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Muskegon County Dog Licenses-Frequently Asked Questions



The Muskegon County Treasurer’s Office has sent out notices to anyone that had a licensed dog but has failed to renew the license. They are offering a one time amnesty from late fees until 10/31/2015!  You MUST renew your license at their office (173 E. Apple Ave, Muskegon, MI 49442) in order to take advantage of their amnesty offer!  If you no longer own the dog or the dog has passed away please notify their office immediately. The Muskegon County Treasurer’s Office phone number is 231-724-6261.


  1. Why should I get a license for my dog?  There are several reasons:
  • It tells everyone that the dog is not a homeless stray
  • It enables Animal Control to protect neighborhoods from dangerous dogs and investigate dog bites
  • It helps with the return of lost dogs to their families.
  • It helps keep HUMANS & DOGS from being infected by rabies, a deadly disease.
  • IT’S THE LAW! (Dog Law of 1919, Public Act 339 of 1919)
  1. Who is required to get a licenseAll dogs must be licensed:
    • Within 30 days of acquiring the dog, or
    • Within 30 days of moving into a new county (licenses do not transfer from county to county), or
    • At four (4) months of age (when they get their 1st rabies shot)

Whichever occurs first!

  1. What happens if I don’t license my dog?  State law requires dogs to be licensed; failure to license your dog could result in fines, jail time and the cost to purchase the required dog license plus any applicable late fees.
  2. My dog is a house dog and never goes out.  Do I still need to purchase a dog license?  YES, State Law requires ALL dogs to be licensed.  This is the way dog owners prove their dog has been properly vaccinated for rabies, which is also REQUIRED by State Law.  (Dog Law of 1919, Public Act 339 of 1919).  It also helps lost dogs get returned to their families.
  3. My dog has a rabies tag.  Do I still need to purchase a dog license?  YES, the law requires a county issued dog license.  The rabies tag given to you by your vet does not satisfy the requirements of the law.
  4. I got a license, but my dog lost the tag, what do I do?  Replacement tags are issued free of charge, stop in here or at the County Treasurer’s Office to obtain a replacement tag.
  5. My dog died, and I have a new dog.  Can I use the same license for the new dog?  NO, a license is issued to an individual dog based on that dog’s rabies vaccination shot.  Each dog must get it’s own rabies vaccination and license based on that vaccination information.
  6. I gave my dog away to a new owner.  Does the new owner have to get a new license?  It depends.  If the new owner lives in the same county as the old owner, the license may be transferred from the old owner to the new owner.  If the new owner lives in a different county than the old owner, the new owner MUST get a new license in the county in which he/she resides.
  7. I have a dog license, how do I know when it expires?  Dog licenses in Muskegon County expire based on the MONTH the rabies vaccination shot was given.


  • If your dog got a 1 year rabies vaccination shot on 11/15/2015, the shot expires on 11/15/2016 and you purchase a 1 year dog license, the license expires in the MONTH of November 2016 and you will need to get a new rabies vaccination before renewing the dog license sometime in November 2016.
  • If your dog got a 3 year rabies shot on 11/15/2015, the shot expires on 11/15/2018. You have the choice to purchase either a 1 year or a 3 year dog license in November 2015.
    • If you purchase a 1 year license, you will be required to renew the license each year in November until the shot expires, then in November 2018 you must get a new rabies shot before renewing the license in November 2018.
    • If you purchase a 3 year license, you won’t have to renew the license until November 2018, and will need proof of a new rabies shot at that time.
    • SPECIAL NOTE: All licenses must run concurrently with the rabies vaccination shot, meaning to purchase a 1 year license (or a 3 year license) there must be at least 1 year (or 3 years) remaining until the shot expiration date respectively.