Microchipping/Identification & Registration

1. Overview

In NSW, all owners of Companion Animals must take two (2) steps to provide lifetime protection for your pet. These steps will help return your pet to you if it is lost, hurt, or stolen.

It is a legal requirement of the Act to keep information on the register up to date and to notify council of any changes in address, ownership, or other significant changes.


2. Step One (1) Microchip/Identify Your Pet 

In NSW, all dogs and cats (other than those exempt) must be microchipped/identified by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away.

The best place to get your pet microchipped is the vet, however animal welfare organisations such as the RSPCA or other authorised people such as your local pet shop or council can microchip too. Once microchippped, aithprised persons will use/submit form ‘Permanent Identification P1A’ to identify your pet. 


3. Step Two (2) Register Your Pet

In NSW, all dogs and cats must be registered by six months of age. Registration is a one-off payment for the pet’s lifetime. A late fee is applicable if a registration is not paid for by 28 days after the registration requirement of 6 months of age. Complete registration at any Council office or online through Pet Registry

When you register your pet, you should bring:

Proof of pet ownership (e.g. Certificate of Identification) and the following so registration discounts can apply:

  • Desexing (desexed by relevant age with certificate/letter/receipt)
  • Undesexed by advice (letter from Vet that it shouldn’t be desexed)
  • Pension (desexed with eligible pensioner card/documents)
  • Pound/Shelter Animal (desexed and sold by an eligible group)
  • Recognised Breeder (used for breeding with eligible documents)
  • Assistance Animal (is/has been trained to assist)
  • Service dog (is in the service of the State, e.g. Police dog)
  • Working dog (is working and residing or working on farmland)


4. Lifetime Registration Fee

Registration fees are remitted by councils to the State Government. Councils are reimbursed the majority depending on the number of animals kept in their area. Councils can then use this money for their animal management activities including providing Rangers, pound facilities, designated dog refuse bins, educational and other activities.


5. Registration Types and Current Fees

Current registration fees for animals can be viewed here.


6. What happens if I don’t identify or register my dog or cat?

Penalties may apply if you don’t microchip/identify and register your dog or cat. Larger penalties may apply if the dog has been declared dangerous, menacing, or restricted.


7. I have just moved to NSW - do I have to lifetime register my pet?

Yes, even if your pet is registered in another state you MUST register it in NSW.


8. My Dog is registered with Dogs NSW as a pedigree - do I still need to register with council?

Yes, a pedigree registration is not the same as lifetime registration.


9. Does my farm/working dog have to be registered?

A working dog is defined in the Companion Animals Act 1998 as a dog that is used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog being trained as a working dog.

Hunting dogs and guard dogs do not qualify as working dogs under the Act. Just because an animal is kept for purposes other than that of a pet, does not necessarily mean it is a ‘working dog’.

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998, dogs that meet the definition of a ‘working dog’ are exempt from microchipping/identifying and registering when:

  • a working dog that is ordinarily kept in a part of the Western Division of the State that is not within a local government area,
  • a working dog that is ordinarily kept on land categorised as farmland as defined in the Local Government Act 1993. 

All other working dogs MUST be microchipped/identified and registered. However, a nil dollar (free) registration fee applies.

It should be noted that all working dogs are valuable animals and owners are encouraged to have their dogs microchipped/identified and registered so in the event of being lost, they can be re-united with their owners.

Farm pets are NOT considered to be working dogs.