Can you own turtles in NC?

Can you own turtles in NC I’m looking at law and it says.


  1. It is unlawful to take or possess any endangered, threatened, or special concern species at any time. They are: Bog turtle (Glyptemys

muhlenbergii), Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin), Eastern spiny softshell (Apalone spinifera spinifera), Stripeneck musk turtle

 (Sternotherus minor peltifer), Spotted turtles and all Sea Turtles.
  1. All the turtles in the families Emydidae and Trionychidae are protected from collection/possession/destruction (this includes all the NC

    turtles except the common snapper, the two species of mud turtles, and the two species of musk turtles.)

  2. No native turtles or terrapins shall be purchased or sold without a permit.

  3. Possession permits are required for the possession, importation, transportation, purchase and sale of five or more individuals of native

    reptile species.

  4. No turtles, whether native or exotic, captive-bred or caught from the wild, should be released to the wild after time in captivity

  5. There is no mention of non-native species in North Carolina regulations. It is therefore assumed they are unregulated with the exception

    that they may not be released into the wild.


  1. All turtles except Snappers, Muds and Musks are protected

  2. Non-protected turtles (snappers, mud, and musk turtles) may be collected (trapped) and eaten if fewer than FOUR reptiles are collected

    in a season. If 5 or more reptiles are to be trapped, a license must be obtained from the WRC. With permit individuals shall collect no

    more than 10 turtles from the family Chelydridae (snapping turtles) per day and no more than 100 per calendar year. With permit:

    Individuals shall collect no more than 10 turtles from the family Kinosternidae (mud and musk turtles) per day and no more than 100 per

    calendar year.


  1. It is unlawful to engage in the commercial taking of any native turtle or terrapin species in the families Emydidae or Trionychidae.

    Commercial taking is defined as the taking, possession, collection, transportation, purchase or sale of five or more individual turtles or

    terrapins, or any part thereof, per person in any given year.

I was thinking about getting a captive bred turtle from out of state the turtle species I’m looking at are

red foot tortoise
eastern/southern painted turtles

any mud/musk turtle

and maybe map turtle

are they legal and anyone in NC tell me if they own any turtles.
I was looking at the law and it’s just confusing I also saw turtles and tortoises for sale in repticons in the state its just very confusing.

As long as they aren’t in the families Emydidae or Trionychidae and aren’t native I think they would be legal. The best way to be sure is to email the DNR or someone who would know that.