Microchipping

A microchip is a subcutaneous full duplex electronic radio transponder. Modern microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and are implanted beneath the animal’s skin between the shoulders. No personal information is stored on the microchip, only the unique identification number. For more information on microchips, please see key information section below.

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.

If you fail to have your cat or dog microchipped when required to do so, you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice for $180 or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $880. Where your dog is a restricted dog or a declared dangerous dog you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice for $1,320 or a court may award a maximum penalty of $5,500.

 

Registration

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.

Discounted registration fees apply to desexed cats or dogs. Having your cat or dog desexed prior to registration helps to reduce straying, fighting and aggression and antisocial behaviour, such as spraying to mark territory. It also helps to reduce the number of unwanted pets born each year.

Registration fees are used by councils for providing animal management related services to the community. These may include ranger services, pound facilities, dog refuse bins, educational and other companion animal-related activities.

If you fail to register your cat or dog when required to do so you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice of $330, or a court may award a maximum penalty of up to $5500 or up to $6,500 if your dog is a restricted dog or a declared dangerous or menacing dog.

Key Resources

Forms

Burmese cat and Staffordshire Terrier portrait on white background

Key Information

  • Microchips

    Approved microchips for use in NSW must comply with ISO:11784 and ISO:11785. ISO means International Standardisation for Organisations. A microchip scanner is used to read the animal’s microchip number, which is usually a 15-digit unique identification number. However, some older cats and dogs microchip identification number may contain letters as well as numbers.

    An implanted microchip does not cause any ongoing pain or discomfort to your cat or dog. The microchip does not require a battery or any maintenance and is designed to last the life of your pet.

    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.

    If you buy a cat or dog in NSW that is not microchipped, you should report this to a local council for investigation and further action, if appropriate.

    All cats and dogs must be listed on the NSW Companion Animals Register (the Register). Following the implantation of the microchip, a Permanent Identification Form (P1A form) is completed confirming the identification information that is to be entered on the Register.

    The Authorised Identifier (Vet or qualified implanter) or local council enters the identification information onto the Register and issues the owner with a Certificate of Identification.

    Entering identification information on the Register before the cat or dog is lifetime registered helps in reuniting lost or stray animals with their owners.

    The information recorded on the Register is also used by authorised officers to enforce the Companion Animals Act 1998. An authorised officer includes an authorised employee of the local council such a Ranger or any NSW Police Officer.

    Only an Authorised Identifier can microchip a cat or dog in NSW. An Authorised Identifier may be a vet or a person who has completed the relevant qualification. For example, an animal welfare organisation employee, a vet nurse, a pet grooming business operator, an employee of a pet shop or a breeder.

    Some local councils offer low cost microchipping services for residents. Contact your local council to find out more.

    Microchipping is usually included in the purchase price of a cat or dog. However, if you need to microchip your cat or dog (because someone has given you the animal or the animal is not microchipped), you should shop around for the best price, as there is no set cost for microchipping.

  • What should you do if your dog and cat's microchip number is not listed on the NSW Companion Animal Register?

    If you have had your cat or dog microchipped in NSW, the Authorised Identifier must either enter the information onto the NSW Companion Animals Register and issue you a Certificate of Identification, or send the information to your local council for data entry within three days of implanting the microchip.

    The local council must enter the information onto the NSW Companion Animal Register within seven days of receipt of the information and issue you a Certificate of Identification. If you have not received your certificate or you have concerns about the accuracy of the information on the NSW Companion Animals Register, you should take any documentation you have to your local council.

  • How do you register your dog or cat?

    Regardless of how you register your pet, you are encouraged to create a profile on the NSW Pet Registry (www.petregistry.com.au). Having a profile and keeping your details up to date helps reunite you and your pet should you they go missing.

    Registering your pet has never been easier:

    Online – NSW Pet Registry

    The NSW Pet Registry website was launched in July 2016 as part of the Government’s commitment to promoting responsible pet ownership and improved animal welfare outcomes.

    The Registry allows pet owners whose animals have been microchipped to register cats and dog, update their contact details, report missing pets, transfer ownership and pay lifetime registration fees all from a computer or mobile device.

    Over the counter – your local council

    You can also register your pet over the counter at your local council.

    Pet owners seeking to register assistance animals, working dogs or dogs kept for breeding purposes will still need to carry out registration at a local council. Some eligible pensioners will also need to be assessed for eligibility by their local council.

    Over the counter and online – Service NSW

    Service NSW has been added to the list of registration agents to give pet owners an additional, convenient option to register pets.

    Eligible pet owners can register pets with Service NSW in person at a Service NSW centre or kiosk, or online using your MyServiceNSW account, which will link customers with your NSW Pet Registry account.

  • Registration fees

    New registration fees are in accordance with clause 18 of the Companion Animals Regulation 2018.

    Fee changes from 1 July 2019 are:

    Registration Type Registration Description     Current Fee   New Fee (From 1 July 2019)
    Desexed-Animal Registration Registration fee for an animal desexed by the relevant desexing age $57 $58
    Desexed-Eligible Pensioner* Desexed animal owned by an eligible pensioner $24 $25
    Desexed-Sold by Pound/Shelter Desexed animal sold by an eligible pound or shelter $28.50 $29
    Non Desexed Combined registration fee and additional fee for an animal not desexed by the relevant desexing age $207 $210
    Non Desexed-Not Recommended Animal with written notification from a vet that it should not be desexed $57 $58
    Non Desexed-Recognised Breeder Animal not desexed and kept by a recognised breeder for breeding purposes $57 $58
    Working Dog Working dog $0 $0
    Assistance Animal Assistance animal $0 $0
    Dog Service of the State Dog in the service of the State, for example, a police dog $0 $0
    Exempt Greyhound-Racing Act Greyhound currently registered under the Greyhound Racing Act 2017 $0 $0
    Cat born prior to 1 July 1999 Cat born prior to 1 July 1999 where ownership has not changed (when the Companion Animals Act 1998 came into effect) $0 $0

    * An eligible pensioner includes a person in receipt of the aged pension, war widow pension or disability pension. If you are unsure whether you are an eligible pensioner, please contact your local council.

  • Exemptions from the microchipping and lifetime-registration requirement for cats and dogs in NSW

    If you own a cat born before 1 July 1999 and ownership has not changed, a working dog used for tending stock on a rural property or a greyhound currently registered under the Greyhound Racing Act 2009, you do not need to have it microchipped or registered with your local council. However, it is recommended that you have your cat or dog microchipped for its protection.

    Assistance animals must be microchipped and lifetime-registered but there is no registration fee payable.

    If action has been taken against you regarding the behaviour of your cat or dog under the Companion Animals Act 1998, any applicable exemption is lost and your cat or dog must be microchipped and registered.

    A nuisance cat or dog, a restricted dog and a declared dangerous or menacing dog, including a working dog that has been declared a dangerous dog, must be microchipped and registered.

    Any cat or dog not otherwise required to be microchipped or registered that is taken into the custody of a council pound or animal welfare organisation must be microchipped and registered before being returned to its owner (even if it is less than six months old).

  • Do you need to microchip and register your dog or cat if you are moving from another state/territory to NSW?

    If you are moving to NSW and are going to be here for three months or more, you must have your cat or dog microchipped (if this has not already been done), entered on the NSW Companion Animals Register and lifetime registered with your local council. This must occur within three months of moving to NSW.

    If your cat or dog was microchipped outside NSW or before 1 July 1999 (when the Companion Animals Act 1998 came into effect), you will need to provide proof of microchipping to your NSW local council. You will need to present a Verification of Existing Microchip (M1) Form completed and signed by a Vet or other Authorised Identifier and a completed Permanent Identification (P1A) Form.

    Registration in another state or territory cannot be transferred to NSW.

    You may also have listed your cat or dog on a privately-operated national microchip database. These databases are not linked to the NSW Companion Animals Register. The NSW Companion Animals Register is a NSW Government database used to record registration information for cats and dogs that reside in NSW.

    You should contact the operators of any databases on which your cat or dog is listed to update your contact details on your cat or dog’s microchip record:

    Australasian Animal Registry 1800 025 461(02) 9704 1450 www.australiananimalregistry.com.au
    Central Animal Records Recovery line: 1800 333 202Administration: (03) 9706 3187 www.car.com.au
    Global Micro Animal Registry 02 8338 9063 www.globalmicro.com.au
    HomesafeID 1300 53 7140 www.homesafeid.com
    National Pet Register 1300 734 738(03) 9329 2755 www.petregister.com.au
    Petsafe (02) 8850 68001800 989 989 www.petsafe.com.au
  • Do you need to microchip and register your dog or cat if you are moving to Australia?

    If you are going to live in NSW, you must identify and register your cat or dog with your local council within three months of your arrival.

    Cats and dogs being imported to Australia must meet Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) import conditions, including the requirement for microchipping before import to Australia. This is to minimise the risk of exotic diseases being introduced into Australia.

    Australia is free from many animal-related diseases found in other parts of the world.

    For further information on microchipping and registration requirements in NSW, contact your local council on your arrival in NSW.