Dog registration - overview and FAQs

About dog registration

​ It is important to register your dog every year as part of being a responsible dog owner. We outline your responsibilities below. You can also check frequently asked questions (FAQs) on this page.

Annual dog registration fees are due by 30 June. Did you know that you can register your dog online? For more information see Dogs OnlineNote that there is a 2.49 per cent fee charged by the bank for making an online payment. This fee is set by the bank, not by Council. 

See dog registration requirements , fee details and discounts for information on costs for registering your dog. 

You can also check out our animal education and control fees and charges list to see information on a wider range of animal and dog-related fees. 

If you are the owner of a dog, the registration guidelines are:

  • All dogs must be registered before they turn three months old.
  • Dogs should be registered at the address where they spend most of the time.
  • If you are under 16 years of age, your dog must be registered under a parent's or guardian's name.
  • If you have an unregistered dog, you may be prosecuted.
  • All dogs must wear a colour-coded registration disc (tag) to show it has been registered for that year. If your dog is lost, he or she can be quickly identified using the registration tag.
  • Dogs registered for the first time after 1 July 2006 need to be microchipped within two months of first being registered . Find out more about microchipping .  
  • If you want to own more than two dogs, there are special conditions. Find out more here.
Note that you still need to register certified seeing eye or hearing ear dogs and companion/assistance dogs - however there is no charge t o register these dogs.  

Find out more about your responsibilities as a dog owner, including: caring for your dog, dog education and safety around dogs. Check out 'related links' (right) for other useful dog-related online resources and support.

Exercising your dog

Find out where you can safely exercise your dog - check out our maps online:

Dogs Online overview

 find out what you need to know and do

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is the cost of registration?

Please see  our animal education and control fees and charges list. For more details, see dog registration requirements, fee details and discounts.

How can I get a dog registration pack?

Dog registration packs are mailed to all owners of previously-registered dogs. If you have just got a dog and/or if you haven't received a pack, you can pick one up from Animal Education and Control Team at 217 Ellis St , Frankton or at Council reception in Garden Place, Hamilton - or  downl oad a registration form (PDF, 1MB)

The easiest way though is to use our Dogs Online e-services facility to register, renew, pay or change details.

Alternatively, you can call us on 07 838 6632 and ask us to post out a registration pack to you.

back to FAQs

Why must I register my dog?

It is a legal requirement that all dogs must be registered. The registration information about your dog goes onto a national register and this helps in the location and identification of owners in the case of wandering, lost or stolen dogs. It also helps keep track of dogs who have changed owners or districts, or who have a history of complaints. 

All dogs registered for the first time have to be microchipped and this greatly strengthens the ability to locate and identify dogs, and to confirm their ownership. 

back to FAQs

When does my puppy need to be registered?

All puppies need to be registered by three months of age.

Do I have to microchip my dog?

Yes. All dogs registered for the first time after 1 July 2006 need to be microchipped within two months of first being registered. There are also microchipping requirements in relation to impounded dogs and dogs which are classified as dangerous or menacing. Find out more about the microchipping requirements here .

back to FAQs

Is it compulsory as a dog owner to supply my date of birth? 

Yes it is compulsory. Your date of birth is required to enable you to be distinguished from other people with the same name. Certainty of identification is required in the enforcement of the provisions of the Dog Control Act 1996.

back to FAQs

What if I have more than two dogs?

In Hamilton, no more than two dogs over the age of three months can live on individual premises. If you want to keep more than two dogs, you'll need a permit. Find out more about owning more than two dogs here.

back to FAQs

When does the registration period start and finish each year?

The registration year is the same across all Councils, running from 1 July to 30 June every year. Registration renewal fees are due by 30 June each year.

back to FAQs

When does my dog need to wear its registration tag?

Dogs need to be wearing a collar with a current registration tag at all times. It is important that your dog is wearing its tag so it can be clearly identified.

back to FAQs

Do I have to advise Council if my registration details change?

Yes, if you and/or your dog changes address, or if your dog changes ownership, you need to advise Council if your and/or your dog will still be living within Hamilton city and its surroundsIt is an offence (with a fine of $100) if you do not notify us of these changes within 14 daysYou can also notify Council in writing. 

However, if the dog is moving into or out of the Hamilton City Council area, notification must be made within six weeks.  

If you are notifying us in writing, you can find out how to contact us here; or email our Animal Education and Control Team. You can also download a  change of address form (PDF, 200KBor  change of ownership form (PDF, 200KB) and once you have filled the form in, you can return it to us. 

The easiest way though is to use our Dogs Online e-services facility to register, renew, pay or change details.

back to FAQs

What happens if I register my dog late or do not register my dog?

Dog registration renewals that are unpaid at 1 August will incur a 50 per cent penalty fee. Late registrations create additional administrative costs in reminders and postage as well as staff time. The implementation of a penalty encourages dog owners to register on time.

If you do not register your dog any or all of the following may occur:

  • A $300 infringement notice may be issued.
  • We may seize and impound the dog.
  • We may prosecute the dog owner.

Fees incurred are in relation to the seizure of the unregistered dog; sustenance fees apply while it is in our care; and before you can claim your dog, you must register it prior to its release).

See our animal education and control fees and charges list and also dog registration requirements, fee details and discounts for more information. 

back to FAQs

What happens if my dog is classified as dangerous or menacing?

Dogs can be classified as dangerous or menacing if they act in an aggressive manner bite or attack or behave aggressively towards a person or another animal. 

The Hamilton City Council  may classify a dog as 'menacing' if it considers that a dog poses a threat to any person, stock, poultry, domestic animal or protected wildlife because of:
  • any observed or reported behaviour of the dog, or;
  • any characteristics typically associated with the dogs breed or type.
The owner of any dog that has been classified as dangerous or menacing pays 150 per cent of the usual registration fee - see our fees and charges list for details. 

Get more information about dangerous and menacing dogs .

If my dog dies, am I entitled to a refund?

Yes you are. 

If your dog passes away, you need to notify us so we can update our records and you can specifically request a refund calculated against any remaining months left on your dog's fully-paid registration year.

To do this, you can use Dogs Onlineemail  us, write to us or download a  Notificati on of Death Form (PDF, 220KB), fill it in and send it back to us. Find out how to contact us here

It is importa nt that you do this as soon as possible, as the refunds are calculated on the number of full months left in the registration year, from the date we receive your written notification. Refunds are only provided in this circumstance. Refunds are not available if your dog changes ownership or you sign your dog over to the Animal Education and Control Centre. 

The easiest way though is to use our Dogs Online e-services facility to register, renew, pay or change details.

Please note, we require a deposit slip/printed record of your bank account details to process your refund, unless you notify us via Dogs Online .

back to FAQs

Page reviewed: 19 Sep 2018 12:54pm