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Dog Licensing

Photo of a dog drinking water

Dog licenses are issued by the Animal Services Program.  To obtain a dog license, an owner must show proof of a valid rabies and distemper vaccination.  DC law requires dog licenses to be renewed annually.  More information regarding how to obtain a valid license can be found below.

Legal Requirements

The DC Code 8-1804 reads as follows:

(b) An owner who has a dog over the age of four months shall before July 1st of each year, or within 10 days of acquiring the dog, or within 10 days after the dog becomes four months of age, obtain an annual license. An owner shall ensure that his dog wears a collar and a license.

(c) Before any annual license may be issued, the owner of the dog shall have the dog vaccinated against rabies and distemper, and shall pay any outstanding fines.

(e) The annual license fees for dogs is as follows:
     (1) No fee for a dog trained as a service animal and actually used for the purpose of assisting a person with a physical or sensory impairment, such as a vision or hearing impairment;
     (2) $15 for a male or female dog certified by a licensed veterinarian as neutered or spayed or certified as incapable of enduring spaying or neutering; and
     (3) $50 for all other dogs.
     (Incapable as in unable to do or achieve due to a medical condition that would prohibit the ability to have the procedure of spay/neuter done in its lifetime)

Application/Processing Requirements

Please read and follow the instructions below carefully. A correctly completed application will expedite the issuance of your dog license.

  • Please complete your application with current information.
  • Please provide your complete mailing address including the apartment/unit number (if applicable)
  • Proof of rabies and distemper vaccinations is required.
  • Proof of sterilization (spaying or neutering) is required.
  • Each dog over four months old must have his/her own license.
  • Owners with seven or more dogs over four months old must apply for a hobby license.
  • Please allow our office 4-6 weeks to receive, review and process each application.

License Renewal

Prior to the expiration of your license, the Animal Services Program ask that all owners submit renewal applications (30) days before the expiration date. The initial licensing fee and the renewal fee are the same.  A completed license renewal application must include the following:

  • Proof of valid rabies and distemper vaccination
  • Proof of sterilization (spaying or neutering) or proof of certification by DC Health that the sterilization requirement has been waived

All dog owners are responsible for annually renewing the license. Each dog over four months old must have his/her own license. Owners with seven or more dogs over four months old must also obtain a valid hobby license prior to obtaining license renewals for each owned dog. Permanent dog license tag numbers can be written on your form in the OFFICE ONLY box.  If you need a replacement tag, our office can replacement it at no charge.  Write the old permanent tag number on your application and next beside the number, write: REPLACEMENT TAG.


DOG LICENSE & DOG PARK ONLINE APPLICATIONS

ONLINE DOG LICENSING APPLICATIONS

DC Health’s online dog licensing application system is now LIVE. (See link below.)

The District of Columbia Department of Health, Health Regulation and Licensing Administration (HRLA) is excited to announce the opening of our new online dog licensing system.  Effective immediately, all dog owners in the District are required to submit their dog registration or renewal applications by going to the below link and submitting an online application. 

https://dchealth.force.com/animalservices/s/


HAVE QUESTIONS? Email Vet Board Health Licensing Specialist:
Please reach out to [email protected] for your dog licensing inquiries.

 

Contact Phone: 
(877) 672-2174
Contact Fax: 
(202) 727-8471
Contact TTY: 
711
Office Hours: 
Monday to Friday 8:15 am to 4:45 pm
Service Location: 

Health, Department of

GIS Address: 
899 North Capitol Street, NE
City: 
Washington
State: 
DC
Zip: 
20002