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Licensing and Special Animal Permits

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Each dog over four months of age kept in the City of Costa Mesa must be licensed and have a current rabies vaccination. It is required that all dogs wear the license tag at all times, attached to a collar or harness. Dog licenses are non-transferable and non-refundable.
Service dogs registered pursuant to California Food and Agriculture Code sections 30850-30854 as well as retired and active military/police dogs must still conform with local rabies control and licensing laws but are exempt from license fees. Proof of their status is required to receive this exemption.
Licenses are issued on an annual basis and it is the responsibility of the dog owner to ensure that rabies vaccines and dog licenses are kept current.

License Fees   
Non-spayed or Non-neutered Dogs $80
Spayed or Neutered Dogs $25
(Requires a certificate of sterility from a licensed veterinarian.)  
Late Renewal Penalty

50% of Applicable License Fee

(Fee assessed when renewing an existing Costa Mesa dog license that is more than 30 days delinquent.)  


Replacement Tags



(License tags are issued at no charge on the initial license only. If a tag has been lost or is unreadable, a replacement will be issued. Kindly enclose the additional funds and indicate on renewal form that one is needed. Please note that the original replacement tag number will be different from the original tag number. A certificate corresponding to the new tag number will be issued.)  

Seniors over the age of 62 (proof of age required) can license their dogs for: Non-neutered $40 / Neutered $10

How to License Your Dog

To license your dog online, please click here.

To license your dog in person, please send in the following: 

  1. Completed application. An application can be downloaded here [PDF].
    To indicate a renewal, please write your pet’s current license number on the application. The license number can be found on the previous year’s license certificate and will begin with the letters AL followed by a 5-digit number. It is also the tag number.
  2. Rabies certificate from a licensed veterinarian or veterinary hospital. Please send a copy of the actual certificate. Payment receipts and vaccine reminders cannot be accepted due to the lack of specific information needed. If you have lost your rabies certificate, contact the hospital that administered the vaccine for a duplicate.
  3. Certificate of sterility if your dog has been spayed or neutered.
  4. Check or money order payable to "City of Costa Mesa." Please do not send cash.

Please do not send original documents that need to be returned. Photocopies must be legible.

Mail to: 

City of Costa Mesa
Attention: Animal Licensing
P.O. Box 1200
Costa Mesa, CA 92628-1200


Keeping of non-domesticated animals, livestock, reptiles, aviaries, and more than five domestic animals is prohibited unless a special permit has been granted. Permits are issued at the discretion of the chief of police and Costa Mesa Animal Control and may be revoked for any violation of regulation. There is a one-time $15 non-refundable fee to apply for a permit. An annual permit fee is due within 10 days of approval and due each year thereafter. Please call (714) 754-5300, with licensing or permit questions.

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