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A current license attached to your dog's collar can help reconnect you with your pet should he or she become lost — and it's the law! (Photo by Krista Menzel)

A current license attached to your dog's collar can help reconnect you with your pet should he or she become lost — and it's the law!

Photo by Krista Menzel

License Your Dog

New York City law requires that you license your dog, and update the license each year. When you license your dog, however, you're doing something more than simply complying with the law. You're giving your dog a ticket home in the event that she or he becomes lost. What's more, by licensing and microchipping your dog, you're providing two important ways for your dog to be returned to you.

If your dog is licensed, anyone who finds your dog can call 311 in NYC and use the identifying number on the tag to locate you as the person to whom the dog is licensed.

How to License Your Dog in NYC

Apply Online

Visit and follow the instructions.

Apply by Mail

Visit and print out and complete an Application for a New York City Dog License.

Prepare a check or money order, payable to NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, for the dog license fee: $8.50 for a dog who has been spayed or neutered; $34.00 for a dog who has not been spayed or neutered. Hopefully your dog has been spayed or neutered — it's good for your dog's health and prevents unwanted pregnancies. If so, you'll need to submit proof from your veterinarian along with the application or complete and notarize the affidavit provided on the application.

Then mail the completed form, along with the appropriate documentation and check or money order, to:

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Veterinary Public Health Services

P.O. Box 4768

Church Street Station, New York, NY 10261-4768

Your license certificate and dog tag will be mailed to you, and you'll receive a reminder by mail each year to renew the license.

If you need help in completing the form, or prefer that a form be mailed to you, in NYC call 311, Monday–Friday., 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m., for assistance.