Recreational wildlife licence

Frequent questions

Where can I find information about keeping recreational wildlife?

The Queensland Government website contains links to important documents that you should read to ensure that you understand your legal requirements. We recommend that you read the relevant information and the Code of Practice for Aviculture (PDF, 105KB) and Code of Practice for Captive reptile and amphibian husbandry (PDF, 280KB).

Where do I find information about the legislation relating to keeping recreational wildlife?

Find out about your legal obligations by reading the material on the DES website or the Nature Conservation Act 1992, the Nature Conservation (Wildlife Management) Regulation 2006 and the Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulation 2006. Copies of the legislation are available from the Office of Queensland Parliamentary Counsel website.

How many animals can I keep with a standard recreational wildlife licence?

A standard recreational wildlife licence (RWL) allows you to keep a limited number of controlled, commercial and recreational birds and/or reptiles and amphibians. You are also able to keep up to two restricted birds, reptiles or amphibians on a standard licence.

What do I need to do if I am between 13 and 18 years of age?

If you are between the ages of 13 and 18 and you want to apply for a RWL, you will be required to complete the RWL under 18 application with your legal guardian. You and your legal guardian must live at the same address where you will keep the wildlife and your guardian must agree to supervise your activities under the licence. Both your name and your legal guardian’s name will appear on the licence, but you will still be the licence holder.

You may apply offline by completing the specific paper application form (DOC, 362KB) and submitting it with the prescribed fee to the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

Note that the DES licensing platform Connect will not authorise a person aged less than 18 years to register to use the system.

How can I keep restricted and international animals?

To purchase and keep restricted and international birds, reptiles and amphibians you must apply for a RWL with an additional endorsement for a restricted or international animal. An international endorsement can be applied for online with an additional fee added to the standard fee. A restricted endorsement for animals however will require extra assessment by DES and also includes an additional fee.

How can I apply for a licence?

Please visit How to apply.

Will it cost me more to buy a licence online and is GST included?

A licence will cost the same whether it is purchased online or by submitting a paper based form. GST is not payable. Note, however that a small user charge applies to the use of the DES’s online licensing system Connect, where a licence is granted. Read more about this in the Connect frequently asked questions.

How long will it take to get my licence?

In most cases your licence will be issued electronically as soon as payment has been processed. More complex applications will need to be manually assessed by a DES officer. Some common reasons for manual assessment include:

  • if the application is for more than two restricted wildlife
  • if you are moving wildlife from interstate.

Do I need to purchase a record book?

If you do not already have a useable record book, you must purchase or download one with your recreational wildlife licence, purchased books will be forwarded to your postal address. A DES officer may ask to see your record book to verify the origin of your animals. Visit the Your responsibilities page to find out how to order record books.

When will I need a movement advice?

A movement advice is required when an animal is sold from either a private recreational wildlife licence holder or a pet shop. Only one movement advice is required per transaction, regardless of the number or types of animals that are being purchased/sold. The seller usually provides the movement advice unless you are buying an animal from interstate, then you must complete the movement advice.

How will I receive my licence if I apply through Connect?

Your licence will be supplied in a PDF format. It will be available on your Connect dashboard or you may save it for future records. You will receive your licence via email as your email address will be recorded with your customer account details.

What paper can I use to print my licence?

The licence generated is a legal document and therefore you are required to print it out on plain white paper.

Will I receive a receipt confirmation number in Connect?

If your transaction is successful, you will receive a receipt confirmation number at the time of transaction as well as via email to the address you have provided. The receipt will also be available in the summary screen in the documents section of your application.

How soon can I keep birds/reptiles or amphibians after I have bought my licence online?

You can keep the animal(s) identified on your licence as soon as you have received your licence.

Note: RWL's cannot be backdated. Your licence will list the ‘valid from’ date and an expiry date.

Can I choose the start date of my licence?

When applying by hardcopy application or directly in Connect your start date will be the date of your application lodgement as entered in Connect.

Note: For new clients the licence commencement date will always be the date that the application is granted.

I have not received my licence via email. Why?

It may take a few minutes for your licence to be sent to your email inbox. Please check your email security settings as your email software or service provider may be blocking emails with attachments like your licence email.

Note: If you do not receive an email within 24 hours please contact DES on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

Who do I contact if I am having any questions about buying a licence?

If you have questions about what licence to buy, contact the Department of Environment and Science on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

Once my permit is issued what happens if I change my residential address?

If you have applied for a standard or international RWL and have been issued a permit directly by Connect you are able to edit your customer details with the new address directly in Connect, a new permit with the new address will be issued and available to you on your dashboard. However if you have a restricted RWL you may change your address as above but it will go to an assessment officer for approval. Please contact DES on 1300 130 372 (Option 4).

In this guide:

  1. How to apply
  2. Your responsibilities
  3. Moving wildlife
  4. Species licence search
  5. Frequent questions

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