San Mateo County, California Not your city or county?

Common Questions

Questions About Notices

Questions About Current Licenses

Questions About Lost and Found Animals

Questions About Pet Licensing

Questions About PetData

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Why did I receive this notice?

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Why am I being billed when I have a current license?

There may be several reasons why you received a bill when you have a current license. We're happy to help with your account information - please fill out this form to begin the process.

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When will I get my license tag?

If you renewed a prior license and did not request and pay for a replacement tag, you will receive a license receipt only. The metal lifetime license tag is permanently assigned to your pet.

If this is the first application for this pet or you requested a replacement tag with your renewal, we will mail your license tag within 10 business days from the day we receive your completed license application and payment. Please allow an additional 3-5 business days to receive your tag in the mail. If we have not received correct payment or required documentation, you will be notified via mail and the processing of your license will be delayed.
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How do I get a replacement tag?

You may obtain a replacement tag by sending a check or money order payable to "San Mateo County Animal Licensing" in the amount of either $8.00 for a dog or $5.00 for a cat to the mailing address below. Please include your pet’s name and license tag number to designate the pet for which you are purchasing a replacement tag.

San Mateo County Animal Licensing
c/o PetData
PO Box 141929
Irving, TX 75014-1929

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Can I transfer a license?

If a pet with a current license passes away, the license may be transferred to another pet belonging to the same owner. There is no fee, however a current rabies certificate for the new pet must be submitted, if it is not already on file. Please mail your transfer request to:

San Mateo County Animal Licensing
c/o PetData
PO Box 141929
Irving, TX 75014-1929

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Can I obtain a refund?

A refund may be available if a duplicate payment was made for your license. To request a refund, please send your request in writing or via email to Customer Service. Be sure to include the pet’s current license tag number, if it is available, and as much information as possible regarding your payments and where the payments were made.

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How long is this license valid?

A license year begins the month your pet is vaccinated for rabies and ends the same month of the next calendar year or the month a new rabies vaccination is given, whichever comes first. For example, if a rabies shot is given in the month of April, the license year would be from April to April. But if a new rabies vaccination is given in March, the license would expire in March. A license may not always be a 12 month period. It is easiest and most cost-effective to vaccinate and license your animal during the same month each time the rabies vaccine and license are due.

If your pet receives a three-year rabies vaccination, a three-year license may be purchased. Please note that by state law, a license may not be valid beyond the expiration of the rabies vaccination.

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Where is the local animal shelter?

Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA
12 Airport Boulevard
San Mateo, CA

If you have a question regarding animal control which is not related to licensing your pet, please call 650-340-8200.

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I have found a pet: what should I do?

If the pet that you have found is wearing a San Mateo County license tag, please enter the tag number in the tag search box above. If you need assistance, you may call our office toll-free at 1-866-925-5906.

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I have lost a pet: what should I do?

If an Animal Control Officer finds your pet, and your pet is wearing a current license tag on its collar, Animal Control will try to contact you. If another citizen finds your pet with its license tag, they may use the tag number to contact you through our online tag search or by calling 650-340-8200.

If your pet has been lost, Animal Control recommends that you visit the shelter to look for your pet.
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Why should I license?

It serves to protect the health and safety of both the citizens and pets in our community and it is the law.

Licensing lets people know that your companion has received required vaccinations that protect your animal and the public from rabies. If your pet is injured, his license enables others to notify you quickly, possibly saving your pet's life. If your pet is lost, a license tag on your pet's collar is the fastest way to reunite you and your pet. Even if your pet has a microchip, a license tag is immediately visible and doesn't require a scanning device.

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What are the licensing requirements?

Licensing Ordinance

All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies and licensed by the age of 4 months or within 60 days of acquiring the animal.

All cats residing in the cities of Belmont, Brisbane, Hillsborough, Millbrae, Redwood City and San Mateo City and all unincorporated areas of the county must be vaccinated against rabies and licensed by the age of 4 months or within 60 days of acquiring the animal. Cats residing in East Palo Alto and Half Moon Bay must have a current vaccine. Cats in all other areas of the County are not required to be licensed at this time, however, it is a highly recommended form of identification for both dogs and cats.

View the complete San Mateo County ordinance

Due Date

Your license is due on the first of the month in which your license expires. There is a grace period of 30 days in which to make payment for your pet’s license.

By ordinance, a late fee is added if payment is not made within 30 days of the due date.

License Term

A license year begins the month your pet is vaccinated for rabies and ends the same month of the next calendar year or the month a new rabies vaccination is given, whichever comes first. For example, if a rabies shot is given in the month of April, the license year would be from April to April. But if a new rabies vaccination is given in March, the license would expire in March. A license may not always be a 12 month period. It is easiest and most cost-effective to vaccinate and license your animal during the same month each time the rabies vaccine and license are due.

If your pet receives a three-year rabies vaccination, a three-year license may be purchased. Please note that by state law, a license may not be valid beyond the expiration of the rabies vaccination.

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Why was licensing privatized?

San Mateo County chose to privatize animal licensing in 2008 to promote animal licensing, to increase the cost-effectiveness of the program, and to provide additional services to its citizens.

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Who is PetData?

PetData, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, provides animal licensing services for municipalities and animal welfare agencies throughout the United States. The company, a member of the National Animal Control Association, has been in business since 1994. PetData’s goals are to increase animal licensing, to reduce animal euthanasia, to educate the community, and to help solve animal control problems.
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Does PetData sell information?

We at PetData consider the privacy of our clients to be of paramount importance. PetData has never sold information or data to any third-party. PetData does not use any personally identifiable data collected for any purpose other than those as determined by client contracts.

We do not respond to requests for information from non-client individuals or corporations, nor do we release information without the express written consent of our client agencies. Groups or individuals requesting licensing data should contact the Program Manager for San Mateo County Animal Control and Licensing, as we only release data to our contracted client.

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