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City of Charlottesville Code Section 4-36 requires that all dogs in the city that are 4 months old and older wear a current dog license. To purchase a tag, the dog owner must present a valid rabies vaccination certificate for the dog along with a completed dog license application. Dogs found on city streets without a valid tag are taken by Animal Control to a shelter where they remain until the owner pays for the vaccination and obtains the proper tag.

Dog tags expire on December 31st of each year. Once a dog tag has been purchased, the dog owner will automatically receive a renewal notice for that dog in early December. Dog tags may be purchased by mail, in the lobby of City Hall, or at the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA. If the dog's rabies vaccination expires before the new license year begins, a copy of a current vaccination certificate must be submitted with the renewal form.

Beginning with the 2010 license year, City residents will now be able to purchase three year dog tags, in addition to the traditional one year tags. The new three year tags will be available for sale in December, and will cost $12 for spayed or neutered dogs, and $30 for non-spayed or neutered dogs. They will be purchased the same way one year tags are purchased, and all currently registered dog owners will receive a license renewal in December with the option of upgrading to a three year tag.

These new tags will only be available for dogs that have at least one year remaining on their rabies vaccination certificate, and will save owners the hassle of having to renew their license every year.

PRICES

As per City of Charlottesville Code Section 4-37, dog license prices are as follows:

  • One year spayed or neutered: $4.00
  • One year non-spayed or neutered: $10.00
  • Three year spayed or neutered: $12.00
  • Three year non-spayed or neutered: $30.00

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Why do I need a dog license?

According to state code section 3.2-65, all dogs older than 4 months of age are required to have a current rabies vaccination, and purchase an annual dog license from the locality in which they live. The General Assembly made this decision to help prevent the spread of rabies in Virginia.

What happens once my dog receives a vaccination?

Whenever a vaccination occurs, the veterinarian is required to submit that documentation to your local Treasurer’s Office. If a dog license is not purchased within 90 days, our office will automatically send you a dog license application with instructions on how to purchase a license.

Why can’t I buy a three year license for my dog?

Three year tags are only available for dogs that have at least one year remaining on their rabies vaccination. If you notice that your dog has a more recent vaccination than the one on your renewal, just give us a call and we can easily help you update your dog’s information.

What if my dog’s rabies certificate is expired?

If your rabies certificate is expired, you will not have the option to purchase a renewal license for your dog. Please vaccinate your dog as soon as possible and then contact the Treasurer’s Office for assistance.

Where can I purchase a dog license?

One and three year licenses may be purchased from the City Treasurer’s Office and one year licenses may be purchased from the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.