Metal Detecting In South Carolina?

You Should Know The Law

Metal detecting in South Carolina follows the ARPA (Archeological Resources Preservation Act).

Please click on the link below for the ARPA explanation and some of the problems people face who break this law.

Be sure and read through the entire page.

Even though ARPA does not specifically mention "metal detecting", you need to understand what ARPA says about digging artifacts.

Pay particular attention to the section of stories that have been related to me about what happens when individuals break these laws.


Here is a brief explanation of where you can find the codes for South Carolina State Parks. More on State Parks below.

Regulatory and Legal Authority

Section 51-3-70 (Rules and Regulations for State Parks) of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina authorizes the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism to make such rules and regulations as it deems advisable for the protection, preservation, operation, use, and maintenance and for the most beneficial service to the general public of the State Parks in this state. In addition. removal of cultural artifacts from state parks may be considered a violation of Title 16 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Code.

To make metal detecting in South Carolina even more difficult you need to be aware of another law, The National Historic Preservation Act - NHPA.

Click the link below for information about that law.

National Historic Preservation Act
To keep this law stuff as simple as possible;

If you are detecting in South Carolina, especially on State Land,

do not dig anything that you believe is an artifact, or anything that is older than ugh 100 years.

If you want to detect on private property, then be sure you get written permission from the landowner.

For detecting in South Carolina, town, village and city parks, you'll need to check with those local officials.

I cannot be responsible for any outdated laws from the time of this posting.

My home page is all about metal detecting in eastern ghost towns.

Have you

been metal detecting in South Carolina ghost towns?