State by State Pet Registration Laws

Registering your pet is mandatory in all states and territories of Australia with some exceptions.  Whilst this is an added cost to the household budget, it is part of responsible ownership of a pet.

The main advantage, apart from avoiding the inevitable fine if your are caught with an unregistered pet, is that you will be contacted quickly should your four legged friend be lost or run off and subsequently found by the local council, shelter or vet.  The money also goes to funding animal friendly parks, doggie poo bins and animal shelters, just to name a few. All authorities offer discounts to concession card holders with some offering various other discounts – check in with your local council for specifics.


In Victoria it is compulsory for all dogs and cats 3 months of age and older to be registered and fines apply for non-compliance.  If they are being registered for the first time they must also be micro chipped.  Registration is due every year by April 4th and can be organised through your local council

New South Wales          

New South Wales requires that all dogs and cats be registered by 6 months of age.  The fee is a once only charge for the life of the animal and discounted fees apply if your pet is desexed.  Micro chipping is also a requirement for all dogs and cats by 12 weeks of age or when sold or if given away, whichever comes first.  Failure to do either attracts fines.


Queensland’s regulations mean that all dogs should be registered by 12 weeks of age or when they are sold.  Micro chipping is also required for both cats and dogs at the same age or when they are sold or given away.  Reduced fees may also apply if your animal is desexed, provided a certificate is supplied from your vet.  There are some exemptions to registration for working dogs.  Different municipal authorities provide varied information on their websites so if you are unsure about what is required under the law, just contact your local council. by State Pet Registration Laws

South Australia

In South Australia only dogs are required to be registered. Cats are generally exempt from registration although some individual council bylaws may require either or both registration and micro chipping, so it is always best to double check with your local council.  Dogs must be registered when they are 3 months or older and the registered owner must be at least 16 years of age.  Registration falls due by August 31st each year and there are discounts/rebates for animals which are micro chipped, desexed or obedience trained to level 3 (certificates to be provided).

West Australia                 

West Australian pet laws require compulsory registration of all dogs from 3 months of age and as of November 1st 2013, cats must also be registered, sterilised and micro chipped by 6 months of age. Fines apply for dogs caught not wearing registration tag in public.  Also, from the above date, all new dog registrations or dogs transferred to new owners must be micro chipped.  Dogs cannot be registered unless they are micro chipped. Cat breeders must be licensed and cannot legally sell a cat unless it has been micro chipped and sterilised.  Cats must also wear collars with their registration tags and are required to be confined to their homes, especially at night.  Registration is due by November 1st each year.

Northern Territory         

Northern Territory has varied registration laws according to the presiding local council.  In Darwin, for example, dogs and cats are required to be registered from 3 months of age. They must also be micro chipped and cannot be registered without. Discounts are offered for desexed animals with registrations due on the 30th June each year.  In some other council areas such as Katherine and Palmerston dogs need to be registered but micro chipping is not compulsory.  Also there is no requirement for cats to be registered in these areas.  It is always best to check your obligations with your local council.


The ACT requires that all dogs 8 weeks of age or older must be registered and micro chipped.  In addition to this all dogs over 6 months of age must be desexed.  Exemptions can be applied for.  Cats do not need to be registered, however, they must be micro chipped from 3 months of age and desexed.  They must also wear an ID collar and tag with owner’s contact details.


From July 2011 in Tasmania all dogs must be registered and micro chipped from 6 months of age.  Cats do not need to be registered unless they are going to be bred (from July 2012.)  When selling or giving away kittens they must be wormed, vaccinated, micro chipped and desexed.


Isn’t registration a small cost to pay for the peace of mind it will bring if the worst happens and your furry friend escapes from the back yard, not to mention trying to explain to the kids how you are going to find their best friend? Or if you find yourself with a rather large litter of pups or kittens you need to care and find homes for?

Is your pet registered?

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