If you plan to go fishing this weekend in South Carolina and do not yet have a license, you need to move fast.
“Get one now,” state Department of Natural Resources spokesman David Lucas said.
Computer system security upgrades will prevent DNR from issuing hunting and fishing licenses. Customers will not be able to purchase licenses online, via phone or at retail stores statewide beginning at 7 p.m. Friday. The system is expected to be down through Sunday afternoon.
Lucas said the department has been trying to get the word out to state residents and out-of-state visitors who may want to buy a 14-day fishing license this weekend.
“We don’t want anybody to be disappointed,” he said. “They get here Saturday morning and think they can go to Walmart and get their temporary license and start fishing. Unfortunately, they will not be able to do that this weekend. So we’re trying to spread the word.”
Lucas said about 7,000 licenses were issued by the DNR last weekend. Online and phone sales accounted for 1,000 applications, while the rest were sold at retail outlets.
“There’s a fairly large number of transactions that happen on the weekend,” he said. “If you have family or know someone that’s coming into the state this weekend and is going to want to fish, if you know somebody that’s coming to fish, please let them know if they don’t have their South Carolina fishing license to go ahead and get that by Friday afternoon.”
All license purchases take effect immediately. If you purchase online, you can print out your license.
“If you get checked in the field, the DNR law enforcement officer can look you up in the system immediately and you’ll be there immediately,” Lucas said. It’s a real-time system. As soon as you purchase that license you are in the database.”
South Carolina Interactive (SCI), the technology company that operates official state agency websites and online transactions for many state and local government agencies in South Carolina, including the SCDNR, will be shutting down the computer networks that these transactions run on beginning at 7 p.m., on Friday, July 20. The outage could potentially last until through Sunday night. The planned work by SCI may also impact services offered by other state and local government agencies in South Carolina who offer online transactions facilitated by SCI such as the SCDMV, S.C. Elections Commission and others.