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Crested Geckos Legalities: 7 States That Allow

Crested Geckos Legalities: 7 States That Allow

The Crested Gecko’s name comes because it’s covered with spiny reptilian scales to protect. Additionally, it has a collection of spikes beneath its cheeks. These are for protection and are often shaped like the appearance of a beard.

The crested Gecko is distinguished by its gentle but curious nature and general activity throughout the daylight hours. In essence, they are found naturally in large portions of the southern part of America & Mexico as they are more suited to warm and arid environments. But, Are Crested Geckos Legal as pets?

They can live most effectively in Savannah and woodlands, deserts, and scablands. Their natural survival strategy is to hide beneath the ground to hide from predators. They are also arboreal. They can be found on trees and fence posts.

Crested Geckos Legalities: Where are Crested Geckos Illegal?

where are crested geckos illegal
where are crested geckos illegal

The Crested Gecko is indigenous to the southern part of New Caledonia. This species is allowed to possess throughout the world and is widely loved as pets by many. It is also unlawful to buy, own or sell or sell a Crested Gecko in Hawaii. This is one of the states that have laws restricting the breeding, buying, and selling of Crested Gecko.

The rules have been created to ensure the Crested Geckos can’t be bought from or moved into the mainland. These laws also include Amnesty provisions. According to this clause, those who own the possession of a Crested Gecko living on the island can securely deliver it to authorities without being afraid of persecution.

This applies to animals that are acquired either illegally or legally. The penalty for anyone caught going against this legislation is a fine of up to $200,000 or up to three years in prison (source). Internationally, Singapore is one of the countries that have steric laws against the keeping of Crested Geckos. This is done to stop importing these animals into Singapore or being bred and sold in the local market.

Why Are Crested Geckos Illegal?

The most important aspect of an ecosystem is equilibrium. This makes sure that a single species doesn’t dominate the others. It prevents species from expanding unchecked and overpopulating. The consequence is typically the loss of resources, other species, and ultimately the failure of the ecosystem.

Consequently, every species is a catalyst for expansion in the form of food and an inhibitor of overpopulation in the form of predators. The predators feed off the species, thus keeping its population to a sustainable minimum. The Crested Gecko also has to fight off predators, including goannas, prey birds, and dingoes.

The three animal groups can eat Crested Geckos, ensuring that their populations do not grow to unsustainable numbers. In Australia, these predators are prevalent and flourishing. Therefore, their population is controlled. Crested Gecko is managed. But in other locations such as Hawaii and Singapore, These predators can’t survive.

This implies that should Crested Geckos become let out into the wild; they will increase in size and frequency without being controlled. It would lead to their excessive population, eventually wiping out the native species. The Crested Geckos are a prey species, feeding on tiny birds and their eggs.

If allowed to grow unchecked, their population growth will eventually put the whole ecological balance of the island in danger. The balance between food and prey is likely to be disturbed, and the food supply would be at risk of extinction.

Aside from this, Crested Geckos live for 7 to 15 years and require continuous attention throughout their life. They need a vast enough enclosure to move around and climb up and burrow. The control of temperature is also essential because of being cold-blooded nature.

They require a varied diet and knowing when and how best to administer it. As a pet, they can be pretty demanding to maintain. This is why some areas do not allow their care, as they believe that most people can’t properly care for them.

Do You Need a Permit to Keep Crested Geckos?

do you need a permit to keep crested geckos
do you need a permit to keep crested geckos

In the United States, in many states, except Hawaii, it is mandatory to obtain a permit to keep the Crested Gecko as a pet. The laws on licenses are implemented to ensure that the source of pets is known. It is also an opportunity to ensure that Licensed sellers sell Crested Geckos.

They are licensed to care for them and properly give them the correct vaccinations. The minimum age required to get a license is 16 years old. Anyone younger than this must have the approval of a parent or guardian to obtain the permit. There are states where it is possible to purchase them without a permit. These are:

  • Idaho
  • North Carolina
  • Alabama
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin

Interesting Further Reading

In these states, the laws on exotic animal exploitation are in place to prevent brutality or abuse that is the Crested Gecko.

Can you travel with your Pet within the United States In states where it is not legal?

It is not recommended to take your Pet to States where it’s unlawful to breed or own them. This is due to the customs authorities. Suppose you travel by roads or any other transportation method that allows you to travel across states without having to go through an inspection.

In that case, It is your responsibility to make sure that the Pet remains in the condition where you can legally own it. If you do not disclose the Pet, it is similar to trafficking, which can make you vulnerable to legal persecution.

To stay on the safe part of the lawful line, It is best to avoid taking the Pet to any illegal location. If you’re unsure that you are, it is recommended to look up your state’s Department of Agriculture regulations concerning the animal you are considering.


It is believed that the Crested Gecko is an excellent pet for most global areas. However, in some states, this is not the situation. You must possess the appropriate documentation and could even be subjected to inspections. Therefore, it is advisable to contact your local authorities and conduct thorough research before purchasing a pet. If you are planning to travel outside of the state, it’s best to verify the legality of the transport of your animal before traveling.