monkey · Pets

How to Legally Cross The Boarders With A Pet Monkey?

You want to take a trip and go travel the world with your pet monkey. If you’ve ever traveled with a pet like a dog, traveling can be a fun adventure and is widely accepted. Most don’t even bat an eye if you pull into a gas station and need to walk your dog, but they certainly would if you rolled up with a pet monkey. Can you even legally cross the state boarders with a pet monkey? Let’s take a deeper look at what I’ve learned from owning my rescued pet squirrel monkey named Ollie.

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Crossing The Boarders legally with a pet monkey

Owning A Pet Monkey

If you’re in the beginning stages of considering a pet monkey, you’ve come to the right place. There are many resources on this blog that can help you and your decision. Owning a pet monkey is nothing like owning a dog. There are lots of rules and regulations on primate ownership. First you have to be sure your state is legal to own one which you can jump over and quickly find that out here. Once you’ve determined you can legally own a primate you than should weigh the options of which species best fits you. You can find the top 5 most common species that people own as pets here. Now you have a better idea of if you can own a monkey and which one you’d like. Just be sure not to get caught in all the internet schemes when purchasing a monkey.


Now you have your monkey friend and you want to go travel around! Unfortunately, you can’t do that legally. But there are a few ways around the travel bans that allow you to legally travel across the state lines with a pet monkey. Many of the laws and regulations were put in place to keep smugglers from bringing in and selling exotic pets. We do not promote the sale of primates though the exotic pet trade. Since many of the laws have recently gone into affect because of many zoo break ins and the stealing of exotic animals, that makes it harder for those of us who want to legally travel with our pet. The best way to travel is by coving yourself to the fullest and being transparent.

Special Licenses

When we first got Ollie, the idea was to eventually be able to travel around with him and do meet and greats with all his followers. So we had to do some digging on how we could legally travel across the boarders with him. From our experience the best way to travel is by getting a USDA license. A USDA license is very overwhelming at first. It does cost money, requires home visits by your assigned case manager and they can even show up without calling in advance. If this is something you truly want to do the USDA license then covers you being allow to travel to most states, however there is a catch!

traveling with a pet monkey

What’s The Catch?

Even with this license and paying your dos so to speak, when traveling and staying at hotels or parks you must get permission from the owner of the land if your staying overnight. They certainly don’t make it easy, because that’s just one catch! The other is you also need to let the county exotic animal officer know you will be in the area. This helps to cover you because if you’re walking on the beach with your monkey people will certainly start calling it in and reporting it. This allows you the advantage of establishing that you are only there for x amount of days and are traveling. This still doesn’t mean you can let your monkey run wild while outside. The leash laws will and do apply for primates just like dogs.

Not The Best

You are extremely determine to travel with your pet monkey right? Here’s the next set of potential issues that may and could arise. Monkeys really enjoy their troop. When you start traveling with the monkey you don’t know if they will start to get stressed or when a little girl comes running up from behind scream “A MONKEY A MONKEY A MONKEY,” that it wont frighten your primate. Being out and about with a monkey will lead to strangers coming up to talk, touch, look, and take pictures. All of which are potential situations for something to go wrong, quickly. When Ollie was a baby we did travel with him a lot. He was much easier to handle when out and about and because he was so little we could easily hid him so no one would see if Ollie was getting over stimulated.

Ollie The Monkey Outside Exotic Pet

Covering Yourself

Another way to cover yourself is by considering going under an LLC. That way if something did happen and someone sued or your monkey did damage you could then have a bit of coverage. I’m not saying all monkeys will go and bite and freak out but they are wild animals no matter how much you train and work with them. An LLC is different than the USDA and one can be obtain without the other but do not cover the same aspects. The LLC can be done Online through Zen Business.

In Closing

Traveling across state lines can be done with a pet monkey but it is not the easiest. It also cost a lot of money for the LLC, USDA license, and travel expenses. Owning a pet monkey can be fun but they are a lot of work. Crossing the boarders legally with a pet monkey does require inspections and planning. We personally just prefer to keep Ollie here at home and take one mini trip per year which we know we are welcomed and fully covered.

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