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How to Research the Laws Regarding Monkeys as Pets

| Updated September 26, 2017

How to Research the Laws Regarding Monkeys as Pets. Because monkeys are wild animals, most states have regulations and laws regarding pet monkey ownership. Before you consider getting a monkey as a pet you should research the laws of your area regarding monkeys as pets. Double-check the laws of your area frequently. Laws can change without warning. Read on to learn more.

Research State Laws Regarding Monkeys as Pets

Visit the Pet Monkey website to see a map showing state regulations regarding ownership of pet monkeys (see Resources below).

Apply for a permit to own a monkey if you live in Delaware, Idaho, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon or South Dakota. All of these states require that you apply for a permit before you purchase a monkey.

Pay a fee to own a pet monkey legally in Nevada. Typically, no permit is required, but remember to check with county and city requirements.

Check with the Department of Wildlife in certain states before purchasing a monkey. Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi and Tennessee ban some monkey breeds, but allow ownership of others.

Apply for an importation permit to bring monkeys as pets into New Mexico.

Read that 19 states currently have absolute bans on ownership, sales and importation of pet monkeys. California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming all ban private monkey ownership.

Read California's Wild Animal code to find that owning, importing and possessing monkeys is illegal in the entire state. Exceptions are only granted to zoos, museums and universities after a hearing and issuance of a permit.

Get bonded to own a monkey in Hawaii. Bonding requires a background check and a credit check to ensure that you could pay any fines levied against you.

Feel free to purchase or sell monkeys as pets in Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. These states currently have no restrictions on monkeys as pets.


  • Check your state's monkey ownership laws for updates and changes before you buy a monkey. Even bringing a monkey into a state may subject you to fines or jail time.


  • More and more states are considering bans on exotic animals such as monkeys. Research your city and county regulations. Even in states without restrictions, local governments may impose rules.