Reptile keeper's licence

All lizards, snakes and turtles are protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act and it is against the law to take them from the wild. You can get a licence from the NPWS to keep captive-bred reptiles as pets.

Please note that non-native exotic reptile species such as corn snakes and red-eared slider turtles are not permitted to be kept as pets in NSW

Getting an animal keeper's licence to keep reptiles

If you wish to keep reptiles, you must get a licence from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). The OEH reptile licensing and record-keeping system allows us to monitor what reptile species are being kept, bred and traded amongst enthusiasts.

People who hold a licence can obtain reptiles from other people who legally hold them, but they are not allowed to be sold through pet shops and must not be taken from the wild. There are two classes of reptile keeper licences:

Class 1 licence

A Class 1 licence authorises you to keep most of the common species that are easy to look after. A person with just a basic knowledge of the needs of reptiles should have no difficulty meeting the needs of these species.

Some of the animals which can be kept under a Class 1 licence are:

  • eastern snake-necked turtle
  • eastern water dragon
  • eastern bearded dragon
  • common bluetongue
  • children's python
  • carpet python.

An applicant must be over 16 years of age to apply for a Native Animal Keepers’ Licence. If you are under 16 years of age and interested in keeping native animals as pets, you still can, however, the licence application must be in the name of your legal parent/guardian.

Class 2 licence

You'll need a Class 2 licence if you want to keep species that are difficult to keep, rare in the wild or dangerous venomous snakes. A person with a Class 2 licence can also keep Class 1 species.

The Class 2 licence is only available to people who are over the age of 18 years who have had at least two years experience in caring for Class 1 reptiles. Some of the species that can be kept under a class 2 licence include:

  • lace monitor
  • frilled lizard.

Additional criteria need to be met before venomous species may be kept. The venomous snakes in this licence class are grouped into three sub-categories and the most dangerous species can be kept only by the more experienced keepers. 


reptile licence form

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