A Restricted Species Permit is required for the possession, importation, transportation, sale, transfer, and exportation of certain restricted exotic species in North Carolina. The list of restricted species includes the following:
Possession of Restricted Wildlife:
It is unlawful for any individual to import, transport, export, purchase, possess, sell, transfer, or release into public or private waters or onto lands of the State any species of:
The NC Wildlife Resources Commission may, by permit, authorize importation, transportation, exportation, purchase, possession, sale, or transfer of the above-listed species for the following entities, subject to the listed Conditions and Restrictions.
Retail and Wholesale Establishments:
Importation, possession, sale, transfer, transportation, and exportation of these species within North Carolina, by retail and wholesale establishments whose primary business is providing scientific supplies for research, shall be allowed by permit, provided the following conditions are met:
Government Agencies and Research Institutions:
Purchase, importation, possession, transfer, transportation, and exportation of these species within North Carolina shall be allowed by permitted state and federal governmental agencies, corporate research entities, and research institutions, provided the following conditions are met:
Private individuals in possession of a live specimen(s) of Red-eared Slider(s) (Trachemys scripta elegans) prior to Aug. 1, 2018, under a restricted species permit may retain, transport, transfer, or export the animal(s) in their possession.
Private individuals in possession of a live specimen(s) of Argentine Black and White Tegu(s) (Salvator merianae or Tupinambis merianae) prior to Aug. 1, 2022, under a restricted species permit may retain, transport, transfer, or export the animal(s) in their possession.
Possession of Prohibited Fishes:
It is unlawful to transport, purchase, possess, sell, or stock in the public or private waters of North Carolina any live individuals of:
Download the current Limitations on Certain Exotic Species rules from the North Carolina Office of Administrative Hearings:
Complete an online application at Go Outdoors North Carolina. Once your online application has been submitted, the appropriate staff will review the application. If your application is approved, you will receive an approval email with a link to purchase the permit. You must purchase the approved license within 30 days of approval. This permit has a $10 permit fee plus a $5.00 transaction fee payable by a Visa or MasterCard. All permit fees are non-refundable.
Facilities open to the public for education may apply for a permit to collect, receive, and possess any of the species listed above, provided the following conditions are met:
Fill out a completed Restricted Species Permit Application and submit it to the Commission address listed at the bottom of the application form. There is a $10 fee for this permit, make check or money order payable to NC Wildlife Resources Commission.
All permit fees are non-refundable.
Restricted Species Permit Application (PDF)