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Recreational wildlife licence

How to apply

Eligibility

To hold a Recreational wildlife licence (RWL), you must be at least 13 years of age. However, a licence may be issued to a minor (aged between 13 and 17 years of age) only if the minor and the minors’ legal guardian live at the same address where the wildlife will be kept and the guardian agrees to supervise the child’s activities under the licence. The guardian and the minor must both complete and sign the RWL ‘under 18’ application form (DOC, 362KB).

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 or related conservation matters within the past 3 years, an assessing officer will make this determination with you.

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 a limited number of controlled, commercial and recreational animals. You will need to be 18 years or older (unless you have a legal guardian) to have this licence. 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.
    View examples of animals covered under a standard licence.

    It will cost $83.15 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 (unless you have a legal guardian) to hold this licence. You may also keep any bird, reptile or amphibian allowed under a standard licence.
    View examples of animals covered under an international licence.

    It will cost $101.50 for this RWL. If you already hold a standard licence, you will only need to pay $18.35.

  • 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 including other requirements if you wish to keep venomous snakes. You may also keep any bird, reptile or amphibian allowed under a standard licence.
    View examples of animals covered under a restricted licence.

    It will cost $332.95 for this RWL. If you already hold a standard licence, you will only need to pay $249.80.

    For information on all related fees view the schedule of fees (PDF, 156KB).
    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.

Unfortunately, at this stage under 18 RWL’s can only be applied for via a ‘paper-based’ form (DOC, 362KB).

As a Connect customer you can:

  • update and manage your contact details and address online
  • complete applications and instantly submit online
  • make online payments via credit card.

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 (DOC, 362KB) 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) or RWL ‘under 18’ application form (DOC, 362KB). 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’ or 'international' 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, reptiles and amphibians (including venomous and non-venomous snakes)
  • 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.

In this guide:

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

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