Becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator

Thank you for your interest in becoming a licensed Georgia wildlife rehabilitator. Your interest in Georgia's wildlife is appreciated.

In order to become a rehabilitator, you must first score a minimum of 80 points on a rehabilitator's exam consisting of 100 questions. The exam may be taken at the DNR Special Permit Unit office in Social Circle, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. with a previous appointment. If you live some distance from Social Circle, it is possible to arrange to take the exam at one of our field offices.

If you need to make special arrangements, please call the Special Permit Unit at (770) 761-3044.

The exam questions pertain to the diagnosis and treatment of common injuries and diseases, care of orphaned wildlife, facility requirements, and recommended diets. In order to prepare for the exam, it is recommended, but not required, that you obtain the following study guides which can then serve as reference books to assist you in future rehabilitation efforts. The exam is based largely upon the following publications:

  • "Principles of Wildlife Rehabilitation: The Essential Guide for Novice and Experienced Rehabilitators"


  • "Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation"

The documents are available from the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association, 2625 Clearwater Rd., Suite 110, St. Cloud, MN 56301, (320) 230-9920,

Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation can also be downloaded from International Wildlife Rehabilitation Councils web page:

After you have acquired and reviewed these study materials - or whenever you feel sufficiently prepared - you should contact the Special Permit Unit to make arrangements to take the exam. If you fail to pass the exam, you must wait thirty days before attempting it again.

Once you have passed the exam, the next step is to prepare your facilities for inspection. When your facilities are ready for inspection, submit your license application to the Special Permit Unit. We will then arrange for someone to inspect your holding, treatment, and rehabilitation areas. Upon approval of your facilities, the permit will be issued.

Wildlife rehabilitation permits are annual and are valid April 1 to March 31 of the next year. You will receive annual notices requesting a copy of the records you maintain on animals received for care. You will also receive a reminder when your permit is due for renewal.

If you have any questions on becoming a wildlife rehabilitator, or when you are ready to take the rehab exam, contact the Special Permit Unit at (770) 918-6408. Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit Application Form