License Your Dog: It's the Law
Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
March 25, 2003
License Your Dog: It's the Law
Many Fairfax County residents do not know that all dogs over 4 months old must be licensed annually, vaccinated against rabies and must have the license tag securely attached to a collar and worn whenever the dog is off the owner's property. Cats over 4 months old must be inoculated against rabies, but they are not required to be licensed. Failure to license your dog can result in a potential fine of up to $250 for non-licensure.
Dog licenses are sold only upon presentation of a certificate showing that the dog has been inoculated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Dog licenses cost $5 per year for spayed/neutered animals and $10 for fertile animals. To obtain the $5 license, certification must be provided that the animal has been spayed or neutered by a veterinarian or is infertile. License tags are issued free of charge to the owners of dogs trained and serving as guide dogs for people with visual impairments, hearing dogs for people with hearing impairments or service dogs for people with mobility impairments.
In addition to being required, properly licensing your dog will help ensure a speedy return home if your pet gets lost, since Animal Control officers will be able track the animal's home through the license number.
Dog license tags may be purchased by mail or in person:
By mail: Send a completed copy of the dog license application
(found online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/dta/pdf_files/pddogapp.pdf
or available at the Department of Tax Administration), a check payable
to Fairfax County, a current certificate of rabies vaccination and
proof of spaying or neutering, if applicable, to Fairfax County,
Department of Tax Administration, 12000 Government Center Parkway,
Suite 223, Fairfax, VA 22035.
In person: Bring a completed copy of the dog license
application, a check payable to Fairfax County, a current certificate
of rabies vaccination and proof of spaying or neutering, if applicable,
to one of the following locations:
The Department of Tax Administration, 12000 Government Center
Parkway, Suite 223, Fairfax, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays
(8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays) or
- The Animal Shelter, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday or Saturday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- The Department of Tax Administration, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 223, Fairfax, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays (8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursdays) or
County residents who have bought tags in previous years will automatically receive application forms in the mail in October. Licenses must be purchased by Jan. 31.
In cooperation with National Tag Day on Saturday, April 5, the Fairfax County Animal Shelter also encourages pet owners to put a personal ID tag, rabies tag, license tag (required by law for all dogs over 4 months old), microchip, tattoo or any device on their pet to better help shelters identify and return lost pets. If your pet has a tag with your address and name on it, they will most likely be given a ride home instead of being sent to a shelter.
For questions regarding dog license fees, call the Department of Tax
Administration at 703-222-8234, TTY 703-222-7594 or the Animal Shelter at
703-830-3310, TTY 711 (Virginia Relay Center). Additional information is
available on the county's Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/ps/ac.