How to Get A Dog License in New York City

Everything You Need to Know About Getting a NYC Dog License

NYC dog license
••• Photo credit: (c) Oli Scarff / Getty Images News

While it's not a crime for your canine companions to be so doggone cute, if you don't have a license for your dog in Manhattan, you're actually breaking the law. New York City law requires that all dogs be licensed, and that all license tags be attached to the dog's collar while in public. Dog owners may be fined for violation of the law; avoid the hassle, by getting your license stat. Here's everything you need to know about getting a NYC dog license:

Do All Dogs Require a Dog License in NYC?

Yes. Dog licenses apply to all dogs kept by New York City residents, including those titled “guard” or service dogs, though guard dogs may be subject to an additional fee and requests for documentation in regards to their required microchip.

What are the Benefits of Licensing My Dog in NYC?

Your dog can only benefit from being licensed, as the license affords them safety not available to unlicensed dogs. Most importantly, New York City now has an online dog eLocator system for finding lost licensed dogs. If found, a lost pet’s tag number can be put into the system, alerting the owner that the animal has been found.

In addition, licensed dogs, with proof of rabies vaccination, are allowed to run off-leash at dog park runs, giving them an open-air opportunity perhaps not otherwise available to them. A dog license can also be helpful if you need to obtain medical records for your pet (or any pet, for that matter).



Licensing not only helps the dog owner in case of emergency, but also contributes to the protection of the public health. As a bonus, licensing fees provide important funding for NYC animal shelters and free/low cost spay/neuter programs for low-income pet owners.

How Do I Get or Renew a Dog License in NYC?

To get a license for your dog, you must fill out and application online or by mail (you can download the application here or call 311 to request that they mail a paper copy to you), and submit it along with your license fee.

The fee for new or renewal licenses is $8.50 for spayed/neutered dogs with documentation and $34 for unspayed/unneutered dogs. For new licenses, a certificate of spay/neuter must also be submitted; one can be obtained from your vet. The dog license will arrive about two to four weeks after payment is processed. Also look out for same-day licensing events, where you can get your license on the spot.