San Diego Humane Society and SPCA




We provide pet licensing for pets residing within the city limits of Escondido, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos and Vista. Those residing within San Diego County outside of our jurisdiction should contact County of San Diego Department of Animal Services. For questions about licensing, feel free to email


Licensing FAQs >


Why Get a License?

If your dog is ever missing, a license tag provides a quick and accurate way of notifying you if someone else finds your pet. It also provides proof that your dog has been vaccinated against rabies, as required by law.

Once your dog has been assigned a license, the number and the information about your dog is permanently filed in our records. Your dog keeps the same license tag number for life.

The owner of every dog over the age of four months is required by law to ensure that his or her pet is currently vaccinated against rabies. You must purchase a license:

  • Within thirty (30) days after reaching the age of four (4) months, or
  • Within thirty (30) days of acquiring the dog, or
  • Within thirty (30) days after entering the jurisdiction.


Important Licensing Info

  • Failure to obtain a license, or to renew the license by the expiration date will result in a late fee.
  • Rabies vaccination of dogs (a prerequisite for licensing) has been highly effective as an animal and public health measure, and is especially important in areas like ours where the potential threat of exposure to rabies from wildlife is a significant concern. The primary rabies vaccination is good for one year. The second vaccination is given one year later. Subsequent (or booster) vaccinations are valid for three years.
  • A dog's license tag must be securely fastened to the dog's collar or harness and worn by the dog at all times. Dog licensing is the best way to ensure your pet is identifiable, if found, and is also a visible means of ensuring that the animal has been vaccinated against rabies.
  • Dog license fees are not refundable.


Licensing Fees

  Oceanside Vista Escondido/Poway/San Marcos
License Term 1 yr / 3 yrs 1 yr / 3 yrs 1 yr / 3 yrs
Unaltered $50 / $150 $50 / $100 $30 / $72
Altered $15 / $40 $15 / $40 $14 / $36
Late Fee $20 $20 $10
Transfer/Replacement $5 $5 $5

License fees are an investment in the health and safety of our pets. These small fees also assist San Diego Humane Society in providing care to stray and homeless animals and further our efforts to eliminate animal cruelty and neglect.


How to Apply for a License

  1. Visit us at our Escondido or Oceanside location or at a Mobile Clinic Event (see below) and complete a licensing form. For the incorporated cities of Escondido, Oceanside, Poway, San Marcos, and Vista, download this license application.
  2. Provide proof of current rabies vaccination.
  3. Provide proof of spay or neuter, if applicable.
  4. Make check payable to San Diego Humane Society.
  5. Questions? Email


Pet License Incentive Program

To offer pet owners peace of mind - and some benefits - as they invest in the health and safety of their pets, we provide the Pet License Incentive Program:

Licensing - fast track

Fast Track:
Found pets with current licenses can be quickly reunited with their owner or rushed to an appropriate veterinarian if severely injured.

Licensing - free ride

Free Ride Home:
The first time a licensed pet is picked up or brought to San Diego Humane Society, it will receive a free ride home or free pass to go home, reducing its stay or even skipping a trip to San Diego Humane Society altogether.

Licensing - vacation alert

Vacation Pet Alert:
Before you leave for vacation, call 760.730.8850 to register your pet for the Vacation Pet Alert service. Provide us with the contact information of who will be caring for your pet and who is allowed to act on your behalf while you're away. This will also put the Extended Stay service into effect.

Licensing - extended stay

Extended Stay:
When found, your licensed pet will be cared for by San Diego Humane Society for up to 14 days before being put up for adoption.


Mobile Clinic Events

To provide a convenient resource for the residents in our community, our Escondido Campus provides $6 rabies vaccines at their facility during normal business hours. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome.

In addition, on the first Sunday of every month from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m., our Oceanside Campus holds an affordable vaccine clinic at 572 Airport Rd. in Oceanside. For information about our vaccination clinics, click here. Or feel free to email,

There are also monthly Mobile Vaccine Clinics at various locations throughout the cities of Oceanside and Vista. Please note that the vaccines are CASH ONLY at these events. These clinics will be held on the fourth Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.

See upcoming clinics or search for "Affordable Licensing" on our calendar.