Dog Licenses

All dogs in New York City must have licenses, and the licenses must be attached to their collars while in public. Dog owners may be fined for violating these requirements. Dog owners can purchase a license that is valid for one year or up to five years. The cost of the license depends on its length and whether the dog is spayed/neutered.

A dog license can help dog owners:

  • Find lost dogs. Visit the dog eLocator system for more information.

  • Let their dog go off-leash With proof of current dog license and rabies vaccination, dogs can run off-leash at New York City park dog runs.

  • Simplify medical follow-ups. This is especially important if your dog bites someone.

  • Support animal shelters. Licensing fees help fund shelters and pay for free and low-cost spay and neuter programs.

Apply

You can apply for a dog license online, or by downloading and mailing in an application.

To receive a paper copy of the application by mail, call 311.

You will receive your dog license within two to four weeks after payment is processed.

You can also get for a new license, renewal or lost tag replacement at one of the same-day licensing or vaccination events listed below.

When your license is almost expired, you will receive a renewal notice in the mail that you can return with payment. You can also renew your license online.

2019 Same-Day Licensing/Vaccination Events

Dog owners attending a licensing event will not be cited for not having a license, and the $2 late fee for renewing an expired license will be waived. Some events also feature free vaccines for dogs and cats. At those events, unhealthy pets or pets with a history of allergic reactions to vaccines will not be eligible.

There are no dog licensing events currently scheduled. Check back on this page for information about future events.

Payments

If you apply for a license online, you can only pay by debit card, credit card or e-check. If you apply by mail, you must pay by check or money order.

Licenses for spayed or neutered dogs of any age cost $8.50 per year. If your dog is not spayed or neutered, a license will cost $8.50 if the dog is under 4 months old, or $34 if it is older than 4 months. License fees are non-refundable and non-transferable.

If you do not renew a license on time, you may be fined $2 for each year the license was not renewed.

If you are having problems making a payment online due to a technical error, email dogtag@health.nyc.gov. The Health Department will respond within three business days.

Replacement Tags and Certificates

If you lose a license tag, a replacement will cost $1. You can request a replacement tag online, or by mailing in a Dog License Application form (PDF). If you are using the paper form, enter your dog's license number (from your certificate) in the Tag # field in the Dog's Information section. If you lose your certificate, you can request a new one by calling 311. There is no fee for replacing a dog license certificate.

If you are sending a written request for a replacement tag, include your name, address, dog’s name and dog license number. Also, be sure to state you are requesting a replacement tag. Mail requests, along with a $1 check payable to NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
DOHMH Dog License
P.O. Box 22136
New York, NY 10087-2136

Update Information

You should notify the Health Department if:

  • Your contact information changes.
  • Your dog dies.
  • Your dog changes owner.

You can update your dog license information online, or by sending in a written request to:

NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Veterinary Public Health Services
Dog Licensing Unit
125 Worth Street, CN 32R
New York, NY 10013

For written requests, be sure to include your name, phone number or email address, dog’s license number and the updated information.

Become a Dog Licensing Partner

Dog licensing partners sell dog licenses, usually from a pet shop or veterinarian office. They receive at least $1 per sale, and 10% of all total sales. Any animal-related business or organization can apply to be a partner.

You can apply to become a dog licensing partner online.

The Health Department will review your application and contact you to discuss enrollment. All partners will receive training on how to use the online licensing system. For more information, call 311.

Special Dog Requirements

Service Dogs

The Health Department no longer issues service dog tags. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service dogs do not need a service tag to enter any place that is publicly accessible. A service dog is defined as "any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with disabilities."

All government buildings, businesses and nonprofit groups are required to allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities wherever the public is normally allowed to go.

Guard Dogs

Trained guard dogs must be licensed and registered with the Health Department. They must wear their license tag and guard dog tag at all times. The fee to register a trained guard dog is $10.

Guard dogs must also have a microchip implanted as a permanent form of identification. Owners must supply the identification number to the Health Department.

Guard dog owners and those in control of the premises where a trained guard dog is kept are required to post clear signs warning the public of the dog’s presence. The sign must include the owner's name and contact information.

People who train, sell or rent guard dogs must post a clear sign or notice notifying clients about their compliance with licensing, tagging, micro-chipping and signage requirements.

To apply for a guard dog license or get more information about guard dog requirements, call 311.

Additional Resources

More Information