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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division


Hobby Licenses

The Maritime Research Division issues Hobby Diver licenses to collect artifacts from state waters and manages quarterly reports submitted by licensed individuals to ensure proper reporting and recording of finds as allowed by the license.

The Hobby Diver License program is a State-mandated program that began in the 1970s to manage the artifact and fossil collection activities of South Carolina's sport divers.  Athough the program is intended for Scuba divers, anyone wishing to search and recover submerged property on a recreational basis must obtain this license. The Institute's Maritime Research Division works closely with the South Carolina State Museum concerning the collection of information on fossils and other ecofacts found in State waters by licensed individuals.

A Hobby License is required for persons wishing to conduct temporary, intermittent, recreational, small scale, non-commercial search and recovery of submerged property.  It is a state-wide license. Recovery of submerged property must be by hand and must not involve mechanical devices or excavation, Hobby Licensees are never permitted to dig or move sediment to expose material.  Hobby Licensees may recover a reasonable number of artifacts and fossils from submerged lands over which the state has sovereign control, but may recover only ten artifacts a day from a shipwreck site.  Each Hobby Licensee must report his/her finds to the Institute (for artifacts), or the Museum (for fossils) on a quarterly basis and, within 60 days of receipt of each report, the Institute shall release title to all finds to the licensee.  Please see the Hobby License Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about the program, licenses, and licensee reporting obligations.


FEE SCHEDULE:    
LICENSE IN STATE   OUT OF STATE  
Hobby License (6-month) $5.00 $10.00
Hobby License (2-year) $18.00 $36.00

* Please note there is a $5.00 License Replacement Fee if your license card is lost or stolen.

 

To download the Hobby Diver License application, Renewal application, Artifact Report Form, and Fossil Report Form, please visit our Forms page or contact the Charleston Office at mrd@sc.edu or (843) 762-6105 for more information.