RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Santa Claus is coming to town, and now, his legendary reindeer can officially enter Virginia.

Dr. Charlie Broaddus, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VADCS) has officially issued one permit to Nicolas “Santa” Claus, of the North Pole, to bring his herd of “eight tiny reindeer” and one additional rare, red-nosed reindeer into the Commonwealth for one night, and one night only this holiday, a release from the Department of Wildlife Resources stated.

The permit was issued in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), the organization charged with managing the state’s wildlife resources.

While the USDA regulates the international movement of animals, the VADCS Office of Veterinary Services regulates the movement of animals into Virginia. According to the DWR, a permit is required to possess any type of deer in Virginia. So naturally, official permission was given upon the expected visit from Saint Nick and his famous reindeer.

Photo of Santa’s sleigh with reindeer (Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources)

“Santa travels to Virginia each year with his herd of reindeer, and while his visit is brief,
it is still vitally important to Virginia’s agricultural industry that the reindeer are safe and
healthy. Santa takes great care of his herd, and I am happy to issue an approved permit,” said Dr.
Broaddus in a release.

The DWR said all hoofed herbivores entering Virginia must have proper identification in the form of an ear tag issued by a state or federal entity or other another of identification approved by the State Veterinarian.

The permit for Santa will be valid for the evening of Dec. 24.