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Health Department

(973) 593-3079
(973) 593-3072
Madison Civic Center
28 Walnut Street
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

Dog Licensing and Rabies Vaccination


Important information distributed by the New Jersey Department of Health requires that all New Jersey residents who own or harbor a dog 7 months of age or older are required to annually apply for and procure a dog license in the municipality where the dog is kept (N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.2). The expiration date for the dog licenses is set by the municipal government any time over the first six months of the calendar year and can stagger expiration dates as long as all expirations occur no later than June 30th of the calendar year (N.J.S.A. 4:19-15.3a). In order to receive a license, the dog owner must supply a rabies vaccination certificate signed by the veterinarian and must extend through at least ten months of the twelve month dog licensing period for a license to be issued. (N.J.A.C. 8:23A-4.2).

 If the dog’s duration of immunity expires prior to the tenth month of the twelve month dog licensing period for that municipality, the dog must receive an additional rabies vaccination prior to licensure. It should be noted that administering a rabies vaccine before the duration of immunity of a previous vaccination has expired IS NOT associated with an increased occurrence of adverse reactions in dogs or cats.

Municipal dog licensing officials shall grant an exemption to the vaccination requirement for a dog that a licensed veterinarian certifies in writing cannot be inoculated due to an infirmity, physical condition or regimen of therapy (N.J.A.C. 8:23A-4.3). Such certification must be for a specific medical condition and not because the veterinarian or owner does not want to vaccinate the animal before the previous duration of immunity lapses.