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    Apply for a native animal keeper licence

    Information about how to apply and pay for licences to keep native animals.

    To keep a native reptile, bird, frog or mammal as a pet you need to first have a licence from the Office of Environment and Heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Service). The type of licence needed depends on the species and number of animals you want to keep.

    You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a licence to keep native animals. If you are under 16 years of age the licence application must be in the name of your legal parent/guardian.

    Some animals are only available to people who hold an advanced licence. These animal keepers have many years of experience keeping species that may be difficult and dangerous to maintain, or are of a higher conservation significance.

    You do not need a licence to keep 41 native bird species.

    Types of licences

    Companion Animal Keeper Licence

    You can only keep one animal listed as companion class on the NSW Native Animal Keepers' Species List (PDF 956KB). You must nominate the species you want at the time you apply for your licence.

    Eligibility

    Must be over 16 years of age or a parent or guardian of children under 16.

    Record keeping

    • Keep a record of when you buy your animal (including supplier's details, your details and date of purchase) to demonstrate that it has been legally sourced.
    • You do not have to submit records to OEH for animals kept under a Companion Animal Keepers Licence.

    Fee and term

    • $50 for 5 years
    • discounts available for pensioners and online applications.

    Apply

    Online

    Class 1 Native Animal Keeper Licence

    This licence covers over 300 types of native birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals listed as class 1 or ‘basic’ (birds class B1, reptiles class R1, amphibian class A1 and mammal class M1) on the NSW Native Animal Keepers' Species List (PDF 956KB).

    This licence is suitable for people with a basic knowledge of the animals and how to meet their needs. 

    Eligibility

    Must be over 16 years of age or a parent or guardian of children under 16.

    Record keeping

    Lodged annually using the native animal keeper record book.

    Fees and terms

    • $63 per class for 2 years
    • $143 per class for 5 years
    • discounts available for pensioners and online applications.

    Apply

    Online

    Advanced class Native Animal Keeper Licence

    This licence covers animals listed as ‘advanced’ class (birds class B2 and B3; reptile classes R2, R3, R4 and R5; and amphibian class A2) on the NSW Native Animal Keepers' Species List (PDF 956KB)

    Keepers of these animals usually need greater skills and a larger commitment of time and resources.

    Eligibility

    Must be over 18 years of age and have at least 2 years’ experience caring for relevant species through a lower class of licence.

    Requirements

    Read the Requirements to qualify for an advanced class licence (PDF 15KB).

    Record keeping

    Lodged annually using the native animal keeper record book.

    Fees and terms

    • $120 per class for 2 years
    • $240 per class for 5 years
    • discounts available for pensioners.

    Please allow enough time for your application to be assessed. You will be contacted if further information is needed to complete the assessment.

    Application form

    Online applications are currently not available for advanced class keepers.

    Apply for a licence

    Online 

    You can apply online for a Companion Animal Keeper Licence or a Class 1 Native Animal Keeper Licence using the NSW Government Licensing Service. To apply for an upgrade licence (i.e. from class 1 or 'basic'), you must download and submit an application form.

    New applicants need to register with the site before completing the online application.

    Make sure you:

    • use capital letters when entering your name, for example John William Smith
    • enter your phone number details in the format 0295856401 or 0401000000 for mobile numbers (no spaces)
    • enter your address accurately using the Quick Address System provided by NSW Government Licensing Service.

    If you apply online you receive a 15% discount on the current standard licence fee. Pensioners receive an additional 10% discount.

    Apply online

    By phone, email or post

    You can apply for your licence by:

    Please allow a minimum of 21 working days for your licence to be processed. 

    A 10% discount is available for pensioners. No other discounts apply.

    How will I know if my application has been successful?

    If you applied for a companion animal licence or an animal keeper licence (class 1) online you should receive your licence and your transaction receipt in separate emails within 48 hours.

    If you applied by mail, it takes up to 21 working days for your application to be processed. You will receive your licence by mail.

    If your licence has not arrived after 21 days, contact the Wildlife Team.

    Give them your name, date of birth and the date you applied.

    Please note that the Office of Environment and Heritage reviews all applications for animal keeper licences for compliance and enforcement purposes.

    As soon as you receive your licence, read it thoroughly to check all the details are correct and that you understand the licence conditions.

    If there are any errors, contact the Wildlife Team.

    Contact us

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