If you want to head out for a day of fishing in South Carolina, you may be curious about whether or not you need a fishing license. Having a fishing license is essential to make sure you are complying with state standards. Here is a look at who needs a south Carolina fishing license. 

Who Needs A South Carolina Fishing License? 

Out of State Fishing

When you’re traveling from out of state to South Carolina and plan to fish, you must obtain a fishing license. The type of permit needed is highly dependent on the kind of fishing you will be engaging in. Most will need a saltwater or freshwater license. 

Resident Fishing

Generally speaking, if you are applying for a resident fishing license, you must reside in the state for 365 days. 

Residents of the state can purchase a fishing or hunting license at a lower rate than a nonresident. 

Seasonal Fishing

The only seasonal license in the state is the shrimp baiting license. A shrimp baiting license is available for both residents and non-residents. Simply fill out the application form and submit it with the associated fee. 


Children under the age of 16 years old are welcome to fish in the state without first obtaining a license. This applies to both residents and nonresidents of South Carolina. 


Obtaining a hunting license in the state of South Carolina is much like acquiring a fishing license. The purchase can be made in all of the same ways as a fishing license.

A Hunters Safety Course is required for all hunters to buy a license. The course can be in person with an instructor or online. If you are born after June, 30th 1979, register for your Hunters Education Class.

When you’re ready to buy a license, make sure that you select the correct type. Visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to determine the tag and permit you will need. 

Free Fishing Day

Every year, South Carolina offers two days of the year that is a resident of the state is not required to purchase a fishing license. 

The Fourth of July

Memorial Day

Frequently Asked Questions: South Carolina Fishing License 

If I Just Plan to Go Fishing With A Friend Do I Need A South Carolina Fishing License? 

If you are of the required age, you should always carry an unexpired fishing license with you. The punishment and associated fines will be more significant than making the initial purchase. Save yourself a headache and plan to buy a license before you head out fishing. 

Is A Non Resident Fishing License More Expensive In South Carolina? 

A nonresident fishing license is significantly higher in cost than a resident’s license. In fact, the cost is nearly 30 percent higher for a nonresident versus a resident. However, if you’re in the state on vacation, a fourteen-day fishing permit can be purchased for as low as .79 cents a day. 

Where Can I Get A South Carolina Fishing License? 

A South Carolina fishing license can be bought in a variety of ways:

Visit any of these retail stores if you’re out and about. However, we recommend that you purchase your licenses from the comfort of your own home.

Purchase a resident or nonresident fishing or hunting license online. Remember to print a copy of the license and bring it along with you. 

Pick up the phone and dial 866-714-3611. Agents are available to help twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. 

Stop in at any of four Department of Natural Resources offices located around the state. 

Can You Get A Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License SC?

If you are a resident of South Carolina, lifetime fishing and hunting licenses are available for purchase. The cost varies significantly based on the age when the lifetime license is bought. Visit the South Carolina resident pricing page to determine what price point you fall under. 

What Is A Disability Fishing and Hunting License SC? 

A disability license is a fishing or hunting license that is issued by South Carolina. In order to qualify for a disability fishing license, you must be a resident of the state with a valid ID card or driver’s license, in addition to filling out and submitting both a completed application and disability certification form. 

Can You Get A SC Fishing License Online? 

A South Carolina fishing license can be purchased online by visiting here. To complete the purchase, you are required to have any one of the following a valid driver’s license, state identification card, military ID card, social security card, or an unexpired passport for any foreign national. 

How Many Rods Can You Fish With In SC? 

The number of rods you can use to fish in South Carolina depends on where you are fishing from. 

If you are out on a boat, an unlimited number of rods and reels can be used to engage in catching fish. 

The regulations for shore fisherman is substantially different. If you are fishing from the land, the state limits a single person to using four rods at one time. 


Obtaining a license is a simple process and can save you a lot of trouble than being caught without one. Fishing and hunting is entertainment that gets the entire family outdoors; what’s better than meandering through the woods or on the shoreline or boat. If you plan to harvest animals or sea life, make sure to follow the regulations such as size and quantity. Enjoying the wildlife that South Carolina has to offer.