Rhode Island

Regulatory Agency

Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife

  • General Information: (401)-222-4700
  • Education Office: (401)-539-0019
  • Great Swamp Field Headquarters: (401)-789-7481

License Details


There is a $25 fee associated with this permit

License Duration

Permits are valid for one year, January 1st to December 31st

How to Apply

  • Submit a complete application provided by the DEM
  • Pass an exam with a score of at least 80% regarding regulations and the State Manual. This exam is administered by the DEM
    • The exam is based on, but not limited to, the Nuisance Wildlife Control Specialist Handbook
    • Handbooks are available from the Division of Fish and Wildlife Great Swamp field Headquarters. Handbooks are $7.50 if picked up or $11.00 by mail.
    • The exam is offered at the Great Swamp Field Office at 277 Great Neck Road, West Kingston, RI by appointment only.
    • A person who fails the written examination may retake the examination one additional time after 60 days but not again for six months if failing the test the second time
  • Include a current copy of your trapping license
    • Trapping license can be obtained from the DEM Office of Boating Registration and Licensing, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI. (401)-222-6647

Renewal and Reporting

Permits must be renewed annually. Those who are renewing their permits do not need to retake the exam if they passed it the first time. The permit fee must be paid each year.

The DFW will issue reporting forms. All control activities must be recorded. Reports must be submitted for the previous year no later than January 1st

Laws and Regulations

  • This permit allows the control of the following species: striped skunk, opossum, raccoon, red fox, gray fox, coyote, bats, moles, muskrat, gray squirrel, red squirrel, southern flying squirrel, chipmunk, woodchuck, rats, mice, voles, cottontail rabbits, weasels, mink, pigeon, starling, English sparrow, monk parakeet, snapping turtle, and snakes.
  • Municipal animal control officers, when acting as an agent for the municipality, on land owned or leased by the municipality, shall be exempted from the permit and examination requirements of these regulations.
  • Municipal animal control officers, when acting as an agent for the municipality in response to situations involving potentially rabid animals within their communities, are exempted from NWCS permit requirements.
  • Those persons who possess a current certification from the R.I. DEM Division of Agriculture for a Category 7a or 7d pesticide applicators license shall be exempt from the NWCS permit requirements for the purposes of performing wildlife control services for mice, Norway rats, English sparrows, pigeons, and starlings

Laws Regarding Translocation

Translocation of any nuisance mammal captured alive is prohibited. Mammals captured alive must be euthanized in a humane manner or released on the site of capture.

The transportation of captured animals to an off-site location for the purpose of euthanization or rehabilitation is permitted.

Any captured animal showing symptoms of disease must be euthanized.

Trap Tags

Traps must have a metal tag attached with, at a minimum, the trapper’s name and address

Hunting and Trapping License

A hunting license is not required to obtain this permit. However, if a firearm is to be used to remove animals, a hunting license or a DEM Pistol/Revolver Certification Card (Blue Card) is required.

A trapping license is required to obtain this permit