Dog licences

The Council determines fees and charges relating to dogs including registration, dog control infringements and pound fees. Penalties for not registering your dog are severe - you may be liable for a fine, prosecution or even seizure of your dog.

NOTE: All dog licence payments received after August 1 will be subject to a 25% penalty.

The following link is to a printable file listing all fees and charges applicable to dogs:


Dog registration application forms are available from the Council's Invercargill and Bluff Offices, or you can contact the Council's Customer Services Department to arrange for an application form to be sent to you. A completed application, with the total registration payment, must be taken into the Council by the person applying to be the registered dog owner. Council staff will process your application and, if successful, the dog owner will be issued with a dog licence and a dog registration tag (with a unique identification number). The tag should be secured on to the dog's collar as soon as practicable.

Once your dog has been registered, the Council will invoice you annually for the renewal of the dog licence, which must be paid by the due date.

Change of details, ownership or circumstances

It is the dog owner's responsibility to notify the Council (in writing and including the writer's signature) of any changes to ownership details, for example  name, daytime/evening contact phone numbers, change of address etc. Up-to-date information helps the Council's Animal Control Department in reuniting lost or stray dogs with their owners, to notify owners if a dog has been found injured or dead, to remind owners when dog registration is due, etc.

To check or update your records email the Council's Customer Services Department or phone (03) 211 1777.

ALL dog owners must apply for a dog registration if they have an existing unregistered dog or if they get a new dog. Dog owners must be 16 years or older to legally own a dog. Dogs must also be registered before they reach three months of age and/or if you have had a dog in your possession for more than three days.

Registration categories and fees

NOTE: All payments received after August 1 will be subject to a 25% penalty.

1 Discounted fee
About 80% of dogs in the Invercargill district fall into this category and qualify for a reduced registration fee. All new dog owners who are registering a dog for the first time will be granted Category 'A'/SOP classification. All other owners who have a proven history of compliance (clean record) with the provisions of the Dog Control Act and the Council's Dog Control policy may also be granted this status. Breaches of the provisions and policies may result in the removal of Category 'A'/SOP classification for a period of two years from the time of breach. Owners whose classification has been revoked may reapply for the Category 'A'/SOP classification at the end of the expiration period.

2 Standard registration
There are about 1000 dogs in the Invercargill district in this category. A standard fee applies to any owner, who for whatever reason, has failed to meet the requirements for a Category A Pet owner. For example the dog owner has received an infringement notice served in the last two  years; or in the previous year, failed to register their dogs within the deadline and the "amnesty period"; or has had a dog impounded in the previous two years; or has been successfully prosecuted for a dog-related offence in the past two years. Owners can apply for their standard registration status to be reviewed after two years if there has been no breach of the provisions and policies.

3 Working dogs

Small image of farm dog.

A working dog is defined as being kept solely or principally for the purposes of herding or driving stock.

4 Guide dogs and service dogs
It is the Council's practice to charge no fee for "seeing eye" dogs, "hearing" dogs and other guide and companion animals. To qualify, such dogs must be certified with the appropriate authority or organisation, for example the Guide Dog Foundation. Service dogs include Customs and Police dogs, search and rescue dogs and any other category of dog that the Council may deem appropriate for this status - for example DoC, MAF etc.

Multiple dog fee, multiple licence

Multiple dog fee
Where more than five dogs are owned by any owner, that owner may have their total dog fees capped if the Council is satisfied that all of the Dog Control Act 1996 and Council requirements have been met.

Multiple licence
A special licence is required if a person wishes to keep more than three dogs on a property, regardless of the number of dog owners. Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and the Council may impose conditions or restrictions. Currently there is no cost for a multiple dog licence.