Dog Licensing in Franklin County

The Franklin County Auditor's office is pleased to offer online licensing services. Ohio law requires dogs to have a valid dog license. Many dogs are found each year wearing a valid dog license, but the address or phone number in our records is outdated. In order to aid in the return of dogs to their owners, the Auditor's office provides a found dog search feature. It is important to keep your owner information current by renewing your license, updating your owner information, or by licensing a new dog.

Renewal Deadline

June 30, 2020

If a renewal license is not purchased by June 30, 2020, the annual fee will double, unless you have acquired your dog and/or moved to Ohio within the last 30 days.

Obtain a Dog License

Log in or Sign up above for access to all of your dog licensing needs!

  • Purchase a new dog license
  • Renew an existing dog license
  • Update your address or phone number
  • Update your dog's information

Found a Lost Dog?

All stray or lost dogs within Franklin County are brought to the shelter to be reclaimed by their owners.

Call 614-525-3400 to report a found dog (24 hours a day).

Dog License Info

  On-Time Late
Spayed or neutered, or exceptions apply
1 year $18 $36
3 year $54 $72
Permanent $180 $198
Not spayed or neutered, no exceptions met
1 year $35 $70
3 year $105 $140
Permanent $350 $385

What information do I need to register?

  • Owner information: name, address, phone number, valid e-mail address
  • The dog's current rabies tag number (if dog is 3 months of age or younger, a rabies vaccine is not required for the purchase of a license)
  • Credit or debit card information
2016 Tag
2017 Tag
2018 Tag
2019 Tag
2020 Tag
2021 Tag
2022 Tag
Permanent Tag

Frequently Asked Questions



Knowingly providing false information to a public official is a violation of Section 2921.13A5 of the Ohio Revised Code and is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Why should I license my dog?

First and foremost it is the law - all dogs older than three months of age must be licensed. No dog shall be harbored, kept, or owned without displaying a valid registration tag. The law applies regardless of whether the dog is kept inside or out. It is also a great identification tag to get your lost dog back to you. There are many cases where a dog gets loose from its owner, and is able to be reunited because of the license.

Does my dog need to be vaccinated for rabies?

Yes. All dogs four months old or older must have a current rabies vaccination before a license can be issued. Dogs younger than four months old can be licensed without a rabies vaccination.

What if my veterinarian advises against issuing a rabies shot?

Have your veterinarian write a letter on his/her letterhead stating why the rabies shot is not advised and send it along with the application. Please be advised that the due date for the application remains the same.

How do I obtain an assistance dog license?

Complete the standard dog license application and send it with proof of training from a nonprofit special agency as required by the Ohio Revise Code (955.011). This registration is free and permanent.

How often does the license have to be renewed?

Dog licenses must be renewed annually between December 1 and June 30, unless you purchase a three-year or permanent dog license (this is different than a three-year rabies tag).

How much does a dog license cost?

The base fee for a dog license is $35 annually, with exceptions/discount listed below. After July 1, some fees may be prorated. Dogs that qualify for a prorated license cannot receive a three-year or permanent license until the following year.

For a three-year tag, the price is three times the annual fee. A permanent license is ten times the annual fee. If you are late purchasing the license, the penalty is the annual fee only.

  On-Time Late
  1 Year 3 Year Permanent 1 Year 3 Year Permanent
Spayed or neutered, or exceptions apply $18 $54 $180 $36 $72 $198
Not spayed or neutered, no exceptions met $35 $105 $350 $70 $140 $385

What are the exceptions to the annual fee or how can I receive a discount on my dog license?

In order to address the overpopulation of dogs in Franklin County, licenses are discounted to $18 annually for dogs that are spayed or neutered. The discount also applies in the following cases:

  • The dog is three months old or younger (only 1 year licenses are allowed).
  • The dog is advanced in years, or has a condition that makes it impossible or inadvisable to spay or neuter (veterinarian's signature required).
  • The dog is being bred, or is intended to be bred, for sale or show (breed registry number or veterinarian's signature required).
  • The dog is intended for hunting purposes (hunting license number or veterinarian's signature required).

How do I include a veterinarian's signature?

If you need a veterinarian's signature to confirm your dog license discount, you will be unable to process your application online. Please complete the printable application, print it out, sign the form, and mail it with applicable fees.

How can I avoid late fees?

The penalty can be avoided if you purchase the dog license immediately upon acquiring the dog. After the renewal period of December 1 through June 30, a penalty will be assessed for all dogs licensed that are older than three months of age and have been owned for more than 30 days.

What should I do if I missed renewing my dog tag last year?

Since dog tags are issued annually, you can purchase a tag during the renewal period without penalty. If you have any currently licensed dogs you can log in using any of your dog's license numbers and choose Add Dog to re-enter your missing dog's information. Otherwise choose Create New Account and enter all of your contact info and dog information.

When can a license deadline be extended?

The county commissioners may extend the deadline by county resolution. For the 2020 licensing season, the Franklin County commissioners have extended the deadline to June 30 for Franklin County residents.

When the license renewal deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.

Where does all the money go?

The license fees collected, along with all fees collected at the Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, go into a fund. This fund, referred to as the Dog and Kennel Fund, is specifically designed to cover the cost of operating the shelter, as well as for Animal Control to pick up stray dogs and make our streets safer. A portion of the fees also goes to Ohio State University to research animal diseases.

How do I replace a lost license?

If you or your pet loses a license, you can request a duplicate tag for $5. Please send us a letter with your name, address and license number, if known, so we can send a replacement tag.

How do I transfer a license to a new owner?

The ownership of a current dog license can be transferred to another owner for just $5. The current owner on file, or executor of the current owner's estate, must sign the transfer form. It is also advisable for the new owner to sign the form. Licenses are not transferrable between dogs.

Where can I find the laws that apply to dog licensing?

The laws governing dog licensing in the State of Ohio can be found in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), sections 955 and 956. You may also find information on the Franklin County Department of Animal Care and Control website.

How do I replace a rabies tag?

Please contact Franklin County Public Health at 614-525-3160 for information on obtaining a replacement rabies tag. It is necessary that you have a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate that was issued at the time of your pet's vaccination in order to receive a replacement rabies tag.

Is there a limit to the number of dogs I am allowed to own in Franklin County?

There is no limit to the number of dogs you can legally own within the unincorporated areas of the county. However, if you reside in the incorporated (city limits) areas of the county, you should check with your local city government.

How do I notify your office that I have moved?

Please complete the Change of Address form, update your address through the online license portal, or call our office.

If you have moved to a new county, we are able to mark our records accordingly. Please note that most counties in Ohio will recognize the tag until it expires. When that license expires (if it is not a permanent tag), you will need to contact the auditor of the county in which you have moved to obtain a new tag.

If I move here from another county, is that county's current license still valid?

If you are moving from another county in Ohio, we will honor the license until it is expired. You will need to provide a change of address to the auditor of the county from which you have moved. You can find their contact information from the following link: When that license expires, you will need to purchase a new Franklin County license.

If you are moving from another state or country, you are required to purchase a license immediately upon arrival. If you wait more than 30 days, the county auditor is required to charge a penalty equal to the fee.

What is "Me and My Pal"?

To help promote responsible pet ownership, the Franklin County Auditor's office created the "Me and My Pal" drawing contest for children from kindergarten to sixth grade.

What if I have more questions?

If you have further questions, or if you need assistance with dog licensing, please e-mail or contact our office at 614-525-3260 during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

If your dog has been declared dangerous, what information do you need to acquire the dangerous dog permit?

When applying for the permit, you will need to provide the auditor with printed copies of the following information:

  • Evidence of the dog's current rabies vaccination.
  • Evidence of the fact the dog has been spayed or neutered.
  • Evidence that the dog has an active microchip and the microchip number.
  • Evidence of the fact that you have posted clearly visible "Dangerous Dog" warning signs.
  • Evidence of insurance - if ordered by the courts.
  • Fee of $50 - Make checks payable to Franklin County Auditor

Where do I send an application?

Please make check or money order payable to the Franklin County Auditor and mail to the address as follows:

Franklin County Auditor
Dog License Section
373 S. High St, 21st Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6317