• Kenneth Powell

Do You Need a Dog License in Missouri?

The majority of US states have strict dog licensing laws for all pet owners. These regulations are in place to keep the animals and everyone in their vicinity safe at all times. However, not all states impose the same laws, and they are not equally rigorous.

But do you need a dog license in Missouri? Here is what Missouri state and city laws say about dog permits, including who issues them and why they are necessary.


Do You Have to Have a Dog License in Missouri?

Do You Have to Have a Dog License in Missouri?


According to Missouri state statutes, every dog owner must register their pet as soon as it turns three months of age. In addition to the registration, most city laws in the state dictate that the dog should be vaccinated against rabies as well.

Upon registering a dog, each animal gets a unique registration number. The number is engraved on a small metallic plate that owners should put on the dog’s collar.

Furthermore, the registration number goes into the animal registry of the city and state the owner lives in. Typing the number into the registry reveals the dog’s name, age, breed, health, and vaccination records. In addition, it will show the owner’s name, address, and phone number.


Who Issues the Licenses?


Dog owners can purchase licenses and registration tags at local vet clinics, the Customer Service office at City Hall, or the Animal Control and Rescue office. The options are varied to ensure that obtaining a license is a seamless process for all parties.

If the animal in question is spayed or neutered, the tag costs $5. For unaltered animals, the price is higher: $15. The difference in pricing is supposed to encourage owners to get their pets neutered/spayed. The goal is to make sure that no unwanted animals end up on the streets and in shelters.

In most Missouri cities, the licenses are valid for one year. After they expire, owners should buy new ones and keep up that practice for as long as their pet lives.


Why Licenses Are Necessary


Firstly, owners should get licenses so that they can pay yearly taxes for their dogs. While the tax is not high (just $1), it is a necessary expense nevertheless. According to the statutes, the tax is due every February.

But most importantly, registering a dog is the best way to keep it safe. If it runs away, anyone who finds the lost pet will be able to contact the owner via the number on the metallic plate.

Taking a look at lost pet statistics proves that registering animals and acquiring a license can indeed make a big difference. Namely, over 80% of registered lost dogs are returned to their owners. On the other hand, the percentage of lost unregistered dogs reunited with their owners is 23%. Thus, a license can significantly increase the chances of recovering a roaming canine.

Finally, if an unlicensed dog escapes and the city authorities impound it, the owner might have to pay a fine. If the animal has to stay at a shelter, the owner is responsible for covering the expenses for the stay. After recovering the pet, the owner has to get a license to avoid paying more fees.


Modernizing Licenses


In the majority of big Missouri cities, (including St. Louis, Kansas City, and St. Joseph), owners have the chance to get their dogs modern electronic tags. Instead of a registration number on a plate, dogs get their own unique QR code.

If the animals run away, anyone with a code reader can scan their registration codes and find the owners in just a minute. These codes make locating animals faster and more convenient, which is important for roaming animals as they can get hurt or potentially injure someone. In line with roaming animals, there is the matter of how much a dog at large ticket in Missouri is. Other people use leashes on their dogs—you can learn more about the leash law in Missouri.

People do not have to be tech-savvy to have these types of registration tags. They can purchase them just like regular tags, as the procedure is exactly the same. The only difference is that it is easier to identify the owner as soon as someone spots the dog. In other words, there is no need to go to the registry with the number at all.


If you want to know more about dog license laws, contact the best dog bite attorneys in St Louis today.