duplicate License or Permit form.
For nongame fish tags, we must have the tag number that was lost. This tag will be voided from our system and a new tag will be issued to you.
How do I determine whether I am fishing in freshwater or saltwater?
The official freshwater/saltwater dividing line on coastal creeks and rivers is typically U.S. Highway 17. There are ten exceptions to this rule.
You can also find the map in the regulations book.
If I am fishing from a boat, does everyone need a license?
Yes, if you are fishing in a boat everyone 16 and older must have a fishing license in their possession. When fishing in a boat you may also have an unlimited number of lawful fishing devices.
When do I need a saltwater fishing license?
If you are fishing in saltwater, even from the shore, gathering oysters, clams, shrimp or crabs, you are required to purchase a recreational saltwater fishing license. You are not required to purchase a saltwater fishing license to fish from a SCDNR licensed charter vessel or from a SCDNR licensed pier.
We offer temporary, one-day, annual and three-year licenses for residents and nonresidents.
How can I apply for a shrimp baiting license?
You can request a shrimp baiting license, $25.00 for residents and $500.00 for nonresidents, and 10 pole tags at a SCDNR regional office, online or through the mail. If you plan to request your license and tags through the mail, you will need to complete and submit the application form.
If you request your shrimp baiting license online or through the mail, it cannot be used until it is in your possession.
Shrimp baiting season lasts 60 days and the season dates vary between September 1 and November 15. Visit our regulations webpage for exact season dates.
If you were not able to find your question, please contact the SCDNR Licensing Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.