Identification of Your Pet

Your dog or cat, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be registered on the NSW Pet Registry by the time it's 6 months old. Registration is done once and is valid for the lifetime of the pet in NSW, regardless of any changes in ownership.

Prior to registration, your dog or cat needs to be microchipped. The microchip contains a unique 15-digit number which helps in identification if the animal is lost or stolen. In addition to being microchipped, dogs and cats are required to wear a collar and tag when in a public place.

You can update your contact details, report your pet missing or claim your existing pet through the NSW Pet Registry.


The Companion Animals Act requires cats and dogs to be positively and permanently identified from 12 weeks of age. This identification is in the form of a microchip.

  • Your local vet will microchip your pet and add its number to the NSW Pet Registry website.
  • You can then log in to the registry, make a profile(PDF, 39KB) and 'claim' your pet in the Registry database by searching for the microchip number and your contact telephone number or email address.
  • The microchip method of identification is separate and in addition to the registration process.
  • Details of your dog/cat are entered onto the state wide register, so if your dog/cat goes missing it can be identified and returned home.

There are penalties if you don't microchip and register your dog or cat.

Collars and tags for your pets


All dogs, except working dogs, must wear an identification collar and tag that is engraved with their name and your address and telephone number when outside its own property.


All cats, except cats being exhibited at a show, or in transit to and from a show, must have some form of identification when in a public place.

  • Cats born before 1 July 1999, must be identified with either a microchip or a collar and tag with the cat's name and your address or telephone number on it.
  • Cats born after 1 July 1999, do not have to wear a collar and tag, but must be microchipped and lifetime-registered (unless exempt).

When your pet is wearing its identification collar and tag it can be easily identified and returned to you if it is lost or injured.

Updating your details

Have you recently changed your details? If you have changed your address or phone number and your pet's details on the state wide register are out of date:

  • Check if your dog or cat is registered on the NSW Pet Registry website
  • If your dog or cat isn't registered, select the 'Register online' button
  • 'Claim' your pet by searching for the microchip number and your contact telephone number or email address to update.


Keeping your details up to date is important

In the event that your pet goes missing, we can contact you if your pet is found and brought in to the Animal Care Facility.

  • If your pet has been notified as missing, please advise Council or the Animal Care Facility when the animal is found.
  • You can update your pet’s desexing status on their microchip by providing Council with a copy of the Desexing Certificate of your pet. This can be provided either by email or in person.

Selling or Changing Owners of a pet

Should you sell or change ownership of your companion animal (once microchipped), you are required to change the details on the NSW Pet Register to identify the new owner.

Change of pet ownership rules

  • When selling or changing owners of a pet, it is the responsibility of the old owner to complete a Change of Ownership Form to update the animal owner details to the current owner.
  • The Change of Ownership Form, available from the Office of Local Government must be completed and signed by both the old and the new owners before it can be processed.
  • The completed form must be submitted to your local Council for processing.
  • If you are selling or giving away your cat or dog, any advertisements must include a microchip number, breeder identification number or a rehoming organisation number.
  • It does not matter how old the animal is, where you are advertising, whether or not you are a professional breeder or your animal has had a one off litter or whether the animal has been born yet or not - you must include one of the above numbers in the advertisement.

To find out more about the changes, please visit the Department of Primary Industries website.

Notifying us about a death of a pet

If your pet dies, please inform Council to update the details on the state wide register.

We cannot accept details of the death of a companion animal over the phone.