Micro-chipping and Registration

The law requires most cats and dogs to be microchipped and registered with the local Council.

Please explore the FAQ’s below to find out more information about getting your pet microchipped and registered.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does my cat or dog need to be microchipped and registered and why?


 Facts about microchipping:

  • The law requires all dogs and cats which are born or who change owners after 1 July 1999 to be microchipped. There are some exemptions. See the next FAQ.
  • Animals are to be microchipped by 12 weeks of age, at a point of sale or change of ownership (whichever occurs first).
  • Microchipping is carried out by a vet and is painless. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice and is usually implanted between the shoulders of the animal.
  • Microchipping enables vets and other animal workers to reunite pets with their owners. The microchip can be scanned to reveal all of the owners information supplied at the time of microchipping.
  • If you change any of your details, it is important that you advise Council so amendments can be made to your pets microchipping details. You can download the relevant amendment forms below.


Facts about Lifetime Registration.

  • Lifetime Registration takes place after you have your pet microchipped and it is paid at Council. As the name suggests, this is a “one off” payment.
  • Animals must be registered with Council by 6 months of age.
  • There are some exemptions. See the next FAQ.
  • Your pet needs to be microchipped PRIOR to registration.
  • When registering your pet you will need to provide microchip details, sterilisation certificate, breeders card and your pension card if relevant.

Why is Microchipping and Registration important?

Facts about Lifetime Registration.

  • More than 150,000 dogs and cats are lost or stolen every year. Many are impounded because their owner cannot be contacted, and may end up being rehomed or destroyed.
  • The microchipping and registration process helps to reunite pets with their owners.
  • The microchipping and registration process helps to protect pets, people and the wider community. 

Are there any exemptions from microchipping and registration?

General Exemptions

 Your animal is exempt from microchipping and lifetime registration only if it falls into one of the following categories:

  • Cats born before 1 July 1999 that remain with their original owner.
  • Greyhounds registered under the Greyhound and Harness Racing Administration Act 2004.

Animal Assistance Pets

Animal assistance pets (such as seeing or hearing dogs) are still required to be microchipped and registered however there is no registration fee. If you have an assistance animal, you will need to provide Council with reasonable proof that the animal is a genuine assistance animal.

Farm Working dogs

A working dog is a dog that is used primarily for the purpose of droving, tending, working or protecting stock, and includes a dog which is being trained as a working dog. A working dog is exempt from microchipping and registration requirements if:

 It is kept in the Western Division of NSW that is not within a Local Government Area, or

  • It is ordinarily kept on land categorised as farmland for rating purposes. 

You can still choose to microchip and register your working dog, however no registration fee will apply.

When Council determines whether or not a dog is classified as an exempt working dog, Council may base their decision on where the animal is ordinarily kept, as well as the breed of the dog and what work it is used for. If you have a working dog but live in an urban area you are still required to microchip and lifetime register your dog. Your occupation, for example if you are a shearer or stock and station agent, doesn't mean your dog is exempt from microchipping and lifetime registration, but no registration fee applies. 

How do I arrange for microchipping and registration?


 All vets in NSW are authorised to implant microchips. Many vet nurses, pet grooming businesses and pet shops may also offer microchipping.


Once you have arranged for your animal to be microchipped, you need to arrange for lifetime registration with Cowra Council, 116 Kendal St Cowra. You can download the Lifetime Registration Form below.

How much does microchipping and registration cost?

Check with your local vet for price details and bookings about Microchipping. 

The current registration fees listed here.

* From 1 July 2021, the NSW Government introduced free lifetime registration for rescue pets adopted from council pounds, animal shelters and rehoming organisations. 

How do I update my pets registration details?

Council is responsible for updating and maintaining all information contained on the NSW Companion Animal’s Register. If you are changing your name and / or address, you will need to complete a Change of Owner/Details form. If you are only changing your address, you can use the Change of Address Notice. Both of these forms are available from Council’s Customer Service Centre, 116 Kendal St, Cowra or you can download the forms below.

When you become the new owner of a dog or cat either by purchasing the animal or being given the pet, ensure that the previous owner or breeder sends Council a completed and signed change of ownership form. For peace of mind, it is always advised that the new owner makes inquiries with Council to ensure the details are changed and as much information is provided in case your animal becomes lost or stolen. The more information and contact numbers available on the registration system the more likely you are to have your pet returned to you.  

My question is not answered here. Where can I get further information?

Further information can be found at the Office of Local Government

Alternatively, phone Council's Ranger Services on (02) 6340 2052 and ask for assistance. 


NSW Companion Animal Lifetime Registration Form(PDF, 162KB)
NSW Companion Animals Register - Change of Address Notice(PDF, 271KB)
NSW Companion Animals Register - Change of Owner/Details(PDF, 137KB)  
NSW Companion Animals Register - Application for Annual Permit(PDF, 85KB)