In Minneapolis, all cats and dogs over four months of age are required to be licensed and wear collars with the license tags attached. Ferrets are also required to be licensed. Failure to license an animal may result in the issuance of an administrative citation.
Some animals, like reptiles, fowl, and honeybees, require a special permit rather than a license--read more about that here.
Why License Your Pet?
- It’s a free ride home
If your licensed pet is found in Minneapolis, it will get a ride to your home instead of the animal shelter.
- Your pet is more likely to get back home
Licensed pets are three times more likely than unlicensed pets to go home again.
- Prompt medical attention
If your pet is found injured, a pet license makes it more likely that its medical history can be located and it will get the proper medical care right away.
- It’s the law
Minneapolis requires dogs, cats, and ferrets to be licensed
- It ensures a pet is vaccinated against rabies
This important vaccination keeps your pet safe & healthy
- It helps other animals. Your license helps:
- Shelter and feed lost dogs and cats and find them a new home.
- Educate the public about responsible pet ownership.
- Reunite lost dogs and cats with their owners
Before You Purchase a License
- Ensure your pet is current on its rabies vaccination; if your pet isn't current on its rabies vaccination make sure to get an appointment with their veterinarian as soon as possible to get it updated as a license cannot legally be obtained without it. If your pet's rabies vaccine is due to expire during the period their license is valid for be sure to get it updated and send MACC the updated records as an expired rabies vaccination will make the license invalid.
- Make sure you don't have any outstanding fees or fines owed to Minneapolis Animal Care and Control (i.e. past citations); a pet license cannot be issued to those with outstanding fees or fines owed to MACC - regardless if the owed fees are for a past violation involving another pet. A current license will be invalidated if a citation is allowed to lapse without payment or submission of an appeal request.
See Minneapolis City Ordinance 63.70 (select subdivisions featured below) for specific language regarding these requirements. Failure to license an animal after warning/citation, failure to keep an animal's rabies vaccine current, and failure to pay outstanding fines can result in seizure of the animal(s) until compliance is obtained. Purchasing or attempting to purchase a license for an animal by falsely declaring the rabies or sterilization status of the animal or the status of outstanding fines is a citable offense per Minneapolis City Ordinance (see MCO 62.60).
- 62.60. - Provision of false information prohibited.
No person shall provide false information to MACC, nor to any of its agents, concerning the license or permit, any application for a license or permit, or any actual or alleged criminal, civil, or administrative offense.
- 63.70. - License applications and restrictions.
(a) Every person required to obtain a license pursuant to this title shall submit an application on a form or in a format approved by MACC. If relating to a dog, cat, or ferret, applicants shall certify that the animal has been vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian against rabies in conformance with the requirements of this title. MACC shall provide each dog, cat, or ferret licensed with a metallic tag upon which shall be stamped or engraved the registration number of the pet.
(h) Any animal found to be unvaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian or which vaccination has expired against rabies, shall also be deemed to be unlicensed for purposes of this title.
(j) No license shall be issued or renewed until all outstanding fees, fines, or other financial claims of the city have been remitted to MACC.
Purchasing a License
*When licensing your pet online or through the mail, please allow 10-14 business days for delivery.*
In order to receive the senior discount we must have the pet owner's date of birth on file which equals them being 65 years of age or older. If your date of birth is not already in our records please include it on your paper application you mail in, come to the shelter in person to license, or contact us ahead of time so we can update your file prior to renewing online - please keep in mind it can take 48 hours for the systems to sync up once we update it.
Apply for a Pet License Online - We'd encourage you to use our online pet licensing system, which saves time and city resources. Please note that Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Safari have worked well for licensing, but individuals using Firefox may experience problems as this platform is not compatible with the city's software. Anyone can license online with the following exceptions:
- Your animal has been declared dangerous or potentially dangerous
- You have more than four pets (Apply for a multiple animal permit)
- You have outstanding fines or fees owed to MACC
Complete the Pet License Application (pdf) and mail it to us.
- IN PERSON The Animal Shelter is located at 212 17th Avenue North, just off I-94 near the West Broadway exit, and near stops for the Route 7, 14, and 30 buses. We're open Monday to Friday, 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Saturday, 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM.
Pet owners who provide an email address will receive an electronic reminder four to five weeks prior to the license tag’s expiration date. We will also send pet owners a reminder letter the month that the pet’s license tag expires.
If your licensed pet is deceased, please let us know by sending your name, address, and pet’s name by calling 311 or emailing [email protected].
The licensing requirement does not apply:
- To any veterinarian, recognized short-term pet boarding facility, or licensed pet shop operator, or
- During the first six (6) months of an animal being under the care, control, possession, or custody of an animal rescue group partner approved by MACC, or
- Dogs trained to provide service to persons with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- "Therapy pets” and “emotional service animals” that are not trained by a MACC-recognized program must be licensed.
|1 Year Pet License|
|Dogs/Cats (for seniors 65 or older*)||$10||$65|
|Individuals receiving means-tested public assistance or with incomes of $40,000 (see below)||$10||$65|
|3 Year Pet License|
|Dogs/Cats (microchip required)||$240||Not Applicable|
*In order to receive the senior discount we must have the pet owner's date of birth on file; if not already on file please contact us to update your record to ensure you will be able to receive the discount - especially if renewing online.
Minneapolis Animal Care and Control accepts the following forms of payment: Cash, Check, Money Order and Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.)
Proof of Income Eligibility for Special Pet License Fees
MACC accepts the following items as proof of eligibility for low-cost licenses:
- Food Stamps Medicaid Free or Reduced Lunch Program (Public Schools)
- Social Security Disability (SSD)
- Minnesota Care (MNCare) or Medical Assistance (MA)
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
- HUD Section 8 Housing Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Major VA Disability Temporary
- Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
A pet owner may also bring his or her most recent income tax return showing income of less than $40,000 per household (family of four or more). In order to verify your eligibility, these licenses must be purchased in person at the Animal Shelter.
Last updated Jan 18, 2019