Licensing Your Dog

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  1. Why Should I License My Dog?
  2. How Can I Get/Renew a License?
  3. What Do I Need to Start?
  4. What Else Should I Know?

Why should I license my dog?

There are many benefits that highlight the importance of licensing your dog every year:

  • It’s the law. In Maricopa County, all dogs over three months of age are required by law to be licensed and vaccinated against rabies. The tag you receive the first time your dog is licensed should always be attached to their collar – it is proof that your dog has been licensed and will help you avoid a citation and fees for failure to license.
  • Helps prevent rabies. Dogs must have a current rabies vaccination to apply for, or renew, a dog license in Maricopa County. Rabies is a potentially fatal disease for humans and animals, and due to widespread vaccinations, there has not been a confirmed case of rabies in a dog in Maricopa County for over 40 years. 
  • Free ride home! If your dog is picked up at large by an Animal Control Officer, having a current license and contact information on file means your dog will be returned directly to you that same day (when possible), without your dog having to come into the shelter. 
  • It’s life-saving. The fees collected from licensing directly support the daily care of the 30,000 animals that enter the shelter each year; licensing your dog helps all the other dogs and cats at MCACC that are waiting to find their forever homes too. 
  • Your dog will be safer. When you license your dog, you are registered as the dog’s owner and your information is entered into our database – if your dog is ever lost, this helps us to more quickly reunite you with your dog. Also, MCACC follows a minimum of 120 hours for Hold-Notify of a licensed dog that comes into the shelter, compared to a minimum stray hold of 72 hours, giving you more time to find your lost pet. 
  • It can save you money. If your licensed dog is lost and picked up by MCACC but we are unable to reach you, the first 24 hours at the shelter will be at no charge. Also, if a licensed dog bites someone, it may be eligible for home quarantine, rather than being quarantined at the dog owner’s expense in our facility or at a veterinary hospital.

Need More Help?

Renewing your dog’s license? Follow this step-by-step guide.

First time licensing your dog? Follow this step-by-step guide.

Adding a new dog under your account? Follow this step-by-step guide. 

For additional information and assistance, contact us by email or by phone at 602-506-7387 (option "5" for licensing)

Please Note - Our Licensing mailing address is different than our shelter locations:

Maricopa County Animal Care and Control
Licensing Section
P.O. Box 52014 
Phoenix, AZ 85072 

View some of our "Return to Owner" success stories below: