Animal Registration

Domestic cats and dogs are required by law to be Permanently Identified (referred to as “microchipped”) and be Lifetime Registered under the Companion Animals Act 1998.

Permanent Identification (microchipping)

Cats and dogs must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away, depending on which event happens first. Microchipping enables vets and other animal workers to reunite pets with their owners. There is a barcode on the microchip that is implanted by your vet that will have all of the information you supplied at the time of microchipping. It is important to keep that information up to date by contacting Council if your contact details change.

Microchipping can be carried out by a vet and is painless. The chip itself is about the size of a grain of rice and is usually placed between the animal’s shoulders.

Lifetime Registration

Lifetime Registration takes place after you have your dog or cat microchipped and must be arranged and paid for through your local Council. This is a once-only payment which covers your dog or cat for its lifetime in NSW.

Registration enables Council to provide services to the community for animal management under the Companion Animal Act 1998. The Act provides Council with a range of powers and responsibilities to ensure companion animals and their owners coexist with members of the community who do not own pets.

You will need to have your animal microchipped before registration and bring with you documentation that includes the microchip details, sterilisation certificate, breeder's card or pension card.

Council does not set or keep the fee for registration: this is determined by and returned to the NSW Office of Local Government.


The fees for Permanent Identification (microchipping) and Lifetime Registration are listed in Council’s Fees and Charges.

Why do I need to microchip and register my cat or dog?

Failure to microchip and register your cat or dog can lead to Council issuing fines to owners if your cat or dog escapes or goes missing. Being able to identify your dog or cat will help Council return your pets to you more quickly.

Isn’t microchipping the same as registering my cat or dog?

No. The Permanent Identification (microchip) will only provide details at the point of time that the microchip was inserted. In many instances, ownership of a cat or dog may change or the current owner’s details may change.

The Lifetime Registration ensures responsible pet ownership and allows Council to monitor ownership patterns to ensure the best possible animal welfare.

Responsibilities in keeping a dog as a companion animal

Download our handy guide on keeping a dog as a companion animal:

Responsibilities in Keeping a Dog