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 reptile licensing and record-keeping system allows OEH to monitor which 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, including licensed pet shops. Under no circumstances are animals permitted to 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 lizard
- 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, the licence application must be in the name of your legal parent or guardian.
Class 2 licence
You will 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.
Documents to download
Applications and forms
Current species list (PDF, 733KB)
Contact the Wildlife Licensing and Management Unit if you have any further queries.
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Page last updated: 26 March 2013