Laws regarding possession of exotic animals in the US are different for every state and can change from one day to another. Owning a tegu lizard in Florida was legal up until 2021 but the animals are now banned from the pet trade and all breeding must cease by 2024.
Always double check the legality of owning a tegu or exotic animal with your state’s law officials before adopting your new pet.
If you notice that some of the information below is incorrect or outdated, feel free to tell us in the comments below and we’ll address this as soon as we can.
Please note, the information below is based on reports by other tegu pet owners and may not be 100% accurate or up-to-date.
Tegu Pet Legality by State
|Connecticut||Need a Permit|
|Idaho||Need a Permit|
|Illinois||Need a Permit|
|Indiana||Need a Permit|
|Iowa||Need a Permit|
|Missouri||Legal – must be registered|
|New Jersey||Need a Permit|
|New Mexico||Need a Permit|
|North Carolina||Need a Permit|
|North Dakota||Need a Permit|
|Ohio||Need a Permit|
|Oklahoma||Need a Permit|
|Rhode Island||Need a Permit|
|South Dakota||Need a Permit|
|Texas||Need a Permit|
|Utah||Need a Permit|
|Wisconsin||Need a Permit|
Alabama prohibits personal possession of numerous exotic animals, including tegus.
You can own a variety of exotic animals in Alaska, including lizards and any nonvenomous reptiles.
Large lizards including tegus are allowed as pets and do not require a license.
Florida banned the possession of tegus in 2021. People who owned a tegu before April 29, 2021 needed to obtain a Prohibited Species for Personal Use permit which allows to keep the pet legally for the duration of its life.
Tegu lizards are legal to own in Georgia, but they are an invasive species and it is illegal to release them in the wild. Tegus that are found in the wild can be legally trapped and killed.
Tegu lizards are prohibited as pets in the state of Hawaii and the laws are quite strict, there are no special permit that would allow a person to import or own a tegu under any circumstances.
Maine allows the keeping of tegus purchased from a dealer or pet shop as long as it’s healthy and legally acquired.
It is legal to own a tegu and you don’t need a special permit for commonly kept species (i.e. salvator and tupinambis). A permit is required for desert tegus (dicrodon species).
You may possess a “dangerous wild reptile” so long as you register it with local law enforcement.
Tegus as well as monitor lizards and most exotic reptiles are illegal to keep in the state of New York.
Tegus are only legal to keep if you have a license or permit obtained prior to August 1, 2022.
Tegus are not considered to be wild and you can keep them as pets without the need for a permit.
Because of new regulations as of May 28th, 2021 it is illegal to bring new tegus into South Carolina or to breed tegus within the state. Tegu holders need to register their pets with the Department of Natural Resources.
Tegus are in the list of Unrestricted Wild Animals and as such you can keep them as pets without a permit.
Tegu lizards are banned in Texas and considered a “dangerous wild animal”. Owners must have a certificate of registration.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.