California law requires that all dogs over the age of four months be vaccinated against rabies and licensed through the local animal care and control agency. The County of Los Angeles (County) requires the same AND that all dogs be spayed/neutered and microchipped. Cats are also required to be vaccinated for rabies at four months of age and licensed.
Licensing is an important means of identification and can help to return lost pets to their owners quickly. Additionally, license revenues are a vital means of support to help the Department promote and protect human and animal safety. Failure to license your pet may result in fines or penalties.
The Department employs nearly 50 license enforcement officers and support staff to ensure compliance with pet licensing laws.
Animal licenses may be purchased by completing a license application form and mailing it‑‑along with payment, proof of rabies vaccination, and proof of sterilization‑‑to the address on the application. Seniors should include proof of age (i.e., driver’s license or identification card) to obtain a senior discount.
Licenses may be purchased at an animal care center or by mail.
Designer tags contain the pet owner’s personal contact information on the reverse side of the official license. There is an additional $15 charge for this personalization service. Pet owners may purchase a designer tag by completing an additional form and submitting it with the license application, or mailing it separately, to the address on the form. Designer tag sales are processed by the Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation and proceeds are donated to enhance animal care at our animal care centers.
Pet licenses are valid for one year. Renewal notices are mailed to pet owners approximately six weeks prior to their license expiration date. Current licenses may be renewed online with a credit or debit card, by phone at (877) U-PAY-PET or (877) 872-9738, or by mailing the renewal.
Failure to renew a pet license can result in a late penalty equal to the cost of the license. Additionally, owners of unlicensed pets brought into compliance through the Department’s Field Licensing program will be assessed an additional field enforcement fee. This fee helps to recover the costs of our field enforcement program.
If a pet’s license becomes lost, a replacement license may be purchased by submitting a check for $5 to the Department’s Licensing Division. For further information, please contact the Enforcement Services Bureau’s Licensing Division at (562) 345-0400. This division is located at 12440 East Imperial Highway, 6th Floor, Norwalk 90650.
Field Licensing (Enforcement)
Field licensing pertains to field officers who go into neighborhoods to update expired licensing information and license unregistered pets. Officers usually work Wednesday through Saturday.
Officers assigned to field licensing duties have records of animals whose licenses have expired. Additionally, the officers attempt to make personal contact with each resident and bring into compliance those animals whose licenses have expired, are deceased, or are otherwise no longer with a family. Sometimes new animals have been brought into the home and the officers will bring their licensing status into compliance as well. Once a license is issued in the field, the resident will receive a renewal notice the following year mailed to the address on file.
Owners of unlicensed pets brought into compliance through the Department’s Field Licensing program will be assessed an additional field enforcement fee. This fee helps to recover the costs of our field enforcement program. Field licensing is critical to keep records updated and accurate for the residents within our service areas.
Should you have a question in regard to our field licensing/canvassing operations, please contact (562) 658-2019, Wednesday-Saturday, 7:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.).