Municipal Dog

Licensing Guidance

Owners of dogs 7 months of age or older are required by State statute to license their dogs in the municipality where the dogs are housed. Licenses can be issued with either a 1 or 3-year duration and licenses shall expire no later in the year than June 30th.

Many municipalities also require rabies vaccination and licensure of cats through municipal ordinances.

Benefits of Dog Licensure
Licensing dogs and placing the registration tag on the dog’s collar has many benefits for the dog owner, as well as for the citizens, including the following: • Licensed dogs are vaccinated against rabies (with some exceptions explained below) and those with current license tags on their collars are considered generally protected from the disease
  • A licensed dog that wanders off the owner’s property or gets lost can be traced and quickly returned to its owner by animal control officers
  • When persons are bitten by a licensed dog, the owner is usually found, and the dog is placed under a 10 day confinement and observation that will prevent the bite victim from needing to begin rabies post-exposure prophylaxis
  • Dog licensing is mandatory in all New Jersey municipalities and the licensing fee is much less than the fines and penalties for having unlicensed dogs
  • License fees support animal control, animal sheltering and rabies control activities within the municipality
  • Dog licensing fees help fund testing of suspect rabid wildlife, the free State-sponsored municipal rabies vaccination clinics and the State operated low cost spay and neuter program

Processing Dog Licensing Revenue

Dog licensing revenue is required to be placed in a special municipal account separate from any other accounts and shall be used for the following purposes only: capturing and impounding stray dogs and cats, prevention and control of rabies, providing rabies post exposure prophylaxis, and administration of N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.1 et. seq.

Municipal dog licensing clerks are required to annually collect the following fees from the owner of each dog in the municipality:

  • $1.00 Registration fee
  • $0.20 Pilot clinic fee
  • $3.00 Animal population control (APC) fee for dogs not spayed or neutered

Dog licensing clerks shall forward collected fees to the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) every month, either through electronic payment or by sending a check, with a fully completed VPH-10 form accompanying all payments. Guidance on submission of monthly dog licensing fees is posted on the Department’s website:

The $1.00 Registration fee collected by municipalities are forwarded to the NJDOH and placed into a special account to be used for administration of N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.1 et. seq. and the prevention and control of rabies throughout the State. The $3.00 and $0.20 fees are placed into an account to fund the activities of the APC Low Cost Spay and Neuter Program. Information regarding the APC program is posted on the NJDOH website:


Post Office Box 174
Pennington, NJ 08534