Dog Licensing - Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I license my dog?
- It is Michigan Law that every dog is licensed
- It tells everyone that your dog is updated on its rabies vaccination.
- It enables Animal control officers to return your dog quickly if found.
Who has to get a license?
- All dogs must be licensed at:
- Four months of age, or
- Within 30 days of acquisition, or
- Within 30 days of new residency in Ottawa County
- A license is required even when the dog is always kept indoors or on a farm
My dog has a rabies tag. Do I need to buy a license?
- Yes, it is Michigan law that requires all dogs to get licensed. A dog license is the only ID that can be traced quickly by animal control officers.
My dog is just a puppy. Do I still need a license?
- Yes, Michigan law requires all dogs 4 months of age and older to be licensed.
I recently moved to Ottawa County and my dog is license in our previous county. Do I still need to buy a license?
- Yes, your dog needs to be license in the county that it resides. The license must be purchased within 30 days of residency. If your dog’s license is currently valid you can bring the current license and paper work to one of our two county locations and we may be able to replace it for free.
My dog lost his tag, what do I need to do?
- You can call our office at (616) 994-4500 and we will replace it free of charge.
When do I need to renew my dog license?
- If you currently have a one year license it will expire the same MONTH of your dog’s rabies vaccination. If you currently have a three year license it will expire with your dog’s rabies vaccination. On the current license it will say the year that the tag will expire.
I have two dogs, but I only got a renewal notice for one of them?
- Both dogs rabies may not expire in the same month. Licenses expire by the month the rabies expire and the year on their current tag.
I bought my dog’s license at the Vet, but I still got a renewal notice in the mail?
- It can take us a couple weeks to reconcile with the vets and local government units.
- We may have printed the renewal notice before you renewed your dog’s license at the vet or local government unit.
My dog died; how do I let the county know?
- You can call our office and (616) 994-4500 or you can go online to Dog Ownership/Status Change and submit a status change.
My dog died and now I bought a new one. Can I use the same license?
- No. Licenses are not able to be transferred to a different dog. Since we go by the rabies vaccination month, the dog’s rabies dates will be different.
I gave my dog to a friend. Does she have to buy a new license?
- No. Whenever the ownership or possession of any dog is permanently transferred from one person to another within the same county, the license of the dog can likewise be transferred. Please contact the Treasurer’s office at (616) 994-4500 so we can update our records.
How do I apply for a “Kennel License?”
- First you must contact your local unit of government zoning official to obtain information on the zoning and building requirements.
- The application will be given to you by the Ottawa County Treasurer’s Office and must be signed by the zoning administrator.
- Once the facility has been inspected by the Ottawa County Sheriff Department Animal Control (800-249-0911) the application may be brought to 414 Washington Ave. Room 115 Grand Haven, MI 49417. Or it can be mailed to: Ottawa County Treasurer’s Office, 12220 Fillmore Street, Room 155, West Olive, MI 49460.
My dog is a service dog; do I need to buy him a license?
- Yes, service dogs are required to have a license. We will license them free of charge if you come into one of our County offices and show proof that they dog is an active service dog. Examples of acceptable proof would be the service dog contract, a certified service dog card, or the identification badge issued by Paws with a Cause.
My dog cannot get a rabies shot due to a medical condition. How do I get him a dog license?
- This situation has to be handled thru one of the two county locations.
- In order to get a dogs license without getting a rabies shot we would need to see a letter from the veterinarian as to why the dog cannot get a rabies shot. Once we have that letter we will contact our animal control officer and he will decide if the dog can get a license without a rabies shot.
I have recently moved do I need to update the County?
- Yes. You can either call the county at (616) 994-4500 or you can go online to Dog Ownership/Status Change and submit an address change.
Does my dog have to wear his tag?
- Yes, Michigan law requires that does wear their tag at all times, except when the dog is engaged in lawful hunting accompanied by its owner or custodian.
Who do I make the check out to?
- You can make the check out to “Ottawa County Treasurer”
Where do I mail my application and check for a dog license?
- Ottawa County Treasurer
12220 Fillmore Street
West Olive, MI 49460-0310
Where can I purchase a dog license?
- You can purchase a license from our offices in Grand Haven and West Olive.
- Grand Haven: 414 Washington Ave. Room 115 Grand Haven, MI 49417
- West Olive: 12220 Fillmore Street Room 155 West Olive, MI 49460
- Call your local vet. They may also be able to sell you a dog license.
How much does a dog license cost?
- The prices are as follows:
- 1 year Spayed/Neutered: $10
- 1 year Male/Female: $25
- 3 year Spayed/Neutered: $25
- 3 year Male/Female: $70
When can I purchase a 3 year dog license?
- You may purchase a 3 year dog license if you purchase the license in the same month your dog receives his/her 3 year rabies vaccination.
I forgot to license my dog, is there a late fee?
- No there is no late fee but the license will expire the same month as your dog’s rabies vaccination. So if your dog’s rabies expiration is 10/31/2017; and you’re buying a 1 year tag in December 2014, that tag will expire 10/31/2015.
What will happen if I do not license my dog?
- You could receive a citation.