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South Carolina Licensing Laws

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  • South Carolina Licensing Laws

    I could be opening up the same old can of worms opened many times before - but does anyone have some insight as to why South Carolina freshwater fishing licenses expire June 30th of each year? DNR told me it was due to the "fiscal year end." I have a hard time believing that in today's day-and-age.

    I love fishing the rivers/creeks up in Sumter National Forest - and an annual license is still more cost effective for me than buying 5-6 three day licenses, but it is confusing to me why my annual license (purchased in February 2014) expires less than 5 months later...

    Interestingly enough, there is a clause written in the state's law - Title 50, Chapter 9, SECTION 50-9-20 (2) that reads:

    (2) an annual license, permit, or tag expires on the last day of the license year for which the license was issued; provided, the department may issue an annual license, permit, or tag that expires the day before the anniversary of the date of its issuance;

    To me that reads that the DNR can issue me a license on February 1, 2014 that doesn't expire until January 31, 2015 - BUT they choose not to. It won't stop me from paying to fish up there - it's not about the money...it's the principle. And yes, I'll be purchasing my annual license on June 30th each year from now on.

    I'd love to have some more information on this if anyone can share.

  • #2
    In SC, ALL annual licenses expire on June 30th. This goes for hunting, fishing, big game, etc. I feel like it's actually easy to remember. Buy one every year and you know when it is time to buy another. Right now, I know exactly when mine expires but I have no clue when I purchased it.

    If you try to buy a license within a month or so of the expiration date, the SCDNR will not sell you an annual license, but rather a multiple day license (3 or 5 day maybe) I used to forget to buy my saltwater license and twice, I remembered on my way to Hilton Head and called to purchase over the phone. I was only able to buy a several day license but the cost was $5 not the normal $10. I saved money doing that.

    If you will look, Georgia does something similar with big game licenses. IIRC, when I hunt in Georgia, my hunting licence is 12 months from the day I purchase but the Big Game license is only for the big game season. The reason I remember this is I bought a hunting and Big game license in January 2012 and went back in October 2012 to hunt the same property. My hunting license was still valid but I was required to buy another Big game license. I now only buy the 3 Day Non-resident license as that is cheaper if I only go twice per year than buying the annual permit. 3 trips is my break-even point.

    Chalk it up to State's Rights..

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Pondjumpr View Post

      If you will look, Georgia does something similar with big game licenses. IIRC, when I hunt in Georgia, my hunting licence is 12 months from the day I purchase but the Big Game license is only for the big game season. The reason I remember this is I bought a hunting and Big game license in January 2012 and went back in October 2012 to hunt the same property. My hunting license was still valid but I was required to buy another Big game license. I now only buy the 3 Day Non-resident license as that is cheaper if I only go twice per year than buying the annual permit. 3 trips is my break-even point.

      Chalk it up to State's Rights..
      Why would you buy a Big Game license in January? Season already closed for most of the state and only open till 15th for the Southern Zone.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by huntfish View Post
        Why would you buy a Big Game license in January? Season already closed for most of the state and only open till 15th for the Southern Zone.
        Because I went on a trip to deer hunt in the Southern Zone the first week in January. The season in SC closes January 1st so we plan a late season hunt the 1st or 2nd week in January in Georgia. We hunt a long weekend, usually Thursday, Friday, Saturday so a 3 day license is perfect. It runs me $110 for 3 days versus right at $300 for annual license.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Pondjumpr View Post
          Because I went on a trip to deer hunt in the Southern Zone the first week in January. The season in SC closes January 1st so we plan a late season hunt the 1st or 2nd week in January in Georgia. We hunt a long weekend, usually Thursday, Friday, Saturday so a 3 day license is perfect. It runs me $110 for 3 days versus right at $300 for annual license.

          I wasn't talking about a 3 day, but the annual license as you mentioned in 1012.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by huntfish View Post
            I wasn't talking about a 3 day, but the annual license as you mentioned in 1012.
            Sorry I wasn't clear.

            I bought the annual license because I was there in January and needed a license to hunt deer at that time. We talked about going back in October to bow hunt, then again in November for a rut hunt and I knew I would be there earlier in january the following year so i thught I might be able to get 4 hunts out of an annual license since it was valid one year from the purchase date.

            Now that I realize the hunting license is valid one year but the Big Game License was only valid for that particular hunting season season (Thru the 15th of Jauary or so) I wouldn't have bought the annual license for Big Game.
            Luckily, I only had to buy a new Big Game permit (3 day) when I figured out that portion was expired.

            As mentioned, now I only buy a 3-day as I can go 3 different weekends for about the same money and if I only go once or twice, I come out better, less money.

            Back on topic, annual licenses, hunting, fishing and Big Game, in SC, all expire on June 30th. No need to figure out when you purchased it and when it might expire as they are all the same.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pondjumpr View Post
              Sorry I wasn't clear.

              I bought the annual license because I was there in January and needed a license to hunt deer at that time. We talked about going back in October to bow hunt, then again in November for a rut hunt and I knew I would be there earlier in january the following year so i thught I might be able to get 4 hunts out of an annual license since it was valid one year from the purchase date.

              Now that I realize the hunting license is valid one year but the Big Game License was only valid for that particular hunting season season (Thru the 15th of Jauary or so) I wouldn't have bought the annual license for Big Game.
              Luckily, I only had to buy a new Big Game permit (3 day) when I figured out that portion was expired.

              As mentioned, now I only buy a 3-day as I can go 3 different weekends for about the same money and if I only go once or twice, I come out better, less money.

              Back on topic, annual licenses, hunting, fishing and Big Game, in SC, all expire on June 30th. No need to figure out when you purchased it and when it might expire as they are all the same.
              Got it. Georgia was the same (31 March), but it did cause some issues during Turkey Season cause you had to get a new license in the middle of the season. You could buy your license before 1 April but had to keep your older license with you.

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              • #8
                Georgia used to be the same way. It expired on March 31 I believe and if you bought a license on March 28 you needed a new one 3 days later.
                Catch the energy
                Release the potential

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