Unlock Your Angler’s Paradise: A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Non-Resident Fishing License in South Carolina

How to Get a Non-Resident Fishing License in South Carolina


Fishing is not only a rejuvenating outdoor activity but also an exciting way to connect with nature. If you happen to be visiting South Carolina and are eager to cast your line into its abundant waters, it’s essential to obtain a non-resident fishing license. In this guide, we will walk you through the simple process of obtaining your non-resident fishing license in South Carolina.

Step 1: Determine License Options

Before embarking on your angling adventure, familiarize yourself with the various options available for non-residents looking to fish in South Carolina. The state offers both freshwater and saltwater licenses, allowing you ample opportunity to explore its diverse aquatic landscapes.

Freshwater License:

If you plan on casting your line into one of South Carolina’s serene lakes or rivers, a freshwater license is what you require. This license grants access to all freshwater bodies within the state.

Saltwater License:

For those planning on trying their luck at hooking some saltwater species along the coast or from piers, jetties, or docks in South Carolina, a saltwater fishing license is necessary.

Step 2: Gather Required Information

To streamline the licensing process and ensure minimal delays when acquiring your non-resident fishing license in South Carolina, make sure you have all required information readily available before initiating the application process. Here’s what you’ll need:

Personal Information:

Prepare details such as your full name, residential address outside of South Carolina (if applicable), contact number, email address (optional), and social security number (SSN).

Note: If you do not possess an SSN or are uncomfortable sharing it due to privacy concerns, you may still obtain a fishing license by providing a legal alternative identification number.

License Duration:

Decide on the duration of your non-resident fishing license. South Carolina offers licenses for 14-day increments or an annual pass. Consider the length of your stay and whether you will return in a year before making your choice.

Step 3: Apply Online

South Carolina provides a convenient online platform for non-residents to apply for their fishing licenses. Follow these simple steps:

Visit the Official Website:

Navigate to the official website of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

Select “Fishing Licenses”:

Look for the “Fishing Licenses” section on SCDNR’s website, usually found under the “Recreational Activities” or similar category.

Choose Your License Type:

Select whether you require a freshwater or saltwater fishing license, based on your angling preferences.

Freshwater Fishing License Application Process:

1. Provide Personal Information:
Fill out all required personal information accurately in the designated fields as per instructions provided.

2. Select License Duration:
Choose either a 14-day temporary freshwater license or an annual one, depending on your preference and expected frequency of visits to South Carolina.

3. Pay Fees:
Pay applicable fees using secure online payment options such as credit/debit cards for instant processing.

Saltwater Fishing License Application Process:

1. Enter Personal Details:
Enter all necessary personal details into the appropriate fields according to provided guidelines.

2. Choose Your Duration:
Opt between purchasing either a 14-day temporary saltwater license or an annual permit based on your specific needs and timeline.

3. Make Payment:
Proceed with securely paying any relevant fees via supported online payment methods like credit/debit cards.

Step 4: Print or Save Your License

After completing the online application process and successfully making payment, you will receive a confirmation of your non-resident fishing license. Ensure to either print a physical copy or save the digital version on your mobile device for easy access during fishing excursions in South Carolina.


Congratulations! You are now armed with all the necessary information to obtain a non-resident fishing license in South Carolina. Remember, respecting local fishing regulations and following catch limits is essential for preserving these beautiful waterways for future generations of anglers. So, grab your gear, explore South Carolina’s stunning waterscapes, and enjoy an unforgettable fishing experience!