NY.gov Portal State Agency Listing Search all of NY.gov
D E C banner
D E C banner


The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Wildlife Rehabilitator License

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.


rehabiltator exam study guide cover image
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.

License Application

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

License Renewal

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.

Annual Reporting

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.

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)

New York Environmental Conservation Law (ECL)

Link leaves DEC website:

Additional Resources

The following links leave DEC's website:

Contact Us

Contact the Special Licenses Unit at 518-402-8985 or by e-mail for more information on the Wildlife Rehabilitator License.

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8985.
  • Contact for this Page
    Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4752
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions