Wildlife Rehabilitator License
August 8, 2014: Wildlife rehabilitator license exam scheduled. Exam registration forms must be submitted by July 25. Exam registration form and study materials are available on this page.
The Wildlife Rehabilitator License authorizes New York State residents to possess injured wildlife and provide them with necessary aid so they can be returned to the wild.
How to Get a Wildlife Rehabilitator License
You must be at least 16 years old to apply for a Wildlife Rehabilitator License; however, you may take the examination at any age.
Download the exam study guide (PDF) (2 MB)
and practice exam booklet (PDF) (1.2 MB) to
prepare for the exam
The first step to becoming a wildlife rehabilitator is to take and pass the license examination. Details on the exam are provided below.
- Exam Fee: $0
- Exam Dates and Locations: Exams are held on the second Friday of April and August each year at most DEC offices statewide. Exams start at 10 AM, unless noted otherwise.
- Exam Registration: To sign up for the exam, complete and submit the Wildlife Rehabilitator Exam Registration Form (PDF) (146 KB) at least two weeks prior to the exam date.
- Exam Study Materials: Both the study guide and practice exam manual can be downloaded for free from the following links:
A license application and instructions will be sent by mail after you have passed the exam. Follow the instructions to complete the application and any additional required documents. You will be required to interview with a DEC Regional Wildlife Office. Information on the interview will be provided in your application packet.
Application/License Fee: $0
Current Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators
Licenses expire on December 31, every 5th year after the license was issued. A renewal form will be sent to you by mail prior to your license expiration.
Log and Tally Forms
Log and Tally forms must be submitted annually by December 1. If you did not rehabilitate wildlife during the year, you are still required to submit a Tally form.
- Wildlife Rehabilitator Log Form (PDF) (162 KB)
- Wildlife Rehabilitator Tally Form (PDF) (223 KB)
- Wildlife Rehabilitator Log & Tally Instructions (PDF) (96 KB)
Rabies Vector Species (RVS) Forms - for RVS License Holders Only
The following forms must be completed for rabies vector animals in your care. Forms must be submitted annually by December 1.
Applicable Laws and Regulations
New York Codes Rules and Regulations (6NYCRR)
- Part 175: Special Licenses and Permits - Definitions and Uniform Procedures
- Part 184: Wildlife Rehabilitators
- Part 189: Chronic Wasting Disease
New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)
Link leaves DEC website:
- New York State Wildlife Rehabilitator Contact List - statewide contact list of rehabilitators with information on the type of wildlife they can care for.
- Care of Young Wildlife - Information on what to do if you come across young wildlife that appear abandoned or orphaned.
The following links leave DEC's website:
- New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council - The Wildlife Rehabilitator License Exam is typically held at the NYSWRC conference each fall. To take the exam at this conference, please contact DEC's Special Licenses Unit.
- National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
Contact the Special Licenses Unit at 518-402-8985 or by e-mail for more information on the Wildlife Rehabilitator License.