Q. What do I have to do to become an auctioneer in S.C.?

A. All applicants for an auctioneer license in S.C. must be at least eighteen years old. There are three ways to qualify for an auctioneer license in South Carolina:

  • Complete an 80-hour approved auctioneer course: Complete at least eighty (80) hours of classroom instruction in an auctioneering course at an institution approved by the Commission, submit an application packet, and pass the written examination provided by the Commission. A list of approved schools is available under the "Education" section of this website.
  • Obtain an apprentice auctioneer license : Submit an application for an apprentice auctioneer license, take and pass the apprentice examination. After passing the examination, you may then serve as an apprentice auctioneer for one year. An apprentice auctioneer must include an evaluation by his/her supervisor. You must be licensed as an apprentice auctioneer, before you can begin serving as an apprentice.
  • Reciprocity: An individual who is licensed as an auctioneer in a state that S.C. has a written reciprocal agreement may be licensed without examination. A list of reciprocal states can be found on this website under the "Licensure" section.

Q. Must I take a test to become a licensed auctioneer, apprentice auctioneer or auction firm?

You are required to take a test unless you are applying for a reciprocal license or you are licensed as an Auctioneer in this state and are the qualifying person for an auction firm license. The Commission does not reciprocate apprentice auctioneers or auction firm licenses.

Q. How often is the exam given?

A. The Auctioneers' Commission is now using PSI Exams to provide the Auctioneers' Exams. Once applicants have submitted a completed application they will receive information on how to register for the exam. Applicants will pay the fee directly to the provider.

Q. Are there a certain number of hours an apprentice must complete to be eligible for an auctioneer license?

A. Yes. S.C. Code of Regulations, Section 14.13 provides that an apprentice shall complete 80 hours of supervised training, including 40 hours of auctioneering, ten hours of auction ringing, 20 hours of clerking, and ten hours of cashiering. Such training must be completed in not less than one year.

Q. Do you have a recovery fund in your state, or do I have to provide a bond?

A. The Recovery Fund fee is $100. A bond is not required.

Q. Do I have to have an auctioneer's license to conduct a charity auction?

A. No. If you receive no compensation and all items are donated to the charity, you do not need a license.

Q. Do I have to maintain an Escrow Account?

A. A licensee who handles the proceeds of an auction must maintain a trust or escrow account if the auction proceeds are not paid to owners/consignors within 3 business days.

Q. Do I have to complete an Escrow form even though I don't maintain an escrow account?

A. Yes. All applicants are required to submit an Escrow Trust Account Affidavit. There is a section on the form for individuals seeking exemption from the escrow account requirement.

Q. How do I obtain a letter of good standing or verification of my S.C. license?

A. Requests for license verifications are done on this website under "Online Services" or https://eservice.llr.sc.gov/SSO/Login/LoginPage?ReturnUrl=%2fOnlineVerification2%2f. There is a $5 fee for each request.

Q. Is an auction firm license required?

A. Yes. A business entity such as a partnership, limited liability partnership, corporation, limited liability company, or other business association is required to obtain a firm license, including those whose partners, shareholders,etc. are all licensed auctioneers. The only firms that are exempt from firm registration are sole proprietorships, which are defined in Section 40-6-20(10) as an auction business owned in its entirety by an auctioneer.

Q. Does the Commission require Continuing Education to renew?

A. Yes. You need eight hours of commission-approved CE every two years.

Q. Do I have to send CE documentation to the Commission?

A. No, do not send any documentation of continuing education (CE) to the Commission office. All CE must be reported to CE Broker. To set up your free account with CE Broker, visit their website at https://cebroker.com/sc/plans.

Q. Does the Commission accept continuing education from other states?

A. Generally, CE approved by a reciprocal state licensing board will be accepted by S.C.. However, the CE must be obtained during the appropriate time.

Q. Which states are reciprocal with the Auctioneers' Commission?

A. The list of reciprocal states can be found here.

Q. Do I need to be a licensed auctioneer or a licensed auction firm in South Carolina to conduct online auctions?

A. Yes. If you do any facet of online auctioneering in South Carolina, you must hold a valid South Carolina auctioneer license, and if your business entity is anything other than a sole proprietorship, your business entity must hold a valid South Carolina auction firm license. This would include, but not be limited to, the following: a store front physically in South Carolina; consignments taken in South Carolina; contracts written in South Carolina; funds received on behalf of the seller or a seller is paid in South Carolina; or the property for sale in the auction is physically present in South Carolina.

Q. Is a licensed auctioneer needed for an auction firm license?

A. The auction firm must be owned or managed by a licensed auctioneer or a person that is not a licensed auctioneer but who has achieved a passing score on a written examination approved by the Commission. If the owner or qualifying party is not a licensed auctioneer, then a licensed auctioneer must be hired to handle any aspects related to auctioneering.