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Recreational wildlife licence

How to apply


To hold a Recreational wildlife licence (RWL), you must be at least 13 years of age. However, you can have someone that lives with you who is over the age of 13 such as a parent or older sibling apply and hold the animal in their name until you are 13 and can apply for a licence. You and your legal guardian must live at the same address where you will keep the wildlife. Both your name and your legal guardian’s name will appear on the licence, but you will still be the licence holder.

An RWL cannot be issued if you have a criminal conviction that relates to animal welfare issues within the past 10 years.

An RWL allows you to keep legally obtained wildlife for personal use for up to 5 years. After this 5 year period you will need to reapply for the licence.

Licence types and fees

The requirements for obtaining an RWL will vary depending upon the species you wish to keep.

  • Standard RWL
    A standard RWL allows you to keep unlimited controlled, commercial and recreational animals. These animals are usually fairly easy to keep and you do not need a lot of experience to get a licence. You can also keep up to two restricted birds, reptiles or amphibians. If you wish to keep more restricted animals you will need to apply for a restricted RWL.

    It will cost $78.60 for this RWL.

  • International RWL
    An international RWL allows you to keep the international sub-species of the eclectus parrot and the green python. You will need to be 18 years or older to hold this licence. You may also keep any bird, reptile or amphibian allowed under a standard licence.

    It will cost $95.95 for this RWL. If you already hold a standard licence, you will only need to pay $17.35.

  • Restricted RWL
    For restricted animals (including restricted reptiles) applicants need to be 18 years old or older. You will need to demonstrate considerable experience in handling and husbandry of wildlife. You may also keep any bird, reptile or amphibian allowed under a standard licence.

    It will cost $314.80 for this RWL. If you already hold a standard licence, you will only need to pay $236.20.

    For information on all related fees view the schedule of fees (PDF, 61KB) on the EHP website.
    There may also be other fees associated with doing business online using Connect.

Apply for a licence

There are two ways to apply for an RWL—online or by use of a paper-based form.

The Department of Environment and Science's (DES’s) online licensing system, Connect, allows you to apply online for new wildlife licences quicker and easier.

As a Connect customer you can:

  • update and manage your contact, address and business information online
  • complete applications and instantly submit online
  • make online payments via credit card
  • have access to online lodgement of annual returns.

You can learn more about Connect or view these tutorials.

  1. Apply online (via the Connect licensing system)
    To apply for any recreational wildlife licence, please register with Connect or log in to Connect if already registered.

    Important note
    If you currently hold an RWL granted under the Nature Conservation Act 1992 before Connect commenced, your existing licence information will not be available in Connect, either immediately or in the future. Only new applications processed under Connect will be available.
    Your child cannot apply for an RWL using Connect, as a customer on the system must be aged 18 years or older. However, you could consider applying via Connect for the licence in your name, noting your child as an additional operator (must be aged at least 13 years). Alternatively, your child is able to use the paper-based application form noting him/her as the proposed licensee and you as the supervising parent/guardian.

  2. Apply offline (using a paper-based form)
    Applications will still be accepted outside this online system (Please complete the Recreational wildlife licence application form (DOC, 181KB). However, paper-based applications will not have the benefits associated with transacting online, and incomplete information will be returned to you for review and resubmission.

Need to learn more?

Read the frequently asked questions about recreational wildlife licensing or view the following tutorials:

Application processing time

Your licence must be granted before you can keep wildlife. Assessment of your application can take up to 40 business days, however can be significantly reduced if:

  • you apply for a ‘standard’ RWL online using Connect. Connect will guide you in providing all required information and will assess if eligible to be granted. If so, your licence will be issued immediately online by Connect.

    Some licences will not be issued immediately online as they may require manual assessment. After applying, you will be contacted via email notifying of the assessment outcome. These licences include:
    • RWL for restricted birds
    • RWL for international birds
    • RWL for restricted reptiles and amphibians
    • RWL for international reptiles and amphibians
    • RWL for an organisation.
  • all required information is provided as part of the application process. When using Connect an application will be considered invalid if required information has not been submitted. Similarly, paper-based applications with incomplete information will be returned to you for review and resubmission.

Apply online

Before applying for an RWL please read the eligibility requirements.

Apply online using Connect

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia (CC BY 3.0)
Last updated
15 January 2018
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