Microchipping and Registration

Companion Animals/Assistance Animals/Therapy Animals

Companion Animals

Registering Your Pet

Pets are great companions but it is essential that dog and cat owners register and microchip their pets. The Companion Animals Act 1998 was introduced in NSW on 1st July 1999 to protect pets, people and the wider community.

Microchipping and registration is a two-step process:


In NSW, all cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first.

1. Contact your local vet or the Council to have your animal microchipped.

2. You will complete a permanent identification form at time of microchipping.

3. Once the animal is microchipped, these identification details are entered into the NSW Companion Animal Register.

4. A certificate is then issued to the owner with the identification details.

5. Register your cat or dog as per step two.


All cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be registered by six months of age. The registration fee is a once-only payment, which covers the cat or dog for its lifetime in NSW, regardless of any changes in ownership. You are encouraged to have your cat or dog desexed before registering it. To register your pet you will need:

1. The Lifetime Registration R2 Form.

2. A certificate of microchipping or letter from your vet.

3. Proof of de-sexing from your vet or a statutory declaration (discounted fee for desexed animals).

4. Any documents which entitle you to a discount (for example pension card).

5. Payment can be made at Council either by cheque, money order, EFTPOS, VISA or cash.

You must notify Council if any of the following circumstances occur:

• Change of ownership/change of address or any other details within 14 days;

• Death of animal within 28 days in writing;

• Missing animal within 96 hours;

• If a court declares/revokes a dog as being dangerous within 7 days; and

• If you sell or give away your animal a change of owner/details form must be completed and sent to Council.

This Change of Owner Details Form (C3A) can be found on the Division of Local Government website. Do not give the certificate to the new owner, as you are responsible for the details to be changed. Penalties apply where changes to ownership are not notified.

All NSW Councils are connected to the state wide register. You may register your animal by downloading and completing the prescribed Lifetime Registration R2 Form along with supporting documentation and pay the required fee at any local Council office.

2023/2024 Registration Fees

Registration Type

Current Fee

Dog – Desexed (by relevant age)


Dog – Desexed (by relevant age eligible pensioner)


Dog – Desexed (sold by eligible pound/shelter)


Dog – Not desexed or desexed (after relevant age)


Dog – Not desexed (not recommended)*


Dog - Not desexed (not recommended - eligible pensioner)*


Dog - Not desexed (recognised breeder)


Dog - Working dog


Dog - Assistance animal


Cat – Desexed or Not Desexed


Cat – Desexed (eligible pensioner)


Cat – Desexed (sold by eligible pound/shelter)


Cat – Not desexed (not recommended)*


Cat – Not desexed (recognised breeder)


Registration late fee

ANNUAL Permits


Undesexed Cat (Cat not desexed by 4 months of age)


Dangerous Dog


Restricted Dog


 Permit late fee


*Animal with written notification from a vet that it should not be desexed

Under the Companion Animals Act, cats and dogs throughout NSW must be identified (by microchipping) by the time the animal is 12 weeks old. The permanent identification (microchipping) and lifetime registration scheme greatly assists authorities in returning lost or injured animals to their owners. Once microchipped and registered, your pet is protected for life.

Assistance Animals/Therapy Animals

It is important to note that there are differences between an assistance animal and a therapy or companion animal.

An assistance animal is an animal that is trained to provide assistance to people with a disability to help alleviate the effect of that disability. In NSW, an assistance animal is an animal that 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; OR

3. trained to assist a person with a disability to alleviate the effect of that disability, and, to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.

The law recognises that a person with a disability is entitled to train their own animal or to have it trained by any handler or organisation. As at June 2016 there is no assessment or accreditation framework for assistance animals. In considering an application to register an animal as an assistance animal the Council is entitled to request reasonable proof that the:

• person/owner has a disability

• animal is/has been trained to alleviate the effect of the disability; and

• animal is/has been trained to meet standards of hygiene and behaviour appropriate for an animal in a public place.

So if you would like to apply to have your animal registered as an assistance animal;

1. You need a letter from your doctor confirming that you have a disability and that your dog alleviates the symptoms of this disability, it does not have to have the specific details of your disability. 

2. You can train your dog yourself but will need to have a “PAT test” (Public Access Test) undertaken on the dog to confirm that it is trained appropriately and meets the minimum standard of behaviour for an assistance dog.

Other points to consider are;

• Other companion animals may be used as therapy animals. A therapy animal is an animal that engages in therapeutic activity to improve a person’s general wellbeing and quality of life, or an animal that is used to facilitate counselling or psychotherapy. However, the companion animals legislation does not provide an exemption from the payment of lifetime registration fees for animals being used as therapy animals.

• Dogs are prohibited from entering certain public places. These places include areas where food is prepared and consumed, school grounds and childcare centres, play, recreation and bathing areas, shopping areas and wildlife protection areas.

• However, a person with a disability is entitled to be accompanied by an assistance animal. They must not, without reasonable cause, be denied access to a public building or place or any public transport if they have a disability and are using the animal to assist them.

• The person in charge or control of the building, place or public transport is responsible for deciding, at their discretion, whether the person’s disability and use of an assistance animal meets the provisions of the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Documentation may be required to verify that the animal has been appropriately trained and is being used to assist or alleviate a disability.

• An animal does not necessarily need to be registered as an assistance animal under the Companion Animals Act 1998 to be permitted access to a public place or public transport. Also, registration as an assistance animal under the Act does not necessarily provide proof of training or verify use of the animal to allow entry to a public place or public transport.

• The certificate of registration from the Companion Animals Register may therefore not provide sufficient documentary evidence for the person in charge of a public place or transport to permit entry under the provisions of the Commonwealth Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

• Further information on travel concessions for assistance animals can be found on the Transport for NSW website.

The Assistance Dogs Organisation’s website frequently asked questions.

The Office of Local Government’s website information on assistance animals.