This article, the first in a series of exotic articles, discusses the methods of physically identifying exotic pets now kept commonly in captivity and presented to the clinician in practice. Identification allows association to an owner and allows completion of any paperwork such as CITES and import/export forms. The different identification methods will be described, from rings to microchips. Methods and location of application will be explained, along with any associated risks. A further three articles will cover species identification by visual methods and basic husbandry will be outlined, together with methods to aid in accurate sexing of captive reptiles, birds and small mammals.