Pet License

All dogs, cats and ferrets four months and older residing in Charlotte, Mint Hill, Pineville and the unincorporated areas of Mecklenburg County must be licensed annually. This same law applies to ferrets living in Charlotte, Mint Hill, and Pineville. Proof of a current rabies vaccination from your veterinarian is required to purchase a license.

License fees will vary depending on whether your pet is spayed or neutered. Fees for fertile animals are $30.00 and those for sterile animals are $10.00 for a 1-year license and $25.00 for a 3-year license. License fee exemptions may apply in certain situations:

  • Senior citizens 62 years of age and older may receive a free license for their pets, provided the animals have been sterilized. 

  • If your animal has medical problems that make it unable to withstand the sterilization procedure, you may purchase a license for $10.00 if you provide a statement from your veterinarian. 

  • Any disabled owner of a dog which is used for seeing, hearing or assistance purposes may receive a free license if the animal has been spayed or neutered. 

  • Owners of show animals may receive licenses for $10.00 provided they show proof of participation in at least three nationally recognized shows within the past twelve months.

On March 7, 2005, the Animal Services contracted with PetData, Inc. to manage the animal licensing program for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. 

Animal licenses may be purchased by mail or online from PetData. They can also be purchased or renewed at the animal shelter.

On July 26, 2021, ACC  rolled out a new animal license program that includes QR code technology that provides personal pet information making identifying lost animals even easier by using smart phone technology. The new license tags replaced the old version on July 20, 2021 and is supported by pet identification company, PetHub.

"It's a two-in-one solution that uses technology and online tools to provide pet owners with a new way to keep their pets licensed with the City and aids in identification if they ever become lost," says Dr. Josh Fisher, Director of Animal Care & Control. "This program is another step in achieving our goals of keeping pets and people together and reducing unnecessary shelter intake."

Owners are encouraged to activate their new license at where they can set up a free profile of the pet, including photo and contact information, address and other vital information. The PetHub Call Center is open 24/7. Upgrade packages are available, but not required, and include shelter broadcasts, found pet alerts, GPS tracking and more.

The new license tag has three NEW ways to identify an animal, according to Fisher. "Finders can scan the QR code with their phone, call the 800 number on the tag or enter the license number on the PetHub website to access the animal's profile."  Increasing reunification efforts reduces the stress animals experience while being housed at the shelter and saves owners the challenge of tracking their pets and paying shelter reclaim fees.

Existing licensed animals can receive a new tag if renewed in person at Animal Care & Control at 8315 Byrum Drive, Charlotte, NC 28217. If you would like to exchange an existing tag for the new format, the fee is $2 and must be purchased in person. 


license tag front that shows AC&C logo and phone numberpet license back side that shows the QR code to activate the license