Philadelphia Dog License FAQ

Why license my dog?

  • If lost, dogs wearing a city license receive a longer stay at the shelter. ACCT Philly will use the information in the license database to reunite you and your pet as soon as possible;
  • Dogs wearing a city license have a greater chance of being returned to their homes than dogs not wearing a license;
  • Animal Control officers can possibly locate an owner before the dog is taken to the shelter;

Are dog licenses mandatory?

Under Section 10-103 of The Philadelphia Code, all dogs 4 months and older must be licensed in Philadelphia. You must purchase a license within 30 days of obtaining a dog over the age of 4 months or within 30 days of establishing residence in the City of Philadelphia.

Do I need any paperwork to obtain a license?

Your dog is required to have a current rabies vaccine in order to obtain a license. Proof of vaccination is requested at time of purchase, but not required. Your veterinarian can provide you with a rabies certificate, verifying your dog's vaccination status.

We offer discounted license fees for altered dogs (spayed/neutered) and for senior pet owners. If you are applying for a discounted altered dog license, you will need to provide proof of spay/neuter at time of purchase. Your veterinarian can provide you with a spay/neuter certificate that verifies your dog is fixed.. If you are appying for a senior (65+) discount, you must provide proof of age at time of purchase.

How much does a license cost?

  • Altered Dogs: $16
  • Unaltered Dogs: $40
  • Senior Pet Owners: Apply a 50% discount to the license fee
  • Service Dogs: Free

I lost my tag. What do I do?

Contact us to request a replacement license tag. Provide as much information in your request as possible, including your name, address, pet's name, date licensed, license tag number, etc. A service fee of $2 applies to all replacement tags.

When does my license expire?

All city dog licenses are valid for one year. A license expires on the last day of the month, one year after the date it was issued.

Permanent licenses issued before July 1st, 2011 are valid through the duration of the dog's lifetime.

If I rehome my dog, does my license transfer?

Licenses cannot be transferred, and a new owner would need to order a new license.

Does my cat need a license?

No. Licensing regulations apply only to dogs within the City of Philadelphia. Cats do not need to be licensed.

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