Pet Identification and Registration

Owners of puppies and kittens must microchip their pet by 12 weeks of age or when they are first sold (whatever comes first), and register and pay the registration fee by the time their pet reaches six months of age. This is to ensure pets can be reunited with owners should they become lost.

The registration fee is a once only payment which covers the cat or dog for its lifetime in NSW. Pet owners are encouraged to have their cat or dog desexed before registration. You can process your application in person at our Customer Service Centres or any other NSW Local Council. You will need to present:

  • a signed Lifetime Registration (R2) Form
  • proof of desexing, if applicable
  • a certificate of microchipping/identification or a letter from a vet
  • any other document entitling you to a discount, for example, a pensioner concession card or recognised breeder identification.

Proof of desexing may take the form of a Certificate of Sterilisation, a receipt containing a microchip number from a vet or a statutory declaration from a previous owner stating that the cat or dog has been desexed and is permanently incapable of reproduction.

Why desex your pet

Desexing your pet not only reduces your registration cost, but also limits the number of abandoned and unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. Desexing can improve behaviour making your pet less likely to develop aggressive tendencies toward people and other animals, mark their territory, stray and develop certain types of cancers.

NSW Government introduces annual permit requirements for non-desexed cats and restricted/dangerous dogs

From 1 July, new requirements will apply to owners of undesexed cats and owners of restricted dog breeds or dogs registered as dangerous. The changes mean:

  • Owners of cats that are not desexed by 4 months of age will have to pay an additional $80 annual permit fee on top of the once-off lifetime pet registration fee
  • Owners of restricted dog breeds, or dogs that have been declared as dangerous, will have to pay an additional $195 annual permit fee on top the once-off lifetime registration fee

The permit requirements have been introduced to promote responsible pet ownership and improve animal welfare standards. Cat owners can avoid the additional annual fee by registering and desexing their cat before 4 months of age.

For more information on the new permit requirements visit


A microchip is a small 2mm implant placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. It contains a unique fifteen digit number which is assigned to your pet. Vets, animal welfare organisations, council pounds and other authorised people can microchip a cat or dog. This service is available at our Animal Care Facilities at Charmhaven and Erina.

See our What's on calendar for upcoming free microchipping days at our Animal Care Facilities.

Further microchipping & registration information.

Pensioner concession

Pensioner concession is available on registration of an animal only if it is desexed and a valid and pension concession card can be produced.

Recognised breeder

In accordance with the Companion Animals Act, a recognised breeder is a person who is a member of one of the three following organisations:

  • Dogs NSW (formerly Royal NSW Canine Council)
  • NSW Cat Fanciers Association
  • Waratah State Cat Alliance

To obtain a discount as a recognised breeder, at time of registration you must show all of the following:

  • a current membership card from one of the listed recognised organisations
  • evidence that the animal is a purebred
  • a signed statement (from the owner) that the animal is kept for breeding purposes.

Fee exemption

Owners claiming a lifetime registration fee exemption for an assistance animal must provide proof that the animal is a genuine assistance animal. This includes a signed statement or documentation from a recognised training body that the animal is (or is being) trained as an assistance animal, and a signed statement from the training body or the owner that the animal is being used for that purpose.

Other animals exempt from microchipping and lifetime registration requirements:

  • cats born before 1 July 1999 that remain with their original owner
  • working dogs used for tending stock on rural properties
  • greyhounds registered under the Greyhound Racing Act.

Rescue Animals

As of 1 July 2021, the NSW Government has announced free lifetime pet registration for rescue pet adoptions. This includes dogs or cats adopted from Council’s Animal Care Facilities. This is to encourage prospective pet owners to consider adopting their next dog or cat from an animal shelter or rescue group in a bid to reduce the number of homeless pets across the state. More information on microchipping and registration fees can be found on the Office of Local Government website.

Change of Owner/Details

It is the responsibility of the old owner (the person selling or giving away the animal) to notify the Council of the change. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $880 or up to $5,500 for a dangerous or restricted dog.

If your contact details change, you must notify authorities within 14 days of the change, otherwise penalties may apply. Keeping your contact details up to date will assist in the return of your cat or dog should it become lost or stray.

Download a Change of Owner/Details Form

Pet owners and breeders can access the NSW Pet Registry to create an online profile. You can update your details, notify if your dog or cat is missing, register ownership changes and pay registration fees online.

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Last updated : Tue 12 Oct 2021