Chapter 1. Turtles of California Fish And Game Code >> Division 5. >> Chapter 1.

It is unlawful to sell, purchase, harm, take, possess, transport, or shoot a projectile at, a tortoise (Gopherus). This section does not apply to the taking of a tortoise when authorized by the department.
The provisions of Section 5000 do not prohibit the possession of any tortoise (Gopherus) when the owner can demonstrate that such tortoise was legally acquired and possessed before the effective date of this section. The owner of a tortoise which may be possessed under this section shall mark or otherwise identify such tortoise to the satisfaction of the department, and shall not transfer such tortoise to any other person without prior approval of the department.
The department may issue permits, subject to any terms and conditions prescribed by the commission, authorizing the possession of a tortoise (Gopherus) or product of a tortoise by an educational or scientific institution or a public zoological garden.