Reptiles & Amphibians Reptiles & Amphibians
Gopher snake

Obtain a collection permit for reptiles and amphibians

The process is simple, and the permit is good for 365 days.

You need a herpetology collection permit (or "collection permit" for short) in order to collect many species of reptiles and amphibians from the wild in Utah. Here are the steps to follow if you want to obtain a collection permit:

  1. Determine whether you need a collection permit.
  2. Pass the online Utah Reptile and Amphibian Orientation Course.
  3. Purchase the $10 collection permit.
  4. Renew the permit every 365 days, if desired.

Determine whether you need a collection permit or a certificate of registration

You need a collection permit in order to capture and possess most Utah reptiles and amphibians that fall into the Controlled category. (See the Species tables for detailed species lists.)

For some controlled species — such as rattlesnakes — you need a different document, called a certificate of registration (COR). You also need a COR if you plan to collect and keep reptiles or amphibians for commercial, educational or scientific purposes. To obtain a COR for any of these reasons, please call Anita Candelaria at 801-538-4701.

No permit necessary

If you plan to just look for reptiles and amphibians in the wild, and then observe and enjoy them — without removing them from the collection site or taking them home — you do not need a collection permit.

In Utah, it is legal to capture and temporarily possess most reptiles and amphibians for photography purposes or in-hand identification, so long as they are not transported away from the site where they were captured. Only handle the animal for the minimum amount of time necessary to photograph or identify it.

Prohibited species

The following species are exceptions to the information above. It is prohibited to capture or touch them without additional permits from the DWR and/or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

  • Desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii)
  • All species of rattlesnakes
  • Gila monsters (Heloderma suspectum)

Pass the online orientation course

The online orientation course includes educational material about Utah’s reptile and amphibian species, herpetology, conservation, ethical collection practices, safety and much more. You need to take and pass the course before you can obtain a collection permit.

Take the course now

The course includes an exam. To successfully complete the course, you must score at least 75% on the exam. Once you receive the course’s certificate of completion — which is valid for three calendar years — you can obtain a collection permit or certificate of registration.

Purchase the collection permit

After you successfully complete the course, you can purchase the herpetology collection permit online, from a license agent or by visiting any DWR office.

To purchase the permit online, you must:

  1. Visit the sales portion of the DWR website.
  2. Log in to your customer account or set up a new account.
  3. Select “Other” from the list of Available Licenses/Permits on the right side of the page.
  4. Select “Herpetology Collection Permit” from the list.
  5. Pay the $10 permit fee.
  6. Print your permit at home or wait to receive a copy in the mail.

After you purchase the permit, you can also download the free Utah Hunting and Fishing app and store an electronic version of the permit on your phone.

Renew the permit each year

The herpetology collection permit is valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. If you store your permit on the Utah Hunting and Fishing app, you’ll be able to easily see when it expires. (The permit border color changes from green to red in the app.)

Remember, it is your responsibility to verify that your permit is still valid before you go collect reptiles and amphibians. Take a close look the permit and make sure it hasn't expired.

If it has expired, you can select the "Purchase License" button under the fishing or hunting categories in the app to purchase a new license.

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