Kent County Dog Licensing FAQ's
(Frequently Asked Questions)
Why does my dog need a license?
Dog licensing is a requirement by Delaware law. A license serves to identify pets, especially lost pets, and also ensures that rabies vaccinations are kept up to date as required by law.
I used to have a state license, but now I have a county license- what’s the difference?
There is no difference! The state used to issue dog licenses, but because there are so many dog owners throughout the state, the licensing responsibility was handed down to the individual counties to be managed efficiently. The new tags that are issued may look slightly different, but your dog’s license is still valid throughout the entire state.
How do I know if my dog’s license is still valid?
By law, you are required to have the paper license issued with your dog’s tag readily accessible for animal control. If you reference this paper, you will find the expiration date of the license near the bottom. The metal identification tag alone will not indicate when the license expires. If you are still unable to determine the expiration date, you may contact the KCSPCA.
I lost my dog’s metal tag. Now what?
A duplicate license can be issued to you for the cost of $1.00. In order to qualify for this reduced rate duplicate, you must visit the KCSPCA in person, and bring with you your pink carbon copy paper dog license that was originally issued with the missing tag. You will relinquish that paper license to us and we will issue a brand new paper license and tag to you with a new license number.
How old does my dog need to be to purchase a license?
By law, all dogs six months of age and older must be licensed. This goes hand in hand with rabies vaccine requirements- all dogs six months of age and older must be vaccinated to protect against rabies. However, you may purchase a license for your dog sooner than the age of six months provided it has received its rabies vaccination.
When do I need to purchase my dog’s license?
Licenses must be purchased by March 1st, each year. This is because licenses are issued to expire at the end of each calendar year. Essentially, you are given the months of January and February as a grace period to purchase your dog’s next license. After March 1st, a 25% late fee is added on to the purchase price of a license.
Exceptions include (and late fee is waived for): puppies turning six months of age after March 1st, dogs that are brand new to a household after March 1st, and residents that have moved to Delaware after March 1st.
My dog’s next rabies shot isn’t due until after the March 1st licensing deadline- what do I do?
That’s ok! Any rabies vaccine expiring after March 1st still qualifies for a license for that calendar year. Example: Your dog’s vaccine expires 6/2/2012. You may still buy a license for ALL of 2012! Your dog will only qualify for a one-year license in this instance, and you are still responsible for updating your dog’s rabies shot after purchasing its license. If you update the vaccine before it expires, it will be boosted for three years, and in turn your dog will qualify for a three-year license the following year.
How does my dog qualify for a three-year license?
Licenses are directly dependent upon your dog’s rabies vaccine. In order to qualify for a three-year license, your dog’s rabies vaccine must expire after March 1st of the year that said three-year license would expire. Example: It is February 13, 2012 and you are applying for your dog’s license. Its rabies vaccine expires 6/2/2014. Your dog qualifies for a three-year license because its vaccine expires AFTER 3/1/2014. (License year #1 is 2012, license year #2 is 2013, and license year #3 is 2014.) If you are still unsure, the best thing to do is to call the KCSPCA to find out if your dog qualifies for a three-year license based upon its rabies vaccination expiration date.
How much is a dog license?
Dog license pricing depends upon two things: the duration of the license, and whether the dog is spayed/neutered. Further, a 25% late penalty is assessed for any license purchased after March 1st (unless dog is qualifies for previously mentioned exceptions).
Pricing Through March 1 Pricing AFTER March 1
3 Year: 1 Year: 3 Year: 1 Year:
Sterilized: $8.00 $20.00 $10.00 $12.00
Unsterilized: $12.00 $30.00 $15.00 $37.50
What happens if I don’t have a dog license?
Any dog six months of age or older found to be without a dog license after March 1st is subject to fine by Delaware Animal Care & Control. Fines will range $75-200, plus any applicable court costs.
How do I purchase a dog license?
Dog licenses may be purchased in person, online, or by mail. To purchase in person you may visit the KCSCPA at 32 Shelter Circle, Camden, DE. You must bring your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate with you. To purchase online, visit http://www.kcspca.org/dog-licensing/purchase-dog-license.html and remit payment safely through PayPal; you will be asked to provide all of the information found on your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate so that we may verify it with your vet. To purchase by mail, you may print the mail-in form available through the previous web link or you may use one of our convenient remittance envelope available at Kent County veterinarian offices; we request that you also include a photocopy of your dog’s rabies vaccination certificate.
Are dog licenses transferable?
No, currently dog licenses are not transferable. This is because a dog license is intended to match a dog to its owner. When ownership changes, a new license must be purchased.
Is there someone I can call and speak with if I still have questions?