Annual Pet License

Why is it important to license my pet? 

New Jersey law NJSA 4:19-15.2a states:
"No municipal clerk or other official designated by the governing body of any  municipality to license dogs therein shall grant any such license and official  metal registration tag for any dog unless the owner thereof provides evidence  that the dog to be licensed and registered has been inoculated with a rabies  vaccine of a type approved by and administered in accordance with the  recommendations of the United States Department of Agriculture and the United  States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, or has been certified  exempt as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health.  Such vaccination shall be repeated at intervals as provided by regulations of the State Department of Health, and shall be administered by a duly licensed veterinarian or by such other veterinarian permitted by law to do the same.   The State Department of Health shall promulgate regulations providing for the recognized duration of immunity, interval of inoculation, certificate of vaccination, certificate of exemption, and such other matters related to this act."

In addition, New Jersey Administrative Code NJAC 8:23A-4.3 states:

"(a) Except as otherwise provided in N.J.A.C. 8:23A-4.3, no municipal clerk or other official designated to license dogs shall grant any such license and official metal registration tag for any dog unless the dog owner provides evidence that the dog to be licensed and registered has been inoculated against rabies with a vaccine having duration of immunity which extends throughout at least ten of the 12 months of the licensing period. Dogs with a duration of immunity against rabies that expires prior to the tenth month of the licensing period shall be revaccinated prior to issuance of a license.

(b) The rabies inoculation required in (a) above shall be made by a duly licensed veterinarian. The vaccine used must be approved by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered to the animal at the dosage and route of administration in accordance with the specifications of the product label and package insert. 2

(c) The veterinarian immunizing the animal shall issue and sign a National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Form #51, "Rabies Vaccination Certificate," and shall arrange that the following information is typed or printed on the rabies certificate: the date of inoculation, the duration of immunity, the name and serial number of the product used, a description of the animal, the name and license number of the veterinarian, and the full mailing address of the owner. Computer-generated forms containing the same information, signature stamps, and electronic signatures are acceptable. The animal owner shall retain the certificate of inoculation and exhibit it to the animal licensing official of the municipality when application for a license is made."

For a dog license to be issued, the dog owner must present proof that a licensed veterinarian administered a rabies vaccine to the dog (rabies vaccination certificate).  New Jersey requires that the duration of immunity from the most recent vaccination extends through at least the first 10 months of the 12 month licensing period. Animals with a rabies vaccination certificate showing an expiration of prior to November 1st of the licensing year will need to receive a booster rabies vaccination prior to the license being issued. To date, revaccinating an animal before expiration of the previous vaccine has not been associated with an increased occurrence of adverse reactions and is not medically contraindicated. 

The New Jersey Department of Health recommends revaccination of dogs and cats prior to the expiration of the previous vaccination. Municipal dog licensing officials shall grant an exemption to the rabies inoculation requirement for any dog that a licensed veterinarian certifies in writing to be incapable of being inoculated because of an infirmity, other physical condition, or regimen of therapy (NJAC 8:23 A-4.3). The VPH-28 form shall be used by veterinarians to exempt a dog from the rabies vaccination. 

Dog License Fee:  $18.00 per dog
Cat License Certificate: $15.00 for up to six cats. 
Non-Spayed or Neutered: $3.00 per animal

Application Deadline: January 31st
Late Fee: $10.00 per application after ten day grace period

Please complete the  Annual Pet License Application and provide a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate with an expiration date valid through November 1st of the licensing year.  If the rabies vaccination expires prior to November 1st of the licensing year, contact your veterinarian to discuss options that may be available to you.