Microchipping and pet registration

By law, all dogs and cats must be microchipped and registered by the age of 12 weeks.

Council assists pet owners to ensure their pets are lawfully registered in NSW. Follow the steps below to ensure your pet is microchipped and lifetime registered.

For more details about microchipping and registration in NSW, visit the Office of Local Government website.

Microchipping Pet registration Fees and permits Desexing your pet Responsible pet ownership More information

Step 1. Microchipping (permanent identification)

Puppy and kitten

If you’re the owner of a new cat or dog you must make sure your pet is microchipped. This is something your local vet or animal welfare organisation can do.

By law all dogs and cats must be microchipped by the age of 12 weeks (or when sold or given away, whichever comes first).

Penalties apply if you fail to microchip your pet by 12 weeks of age.

Once your pet is microchipped you must also remember to register your cat or dog - see step 2 below.

Not sure if your pet is microchipped?

Make an appointment with your vet who will scan your pet. If no microchip is found, the vet can implant one and add the details to the NSW Pet Registry.

If a microchip is found, the vet will give you a verification form with your pet’s microchip number.

Once your pet is microchipped and entered on the NSW Pet Registry, you can create an online profile to ‘claim’ your pet.

You can then pay your pet’s lifetime registration online.

How is a microchip implanted?

A very small computer chip is implanted under the skin of your pet, usually around the shoulder. The microchip contains a 15-digit number which is added to the NSW Pet Registry.

The microchip number is linked to your name and contact details, so your pet can be easily returned if it is lost or stolen.

Is your pet microchipped but you don't have the number?

Make an appointment with your vet. The vet will scan your pet and give you a verification form with your pet’s microchip number.

You can use the microchip number to check if your pet is registered on the NSW Pet Registry.

Otherwise, contact us and we can check for you.


Microchipping is not registration.

Remember to register your pet.


Dogs must wear a collar and tag showing name and address or phone number when outside its own property
(except working dogs).


Cats must have some form of identification when in a public place.

Step 2. Pet registration

By law (from 1 July 2024), all cats and dogs must be lifetime registered by 12 weeks of age.

There are 2 ways to register your pet:

You will need your pet's:

  • microchipping paperwork
  • proof of desexing (if applicable)
  • your pension card (if applicable).

Fees, discounts and annual permits

Dog registration is due to be paid at 12 weeks of age and is a Lifetime Registration in NSW (covers change of ownership). However, if you do not desex your dog by the relevant age, there is an Additional Fee required.

Cat registration is due to be paid at 12 weeks of age and is a Lifetime Registration in NSW (covers change of ownership). However, if you do not desex your cat by the relevant age, you will need to pay for an Annual Permit each year your cat is not desexed.

View the full list of registration fees

Call 02 6670 2400 or visit one of our Customer Service Centres if you have any questions.

How are pet registration fees used?

The NSW Government collects pet registration fees. Council receives some of this money to help pay for:

  • ranger services
  • pound facilities
  • dog waste bins
  • community education campaigns.

Annual permits for non-desexed cats and dangerous or restricted dogs

From 1 July 2020 owners of non-desexed cats and dangerous or restricted dogs must pay a permit each year

Annual permits can be paid online at NSW Pet Registry.

Find out more about annual permits on the Office of Local Government website, including access to a printable PDF form which you can return to Council in person or by emailing rangersadmin@tweed.nsw.gov.au.

Council may issue fines if annual permits or pet registration fees are not paid.

Pensioner rate

An eligible pensioner includes a person in receipt of the aged pension, carer payment, disability support pension, jobseeker, youth allowance and parenting payment, and including Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) payment. If you received a 'commonwealth issued' Pension Card you are eligible for the Pensioner Rate for:

  • dogs – registration is due at 12 weeks of age. If dog is not desexed by relevant age, an additional fee is also required to be paid
  • cats – registration is due at 12 weeks of age. If cat is not desexed by relevant age, an Annual Permit is due each year the cat is not desexed.

How to make sure you get discounted registration

  • Desex your animal before the required age (4 months for cats, 6 months for dogs)
    If your dog is desexed at 6 months and 1 day, you will not receive the discount.
  • If your pet cannot be desexed by the required age for health reasons, make sure your vet records this on the NSW Pet Registry or provides you with a letter which is dated before the animal reaches the required age.
    For example, if the vet says your pet is too small to desex by the required age, they need to select ‘Not Recommended for Desexing’ on the NSW Pet Registry, so you can still get the discounted rate.

NSW Pet Registry

NSW Pet Registry is the official database for all microchipped and registered cats and dogs living in NSW. (Previously known as the NSW Companion Animal Register).

Councils and vets use this online registry to find owners of lost animals.

I’ve moved from another state, how do I get my pet added to NSW Pet Registry?

If your pet was microchipped in another state, you need to make sure it is added to the NSW Pet Registry.

You will need your pet’s microchip number to do this. If you don’t have an official record of your pet’s microchip number, ask a vet for a verification form.

Only a vet or Council can add your pet to the registry.

To register your pet, fill out the permanent identification form (P1A form) then contact us.

What can I do on NSW Pet Registry?

You can use your account to:

  • report your pet missing
  • update your contact details
  • change the ownership of pets
  • pay the lifetime registration fee (some exceptions)

Save time, go online.

Selling or giving away a dog or cat?

If you’re selling or giving away a dog or cat it is your responsibility to update ownership details.

You can change owner details online at NSW Pet Registry or by contacting Council. You will need to complete the change of owner (C3A) form.

You must microchip all dogs or cats that you sell or give away.

If you’re advertising kittens, cats, puppies or dogs for sale (or to give away) in NSW, you must include a microchip number or identification number in advertisements.

Visit the Office of Local Government website for further information on selling or giving away a cat or dog.

Have you moved house?

You must update your pets address within 14 days of moving. You can do this online at NSW Pet Registry or fill in the Change pet address form and return it to Council.

What if my pet has died?

Please update NSW Pet Registry or advise Council in writing.

Information for breeders

Breeders are encouraged to make an online profile on NSW Pet Registry. You can then use your Breeder ID number to easily register litters and transfer kittens and puppies to new owners.

The NSW Government provides information for breeders and a list of recognised breeders.

Working dogs, and assistance and therapy animals

Working dogs

Definition of a working dog: a dog used for droving, tending, working or protecting stock (includes a dog being trained as a working dog).

Working dogs kept on land rated as farmland are not required to be microchipped or registered, however owners should be encouraged to microchip and register (nil registration fee) their valuable animals.

If your working dog is not kept on farmland, it must be microchipped and registered (nil registration fee).

You must provide a signed statutory declaration(PDF, 105KB) as proof the animal is a working dog. Please include a list of the dog’s duties, microchip number and breed of dog.

Council may also visit the property to witness the dog working.

Hunting dogs and guard dogs are not working dogs under the Companion Animals Act.

Visit the Office of Local Government website for further information on working dogs.

Assistance animals

An assistance animal in NSW is either

  1. accredited under a law of a State or Territory that provides for the accreditation of animals trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability; OR
  2. accredited by an animal training organisation prescribed by the Commonwealth

To register an assistance animal contact Council. (There is no registration fee.)

You will be asked for reasonable proof that:

  • you have a disability (medical certificate required)
  • your animal has been trained to ease the effect of disability
  • your animal has been microchipped
  • your animal is trained to meet hygiene and behaviour standards in public places (Public Access Test or PAT).
  • For Certified Assistance Animals that have been trained through a Training and Certification company” eg Guide dogs for the Blind, Dogs for the Deaf, Medical Alert Dogs etc. They need to provide their Certification Certificates only. These dogs are always desexed.  

Council strongly recommends that you desex your assistance animal.

Having an assistance animal registered with Council does not mean it is certified as an assistance animal. You need to be aware of the rules for assistance animals and:

  • rental and housing properties
  • body corporates
  • public places
  • public transport.

(Search ‘public access tests’ online for more information)

A person with a disability can train their own assistance animal. You will need to show proof the training meets the required standards.

Visit the Office of Local Government website for further information on assistance animals.

Therapy animals

Definition of a therapy animal: an animal used to improve a person’s wellbeing and quality of life (also known as emotional support animals.)

Standard pet registration fees apply.

Desexing your pet

Why should you desex your pet?

  • Desexed animals are less likely to roam.
  • Helps reduce aggression, fighting and antisocial behaviour.
  • Reduces the risk of some cancers and serious health problems.
  • Less unwanted animals born each year.
  • Saves you money.

You get a discount on registration fees if your pet is desexed.

How do I prove my pet has been desexed?

To claim the desexed pet registration rate an animal must be permanently incapable of reproduction by 6 months of age for a dog, or 4 months for a cat.

You need to provide either:

  • a letter, certificate or receipt from a vet
  • a statutory declaration from the owner.

Responsible pet ownership

As a cat or dog owner you’re responsible for knowing the rules for pet ownership, which are set by the Companion Animals Act 1998.

Council is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Act and associated regulations.

Council officers can issue penalty notices (fines), nuisance orders and menacing, dangerous or restricted declarations.

Download: Responsible dog and cat ownership - information sheet(PDF, 231KB)

More information

You can contact Council to:

  • register your pet
  • change ownership
  • update your details
  • update your pets details
  • ask about fines and payment letters
  • pay pet registration fees over the counter (assistance, working and breeding dogs must be registered in person)

Call us on (02) 6670 2400 if you have any questions. Please have your pet’s microchip number ready.

NSW Government links