1. Eastern painted turtles Chrysemys picta picta, and Snapping turtles Chelydra serpentina may be possessed in this state without a permit. A permit shall be required for any other exotic reptiles.
2. Possession of Bog Turtles Glyptemys muhlenbergii and all Sea Turtles is forbidden.
3. A turtle that was legally purchased outside the state of New Jersey is allowed as long as you have an “Exotic And Non-Game Wildlife Species Possession Permit”, commonly know as a “Hobby Permit”, and some sort of receipt proving where the animal came from.
4. In the state of New Jersey, it is completely LEGAL to keep and breed native species of turtles. A hobbyist permit that is obtainable from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, is required to do so and for $10 a year you may keep an unlimited number of animals at your residence. This includes the Eastern Box turtle, Spotted turtle, Northern Red Bellied turtle, Red Eared slider, Common Musk Turtle, Eastern Mud turtle, Northern Map turtle, Eastern Spiny Soft shelled turtle and even the threatened North American Wood turtle. This excludes the endangered Bog turtle. The Eastern painted turtle as well as the Common Snapping turtle DO NOT require any kind of permit to be possessed in NJ.
5. See below (under commercial) for restrictions concerning the sale of turtles
6. Diamondback Terrapins may not be taken from the wild but may be possessed with a permit provided the animal was purchased from out of state and the buyer has paperwork to prove purchase.
TAKING FROM THE WILD
1. Except for the Common Snapping Turtle, it is unlawful to take any reptile from the wild.
2. Up to 3 Snapping Turtles per day may be taken by means of spears, hooks, dip nets, traps or by hand between Jun 16 – Apr 30 with a valid fishing license. Snapping turtles may not be taken with a gun or bow and arrow. They may not be sold.
3. There shall be no open season on Diamondback Terrapins as of 7/15/16.
1. Harvest of snapping turtles in excess of the daily limit from specified fresh waters are allowed with a commercial harvest permit.
2. An Animal Dealer/Wholesale License is required to be able to sell turtles legally in New Jersey. However, turtles and tortoises cannot be sold within the state of NJ. All transactions must be made to individuals residing outside of the state. Trades and giveaways are however permitted inside the state. Whether you are applying for just a hobbyist permit or an Animal Dealer License so you can sell, you must be able to prove that the animals you are acquiring have not been collected from the wild, especially from New Jersey. All turtles and tortoises obtained must come with a receipt to show proof that the animal came from a source where it was not collected but bred in captivity.