Animal registration

Lifetime Registration is compulsory for cats and dogs.

The Companion Animals Act 1998, which came into effect in September 1998 to replace the Dog Act 1966, is designed to benefit pets, their owners and the wider community.

Amongst other things, the Companion Animals Act requires cats and dogs to be identified by microchip by the age of 12 weeks and lifetime registered by the age of 6 months. The permanent identification and lifetime registration system, which came into effect on 1 July 1999, greatly assists authorities in returning lost and injured animals to their owners.

Registration is a two-stage process:

  STEP 1 : 'Chip In'

By 12 weeks of age, puppies and kittens must be permanently identified through microchipping. When an animal is microchipped, its identification details are entered onto the NSW Companion Animals Register. A certificate is issued to the owner to certify that their animal's details have been entered.

Microchipping can be arranged through your local vet, animal welfare organisation or at Council's Animal Holding Facility.

paw STEP 2: Registration

By six months of age, all puppies and kittens must be registered on the NSW Companion Animals Register. Infringements may be issued to the owners of animals older than 6 months of age and unregistered.

You can register at your local Council, RSPCA or the Animal Welfare League. The statewide register links owners' details to the animals' microchip. Your privacy is strictly protected as only authorised people can access the Register.

One of the important aims of the system is to help reduce the number of lost or stray dogs and cats unnecessarily 'put to sleep' every year in NSW. In order to do this, it is essential that owned and unowned animals can be readily identified so that they can be returned to their owners or new homes can be found in the event they are lost.

 Register your pet at:

Waverley Council Customer Service Centre
55 Spring Street, Bondi Junction
Phone: 9083 8000

 Download animal registration application form

Cost to register your cat or dog
Category Cost What to bring
Animals not desexed $201 Microchip number
Desexed animals $55 Desexing certificate and microchip number
Desexed animal owned by a pensioner $23 Pensioner card, desexed certificate and microchip number
Assistance dogs Free n/a
Breeder concession
$55
A breeder's card from either Dogs NSW, Waratah Cat Alliance, NSW Cat Fanciers Association

Failure to microchip or register your dog can attract a fine of $550 or $2,200 if the dog has been declared dangerous or is a restricted breed.

paw Note for cat owners

  • If your cat was born, sold or given away after July 1999, it must be microchipped and lifetime registered through a local Council.
  • If you owned your cat before July 1999, you must identify your cat with a collar and tag or microchip. You do not have to register the cat.

  Registration exemptions

The only allowable registration exemptions are provided for in Section 17 of the Companion Animals Regulation:

  1. A cat born before 1 July 1999, other than a cat whose ownership changes after that date
  2. An animal that is ordinarily kept outside New South Wales, but not when the animal has been in New South Wales for a continuous period of at least 3 months
  3. An animal in the custody of a Council pound, the Animal Welfare League, Cat Protection Society, RSPCA or any other organisation approved by the Director General by order published in the Gazette
  4. An animal kept at a pet shop for the purposes of sale
  5. An animal kept for the purposes of sale in the course of a business conducted at a booth or stall in a market or at affair
  6. A greyhound registered under the Greyhound Racing Authority Act 1985
  7. A dog that is ordinarily used by a police officer on official duty
  8. An animal in the custody of an accredited research establishment within the meaning of the Animal Research Act 1985, or the holder of an animal research authority or an animal supplier's licence within the meaning of that Act, or
  9. An animal kept at a licensed animal display establishment within the meaning of the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986 and lawfully exhibited in accordance with that Act.

Animals covered under these exemptions are not required to be identified or registered.

Any animal which is seized and taken into the custody of a Council pound or animal shelter must be microchipped and lifetime registered before being returned to its original owner. This requirement overrides any exemptions.