Wildlife rehabilitation

Nongame wildlife specialists

Wildlife rehabilitation permits


How to apply for your permit

Before applying for your own permit, it is strongly recommended that you take introductory wildlife rehabilitation training courses, and get hands-on experience as a volunteer working with practicing rehabilitators. Your wildlife rehabilitation training and hands-on experience with animals will insure the welfare of animals in your care.Raccoon peeking around a tree.




To obtain a DNR wildlife rehabilitation permit you must:

  1. Contact the Regional Nongame Wildlife Specialist (links are in the left navigation of this page) in your area for information on how to schedule an exam.
  2. Take and pass the written examination for your class of permit.
  3. Complete a permit application form and forward to your Regional Nongame Wildlife Specialist. (See the links in the green box at right.)
  4. Pass the Facility Inspection.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit Renewal

If you wish to renew your current class permit, submit a permit renewal form PDF along with the following information to Nongame Wildlife Program, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, 55155, prior to your permit's expiration date:

A facility inspection is required once during every other permit renewal period, or a change of facility location, or upon application for a higher level permit.


Classes of wildlife rehabilitation permitees

(NOTE: All permitees must comply with all local, state and federal rules and regulations governing wildlife rehabilitation. The following is a brief summary of the wildlife rehabilitation regulations and the levels of qualifications. For the complete laws, consult Minnesota Rules Chapter 6244 and Federal Statutes 50-CRF.)

Novice Class

General Class

Master Class

Requirements common to all permit classes


Mentoring program

Master class permittees helping novices
Novice class permit holders are required to have a master class permittee as a mentor. This is to ensure that novices will have an experienced rehabilitator to whom they can turn to answer questions, teach them various techniques, and provide direction in dealing with problems. A letter of recommendation from the mentor is needed in order for a novice to advance to the general class permit level.

Young squirrels in a rehabilitation center. Veterinary consultant

DNR rules require all wildlife rehabilitation permit holders to have a licensed veterinary consultant. Beyond meeting the regulatory requirement, it is critical for the welfare of animals undergoing rehabilitation that permit holders have a good working relationship with their veterinary consultant. To a large extent, the quality of care you will be able to provide animals will depend on your choice of a veterinary consultant and the working relationship you maintain with that person.


Possession of Endangered, Threatened and Special Concern species

Continuing Education

Persons wishing to renew their permits will be required to first complete a certain amount of continuing education. Also, advancement to a higher class of permit (e.g., novice class to general class) requires completion of continuing education while in the lower class. Such continuing education is to help insure that permit holders keep current on changes and developments in wildlife rehabilitation and animal care in order to insure that they are handling and treating animals in a humane manner based on the most current knowledge in the field.

Record Keeping

All permittees are required to keep complete and up to date records on forms provided by the DNR. A copy of each year's record must be submitted to the department by January 31 of each year.