Desert Tortoise Register-to-Legally-Adopt (RLAP) Application

Fields marked in red are required.

The RLAP allows you to legally have custody of a tortoise that you: 1) already have, 2) are about to accept from another person, or 3) have found in your neighborhood and want to keep. By registering on the Tortoise Group website and following the steps to create or improve a tortoise habitat, you have legal custody of the desert tortoise.

We suggest only one tortoise per household. We cannot legally register a mating pair. Occasionally two females and rarely two males can coexist in the same habitat.

How to Register-to-Legally-Adopt a tortoise:

  1. Read the entire care booklet Desert Tortoises: Adoption and Care to gain an understanding of the laws regarding tortoises, tortoise habitat requirements, diet, and other aspects of tortoise care. The requirements outlined in this booklet are the basis of the adoption requirements from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nevada Department of Wildlife that are implemented by the Tortoise Group Adoption Program.
  2. View the PowerPoint Creating a Tortoise Habitat to see examples of tortoise habitats.
  3. Watch the video "So You Want to Adopt a Tortoise?!"
  4. Read the Habitat Checklist outlining requirements for a habitat.
  5. Read about the importance of marking (Label) and/or microchipping (via a tortoise-friendly vet) your tortoise. Please understand that information you submit will be kept in a database to help find your tortoise if lost.

Contact Information (Must be 18 years old)

* First Name:
* Last Name:
* Address (include apt #):
* City:
* State:
Zip Code:
Of home and mobile phone only one is required; not both.
* Home Phone:
* Mobile Phone:
* Email Address:
* Retype email Address:

Describe your tortoise(s)

Tortoise 1:
* Sex: M F Juvenile (less than 8 inches)
Length of carapace (top shell): inches.
External Tag: ? Microchip:

Tortoise 2:
* Sex: M F Juvenile (less than 8 inches)
Length of carapace (top shell) inches.
External Tag: ? Microchip:

* Proceed to adoption is one of two ways (Pick one):

A. Request that a Tortoise Group Habitat Specialist come to your home to make suggestions on 1) how to enhance the habitat you already have or 2) create a habitat for the tortoise you have found or are about to accept. The fee for this service is $10 for members and $20 for nonmembers (Membership is $25).

When your habitat is ready, we will bring you an Adoption Certificate and Contract for signature. Congratulations! You will be the legal custodian of the tortoise described on the Adoption Certificate.


B. Make all the habitat improvements on your own. After making improvements or creating a new habitat, review the Habitat Checklist for completeness.

* I have read all the information available on the Tortoise Group website about tortoise care and creating a tortoise habitat. To the best of my ability, I have followed the directions and recommendations to create a healthy, safe tortoise habitat. By submitting, this document, I affirm that the statements on this application are true.

* By printing the Adoption Certificate and Contract, I agree to all its terms and conditions. (Your print link will arrive by email with your unique Registration number.)

You are now the legal custodian of the tortoise described on the Adoption Certificate!