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The NSW State Government requires microchipping and lifetime registration for all dogs and cats as part of the Companion Animals Act (external link).

A microchip is about the size of a grain of rice. It consists of a tiny computer chip housed in a type of glass made to be compatible with living tissue. The microchip is implanted between the dog's shoulder blades under the skin with a needle and special syringe. The process is similar to getting a shot. Little to no pain is experienced - most dogs do not seem to even feel it being implanted.

Once in place, the microchip can be detected immediately with a hand-held device that uses radio waves to read the chip. This device scans the microchip and then displays a unique alphanumeric code. Once the microchip is in place, the details must be registered on the NSW Pet Registry (external link). Then, the dog can be traced back to the owner if found.

If you are an owner with a new cat or dog that you have bought or that has been given to you, you must ensure the animal is microchipped. Once your animal is microchipped you are then required to have it lifetime registered at the age of six months old. Lifetime registration is compulsory for all cats and dogs in the state of NSW, which are bought, sold, given as gifts or have transferred ownership on or after 1 July 1999. This can be done at Council’s Customer Service Centre. For further information on the Companion Animals legislation, visit the NSW Office of Local Government's Dogs and Cats web page (external link).

Dog Owners

All dogs born after 1st July 1999, or where the ownership of the dog changes after 1st July 1999, must be microchipped then registered for life at six months of age.

Puppies must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before change of ownership. They must be registered for life by six months of age.

Cat Owners

Cats owned prior to 1st July 1999 do not have to be registered for life, however all cats must by law be identifiable by a collar, tag or microchip. Cats sold or given away after 1st July 1999 must be microchipped and registered for life.

Kittens born after 1st July 1999 should be microchipped by 12 weeks or before change of ownership. They must be registered for life by 6 months of age.

All cats that are impounded must be microchipped and registered for life prior to release.

Registration Fees

Lifetime registration fees are remitted by NSW Councils to the State Government. Councils are then reimbursed a percentage of the fees. Councils must then use this money for their animal management activities including providing rangers, pound facilities, designated dog refuse bins, educational and other activities. The current NSW lifetime registration fees are as follows:

Proof of Desexing

This may include a letter, certificate or clear receipt from a vet, or a statutory declaration from the owner that the animal has been desexed. To claim the desexed rate, an animal must be permanently incapable of reproduction. There are products and procedures available that render male dogs and cats temporarily unable to reproduce, but these effects are not permanent and the animal is not considered to be desexed. Therefore a cat that has had a vasectomy is permanently incapable of reproduction so is entitled to the reduced desexing fee.

A Breeder card (with prefix) is required to obtain the reduced Registered Breeder fee. DOGSNSW have converted to digital membership cards for their members. The digital membership card contains the same information as what was on the physical plastic version.

New Public Database - NSW Pet Registry

The NSW Pet Registry database at is an online database of microchipped and registered cats and dogs that live in NSW. The register has been developed to return lost pets to their owners and to promote responsible pet ownership in the community.

If you have registered your cat or dog and it goes missing, the microchip can be scanned by an authorised person so your pet can be safely returned to you.

Owners are encouraged to create an online profile and claim their existing pets and to register ownership of any new cats and dogs. Online access to the register will give you access to update your contact details, report your pet missing or deceased, and change the ownership of your pet. You can now also pay your lifetime registration online through this new register.

To get your pet microchipped or to find out the microchip number, please contact Council or your local vet.

Breeders are also encouraged to make an online profile. A Breeder ID number will be generated which can be used to easily register litters and transfer the kitten and puppies to their new owners.

To learn more you can either visit (external link) and register for online access to get started, or you can contact Council on (02) 6670 2400.

Frequently Asked Questions

Selling or giving away a cat or a dog? - The rules have changed/what you need to do

At what age should I have my puppy/kitten microchipped?

When should I register my pet?

My pet is microchipped, does that register them?

How do I register my pet?

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