How to Obtain a SC Fishing License: A Quick Guide

If you’re an angler with your sights set on the diverse waters of South Carolina, it’s crucial to arm yourself with a valid fishing license. Failure to do so can lead to substantial fines and potential legal complications. This guide will navigate you through the process of securing a South Carolina fishing license, from understanding the prerequisites to the actual purchase.

Understanding the Prerequisites

Before you proceed with purchasing a South Carolina fishing license, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the requirements. The first step is to identify the type of fishing license you require – freshwater, saltwater, or a combination of both. Age requirements should also be taken into account as certain licenses are age-specific.

Further, acquaint yourself with the cost of the license and its validity period. South Carolina offers a range of options including annual, three-year, and lifetime licenses, allowing you to select the one that aligns best with your needs. Lastly, ensure you are aware of any special regulations that may be applicable to the specific body of water you intend to fish in.

Gathering the Required Documents

Once you’ve thoroughly researched the requirements, the next step involves assembling the necessary documentation. This typically includes your driver’s license, social security number, and potentially additional forms of identification. If you’re aiming for a freshwater or combination license, you may also need to complete a boater education course.

Procuring the License

With the necessary documentation at hand, you’re ready to purchase your fishing license. South Carolina provides several avenues for this, including online and in-person options. You can secure a license online via the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website, or in-person at a local authorized retailer.

To purchase a fishing license online, you’ll need to create an account on the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website. Once logged in, select the type of license you desire, provide the required information, and complete the payment using a credit card.

If you opt for an in-person purchase, you can visit an authorized retailer such as Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, or a local bait and tackle shop. Remember to carry all the necessary documentation, including your driver’s license and social security number.


Securing a fishing license in South Carolina is a straightforward process that necessitates a bit of research and preparation. By comprehending the requirements, assembling the necessary documentation, and procuring the license, you can legally enjoy fishing in the state’s stunning freshwater and saltwater bodies. Remember, possessing a valid fishing license is non-negotiable, so don’t risk being caught without one.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the steps to obtain a South Carolina fishing license?

To secure a South Carolina fishing license, you can either visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website and purchase it online or visit a local license retailer. You’ll need to provide personal information, such as your name, address, and date of birth, and pay the requisite fee. You can choose from a variety of license options, including freshwater, saltwater, combination, and lifetime licenses.

How much does a South Carolina fishing license cost?

The cost of a South Carolina fishing license depends on the type of license and your residency status. For instance, a freshwater fishing license for residents costs $10, while non-residents are charged $35. A saltwater fishing license for residents is priced at $10, with non-residents paying $35. Combination licenses, which encompass both freshwater and saltwater fishing, are priced at $20 for residents and $60 for non-residents.

Who needs a South Carolina fishing license?

Anyone aged 16 and above intending to fish in freshwater or saltwater in South Carolina is mandated to have a fishing license. This applies to both residents and non-residents. There are a few exceptions, such as for certain disabled individuals and those fishing on free fishing days, but the majority will require a license to fish legally in South Carolina waters.

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