Animal Identification and Registration

The Companion Animals Act was introduced by the NSW Government in 1998 to protect pets, their owners and the broader community.

Under the Act, owners of puppies and kittens must microchip AND register their pet by 12 weeks of age or when they are first sold (even if they are less than 12 weeks old), and pay the registration fee by the time their pet reaches 6 months of age.

Microchipping and registration will help return a pet to the owner if it is lost, hurt or stolen. Once microchipped and registered, the pet is protected for life.

*From 4 July 2016 you can access the new NSW pet registry. Pet owners and breeders can create an online profile. You can update your details, notify if your dog or cat is missing, register ownership changes and pay registration fees online.

Microchipping and Registration

All companion animals are now required to be microchipped AND registered by 12 weeks of age or when sold (whichever comes first).

Microchips are a small 2mm implant that is placed under the skin between the shoulder blades. The microchip contains a unique fifteen digit number which is assigned to your pet.

Vets, animal welfare organisations, council pounds and other authorised people can microchip a cat or dog. The microchipping costs vary depending on where it is done.

This service is available at our Animal Care Facility at Charmhaven.   Please contact the Animal Care Facility on (02) 4350 3184 for further information.

Once a cat or dog has been microchipped it can be identified and registered. Early microchipping and registration is a requirement as a large percentage of puppies and kittens under 6 months of age are regularly lost from their homes. Lifetime registration can now be done online or at any local council in NSW.

Registration Fee

Recent changes to the legislation mean your pet must be registered by the time it reaches 12 weeks of age or is sold, however the registration fee is not required until your pet reaches 6 months of age. Pet owners are provided with 6 months to pay the fee to allow pets to be de-sexed and then take advantage of cheaper registration fees.  Pet owners are required to pay the registration fee by the time their dog/cat reaches 6 months of age, failure to pay the fee will result in automatic cancellation of the registration of the pet. Pet owners would then have to apply to register their pet again and pay the required fee. Failure to do so may result in an infringement from Council.

The fee is a one off fee and is for the life of the animal, so even if you move interstate and then return, the pet is still registered in NSW.

If you have moved to NSW you have three months to register your pet on the NSW Companion Animals Register.

Change of Owner / Details

It is the responsibility of the ‘old’ owner – the person selling or giving away the animal – to notify the change. Failure to do so may result in a fine of up to $880 or up to $5,500 for a dangerous or restricted dog.

Owner details can be updated once the animal is microchipped and identified on the system. Change of Owner/Details can now also be done online on the NSW pet registry.

How much will it cost to register my cat or dog?

Current lifetime registration fees (valid for the cat or dog's lifetime) are as follows:

Registration type

Current Fee

Animal not desexed


Desexed animal

Animal under 6 month not desexed

Desexed animal sold by eligible pound or shelter*




Animal not desexed kept by recognised breeder for breeding purposes


Desexed animal owned by eligible pensioner**


Working dog


Cat born prior to 1 July 1999 where ownership has not changed (when the Companion Animals Act 1998 came into effect)


Assistance animal


Dog in the service of the State, for example, a police dog


Greyhound currently registered under the Greyhound Racing Act 2009

Pound/shelter discount registration applies to animals sold from an eligible pound/shelter or transferred from a pound/shelter to a rescue organization from the 29 October 2015. The animal must be desexed at the time of registration


** An eligible pensioner is a person in receipt of the aged pension, war widow pension or disability pension.

To register your pet, in person, you will need:

  • A certificate of microchipping/identification or a letter from a vet
  • If desexed proof from a vet or a statutory declaration
  • Documents that give you a discount e.g. pension concession card, breeder card.

Registration forms are still acceptable and you may Download your copy of the Lifetime Registration form here, or call Customer Contact on (02) 4350 5555 to obtain a copy.

Pensioner concession

Pensioner concession is available on registration of an animal only if it is desexed and a valid and pension concession card can be produced.

Recognised breeder

In accordance with Section 1.01 of the Companion Animals Act Section (link) a recognised breeder is a person who is a member of one of the three following organisations:

  • Dogs NSW (formerly Royal NSW Canine Council)
  • NSW Cat Fanciers Association
  • Waratah State Cat Alliance

To obtain a discount as a recognised breeder, at time of registration you must show all of the following:

  • A current membership card from one of the listed recognised organisations;
  • Evidence that the animal is a purebred; and
  • A signed statement (from the owner) that the animal is kept for breeding purposes.

Fee exemption

Owners claiming a lifetime registration fee exemption for an Assistance Animal must provide proof that the animal is a genuine Assistance Animal. This includes a signed statement or documentation from a recognised training body that the animal is (or is being) trained as an Assistance Animal, and a signed statement from the training body or the owner that the animal is being used for that purpose.

Cats born before 1 July 1999 that remain with their original owner, working dogs used for tending stock on rural properties and Greyhounds registered under the Greyhound and Harness Racing Administration Act 2004 are exempt from microchipping and lifetime registration requirements.