NYC Dog License

NYC Dog License: The Ultimate Guide 2023


Table of Contents

What Dogs Must Be Licensed?

The New York State law stipulates that every dog, regardless of age, owned or harbored in the state for more than 30 days must be licensed in the town, village, city, or county where the dog is being harbored. Your dog can be exempted from the license if:

· The dog is below four months and not running-at-large (running-at-large means a dog is off the owner’s premises and in a public place or private lands without the approval of the owner of such lands).

· A non-resident brings his/her dog to New York in less than 30 days and the dog is licensed per the resident’s state licensing laws.

· The dog is harbored within any public or private institution with a certificate of exemption from the commissioner.

NYC Dog License Requirements

New York City makes it quite straightforward for dog owners to obtain a new license or renew an existing one. Per New York State law, every individual owning or harboring a dog that’s over 4 months must obtain a license for that dog.

In the past, dog licenses were issued by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, but changes were made in 2011. Today, dog licenses are issued by individual municipalities within the state but are enforced across the state. With that in mind, if you live in NYC, your dog must be licensed by the NYC Department of Health.

Requirements for licensing your dog include:

· A completed application form

· Proof of rabies vaccination (Up to date rabies certificate)

· Spay or Neutered certificate · Check for the license fee, and

· A stamped, self-addressed envelope

How to License Your Dog in NYC

There are two very easy methods of licensing your dog in New York City:

You should then prepare a money order or a check payable to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Mail the completed form, the check or money order, along with all the appropriate documentation and certificates to:

DOHMH Dog License

PO Box 22136

New York, NY 10087-2136

Keep in mind that your license certificate and dog tag will be mailed to you. You’ll also receive reminders by mail each year to renew your dog’s license.

NYC Dog License Fees

Licensing spayed or neutered dogs in NYC will cost you $8.50 while unneutered or unsprayed dogs will cost you $34 to register. You can make it easier by licensing your dog when he’s still below four months because it will cost you $8.50. Keep in mind that the renewal fees remain the same for spayed/neutered ($8.50) and non-spayed/neutered ($34).

Regarding the fees, you’ll be charged an extra $2 for late renewal while replacing NYC dog license lost tag will cost you $1.

How Do NYC Dog Licenses Work?

Each NYC dog license is allocated an identification number that’s akin to your SSN in the sense that it never changes. This ID number is unique to each dog and is assigned throughout your dog’s life. The ID number is attached to the license tag, which also has your address and other information and should be fixed to the dog’s collar or harness at all times.

This information is then kept on a computerized NYC dog license register, which can be easily accessed, should your dog get lost.

It’s a known fact that everyone needs a license to drive, practice medicine or law in New York City or any other city for that matter. But are you also aware that your dog should be licensed in NYC and that failure to do so could land you on the wrong side of the law? While dog owners and sitters in NYC can be a wild and wacky bunch, we never take chances when it comes to following the NYC dog laws. That being said, it’s a no-brainer that all dogs in NYC should be licensed as per the New York State law.

New York State law requires you to license your dog and that every dog owner must have an eligible dog license tag attached to their dog’s harness or collar at all times when in public. This is a law that all dog owners in the five boroughs of New York City are expected to observe. Again, the law requires you to update the license each year.

With that in mind, here are a few more things that you need to know as far as NYC dog license, renewal, and fees are concerned.

NYC Dog License Fee

If your dog is spayed or neutered, the license will cost you $8.50 per year. The good thing about having a neutered or spayed pooch is that it gives you various advantages based on the fact that your dog cannot have or create unwanted puppies. You should also remember that the license will cost you $8.50 per year if your dog is not spayed or neutered but is under the age of 4 months.

Things get a little murkier if your dog is older than 4 months and not spayed or neutered. You’ll have to pay $34 for the license, as well as for the renewal. As you can see, having a spayed or neutered four-legged has its benefits, but the authorities will not have any issues with you if your furry friend is not spayed or neutered as long as it’s appropriately licensed.

In terms of license renewal, all dog owners are required to renew their dogs’ licenses every year. Lateness or failure to comply may lead to a $2 fine for each year the license wasn’t renewed. While this lateness fine may be pocket change to many dog owners in New York, the fine may be hefty if you are found with a dog that doesn’t have an up-to-date license. Keep in mind that license fees are non-refundable and cannot be transferred from one dog to another. So whether you choose to apply for NYC dog licenses online or through the mail, you should be sure of the right mode of payment. In other words, you can only pay by credit card, debit card or e-check if you apply for the license online. On the other hand, you can only pay by check or money order if you apply by mail.

NYC Same-Day Dog Licensing

New Yorkers are among the busiest people in the world. As a dog owner, you probably do not have enough time to walk your dog daily, let alone wait for weeks for the license to arrive. Luckily, the Department of Health fully understands that you have a very strict schedule and have no time to wait for weeks on end for the dog license to arrive.

That’s why they have various same-day dog licensing and vaccination events across the city. For instance, the next such event will be held on Sunday, October 6 from noon to 3 p.m. in Central Park, Naumburg Bandshell, Manhattan. You can have your lovely pooch licensed at such an event and you’ll walk home with the license on your dog’s collar.

Although the main benefit of attending such an event is the same-day license, it’s also great to attend if your dog is not licensed. First, you’ll not be cited for not having an NYC dog license. You’ll also have the $2 late penalty for NYC dog license renewal waived. In essence, it’s important to take advantage of these events if your dog is not licensed or if you’ve not renewed your dog’s license.

Replacing Lost Tags and Certificates

You may be out and about with your beloved dog and he or she loses the license or tag. Under such circumstances, you’ll be required to replace the lost tag or license at a cost of $1. Just like when applying for the NYC dog license, there are two methods of applying for a replacement:

· You can request a replacement by mailing the NYC dog license application form to NYC DOHMH or:

· You can request the replacement tag on this website. When filing for a replacement, remember to include your dog’s license number as indicated in the license certificate. If you can’t trace the certificate, you can call 311 and request a new certificate, free of charge. It’s also important to include your name, your dog’s name, address, and your dog’s license number when sending a written request for a replacement tag. Do not forget to note that you’re requesting a replacement.

Updating Your Dog’s NYC License

Whether you’re moving to a new place, changing your dog’s ownership, or changing your contact information, it’s always important to notify the health department of such changes. This not only shows that you are a responsible dog owner but can also make it a lot easier to reunite with your beloved dog if he gets lost.

Special Dog Requirements

Per the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs are not required to have a license to enter any public space. A service dog is essentially a dog that’s trained to perform tasks that are beneficial to individuals with disabilities.

On the contrary, trained guard dogs must be licensed just like normal dogs in NYC. The only difference is that trained guard dogs pay a license fee of $10 per year. Trained guard dogs must also have implanted microchips for identification. If you have such a dog, you are also required to place clear warning signs of the dog’s presence. This sign must include your name (owner’s name) and contact information.

For more information on NYC dog license, feel free to call 311.

Living in New York is, of course, never an easy endeavor. From the hectic life of chasing after the elusive dollar to dealing with fellow New Yorkers, it can be nerve-wracking. But having a four-legged sidekick is a great way of dealing with anything that the New York life throws at you. Owning a dog in New York City will, without a doubt, make your life awesome! The tail-wagging greetings that you receive when you come home after a long and tiresome day are heart-melting, but that’s not all. Having a dog also means that you don’t have to be alone on your walks or jogs.

As payback for this terrific friendship and comradeship, it’s important that every NYC dog owner treat his/her furry friend with utmost love. From top-notch treats, and numerous trips to the dog parks to cozy beds and healthy meals, you should always show some love to your furry baby. But even with all these, obtaining the NYC dog license for your four-legged friend is up there with the best things you could ever do for your lovely dog.

Although dog owners in NYC must have their pets licensed, registering your dog is a crystal clear indication that you’re a responsible dog owner. Failing to license your dog is, of course, against the law and could land you in trouble. It can also significantly lower your chances of getting your dog back should he get lost.

That being said, let’s look at how you can obtain an NYC dog license. But before we go into that, it’s important to highlight the benefits of having your lovely pooch licensed.

Benefits of Registering Your Dog

Here are a few benefits of having your dog registered.

It’s the Law

Per New York State law, every dog owner in New York must license his/her dog with relevant authorities. The New York City Health Code stipulates that all dogs must be licensed and a license attached to the dog’s collar or harness when out in public. The license must be renewed each year. If for any reason you get caught with an unlicensed dog, you’ll be hit with a hefty fine of $200, which is costlier than the license fee.

In essence, you can avoid being on the wrong side of the law by having your dog licensed. You should also make sure that the license is renewed annually and is up to date.

You Stand a Chance of Reunion Should Your Pooch Get Lost

Even though we never want to imagine the prospects that our lovely dogs may get lost, it’s very possible, especially in The Big Apple. Whether it’s during emergencies or through little misadventures, chances are your canine friend might get lost.

But with a license tag on his neck, you’ll stand a chance of a speedy reunion with your beloved pup. That’s because the license has your details and it becomes a lot easier to reunite you. On the contrary, the chances of reunion can be very slim if your dog is unlicensed.

A License is a Proof that Your Dog is Safe

Your four-legged friend cannot be licensed if he’s not appropriately vaccinated. If anything, any rescuer will more likely handle your missing dog with care if he/she is sure that your dog is healthy and without rabies.

License Fees are a Way of Supporting Local Animal Shelters

You’re probably wondering what they do with the licensing fees that NYC dog owners pay to get their canines registered. Well, these license fees help in funding local animal shelters in NYC. The fees also help in lowering the costs of spaying and neutering programs across the city.

You might also be interested in NYC dog laws