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Rabbies Vaccination and Licensing

Service Areas

The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services provides dog licensing and animal control services for the unincorporated areas of San Diego County and the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee, and Solana Beach.

Dog owners who reside elsewhere may click here for a listing of organizations that provide animal related services for other cities.

License Fees

Altered Dogs

1 Yr. ~~~ 2 Yr. ~~~ 3 Yr.
$14.00 ~~ $26.00 ~~ $36.00

Unaltered Dogs

1 Yr. ~~~ 2 Yr. ~~~ 3 Yr.
$30.00 ~~ $52.00 ~~ $72.00

If past due, $10 late fee

How to Obtain a License

Ensure that your dog is currently vaccinated against rabies. Dog owners are required by law to have their dogs vaccinated against rabies by a veterinarian and licensed:

a) By the time the dog is five months of age, or

b) Within 30 days after obtaining or bringing any dog over four months of age into this jurisdiction, and,

c) Dog owners are required to renew the dog license before it expires

The rabies vaccination must be effective through the entire licensing period.The primary or first rabies vaccination is valid for one year. The second rabies vaccination given one-year later, and subsequent (or booster) rabies vaccinations are valid for three years. If you are unsure of the duration of your dog´s vaccination, please call your veterinarian or the Department of Animal Services at (619) 767-2675.

After vaccinating a dog against rabies, the veterinarian will present the dog owner with a Dog License Application & Rabies Certificate.

To apply on line:

Go to the Online Licensing section of this website.

To apply by mail:

* Complete all information blocks on the face of the Dog License Application & Rabies Certificate.
* Retain white (back) copy for your records.
* Enclose a check payable to the Department of Animal Services.
* Mail top copy to: Licensing Division, 5480 Gaines Street CA 92110-2624

To apply in person:

* Attend a low-cost rabies vaccination and dog licensing clinic in your neighborhood, or bring your completed Dog License Application & Rabies Certificate to the nearest County animal shelter during business hours. Please call (619) 767-2675 for a 24 hour recording of clinic dates, times, and locations.

County animal shelter hours and locations:

Shelter Services

Shelter Hours and Locations
Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
*Now Open on Sundays from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm for a 90-day pilot from October 23, 2016 to January 22, 2017
Closed Mondays and Holidays

  • 5480 Gaines Street, San Diego, CA 921110
  • 5821 Sweetwater Road, Bonita, CA 91902
  • 2481 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011


  1. Your dog´s license offsets the cost of caring for lost and orphaned pets in County shelters, and helps to support animal cruelty investigations and other community services that promote animal and public health and safety.

  2. Finders of licensed dogs can access owner information 24 hours per day, 365 days per year by telephone and website. Lost dogs that are found wearing license tags can be quickly reunited with their owners, while dogs lost without external identification could be kept by their finder or brought to an animal shelter long after the owner may have given up searching for it.

  3. If your licensed dog becomes lost and is found by an animal control officer, your pet can be returned to you under our "Home Delivery" program.

  4. Important information about your dog can be maintained in the dog´s license records:

    1. If your dog has been implanted with internal microchip identification, we can note the microchip number in the dog´s license records, and contact you promptly if the dog is ever brought to the shelter - with or without external identification.

    2. If your dog has a chronic medical condition, we can place a "Medical Alert" flag in the dog´s license file and, if your dog becomes lost and is brought to the shelter, we can contact you and continue any necessary treatment until you can reclaim your pet.

    3. If you will be away from your licensed dog while you travel, we can place a "Vacation Alert" flag in the dog´s license records and, if your dog becomes lost and is brought to the shelter, we can notify you and any designated caretaker, and make arrangements for the housing of your pet (at your expense) until the dog can be reclaimed.

  5. Last but not least - It´s the law.  The owner of every dog over the age of four months is required by law to ensure his or her pet is currently vaccinated against rabies and licensed.  Dog owners who fail to comply with rabies vaccination or licensing requirements are subject to costly penalties.

For additional information concerning dog licensing or other aspects of responsible pet ownership, please visit your local San diego Animal Shelter or call us at (619) 767-2675. Thank you.

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