Pet licensing is required in all parts of King County, and in Bellevue, it’s no different. But, while it’s been the law to license your pet dog or cat for several years, many people still aren’t aware of the requirements, or the benefits of licensing.

The licensing program, run by the Regional Animal Services of King County, charges a small license fee, and uses the funds to support the return of hundreds of local lost animals every year. It also funds adoption for pets picked up by the Regional Animal Services of King County, and helps fund investigations into reports of animal cruelty and neglect. Finally, funds are used for education, spay and neuter programs, and feral programs to help monitor feral populations of cats and dogs.


Any cat or dog that is 8 weeks or older should be registered with the pet licensing program.

Why License Pets

Licensing is one way to help the city keep track of which pets belong to people and which do not. It also allows faster processing and return home. Some of the following advantages are very good reasons Bellevue residents should license their pet.

  • Lost pets are returned straight home the first time rather than taken to the shelter through the Free Ride Home program.
  • Licensed pets have longer hold times at the shelter. Bellevue Humane Society Shelters only hold unlicensed animals for 2 days before releasing them for adoption. The Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) holds unlicensed pets for 3 days, and licensed pets for 5.
  • The Vacation Pet Alert program allows you to provide care information and contact information for your pet while you are on vacation. Just call 206-296-2712 before leaving, and inform them of your pet’s license number, where you will be, who will be caring for them, and contact information. If your pet goes missing while you are on vacation, it will be returned to the caretaker.
  • Licensing benefits you as the landlord because it means that the pet has all proper vaccinations, and is in good health, meaning that the dog is not likely a danger to other dogs, not carrying any communicable diseases, and not likely to get lost.
  • As a landlord, it is your responsibility to ensure that pets in your building are licensed.

How Much Does Pet Licensing Cost?

Charges range from $15 to $60 to license a pet in King County.

  • Juvenile (Under 6 Months) – $15 (6-month license)
  • Adult (Spayed-Neutered, with proof) – $30
  • Adult (Unaltered) – $60
  • Senior Citizens (Altered, Spayed, or Neutered, Proof Required) – $15
  • Disabled Persons (Altered, Proof Required) – $15
  • Replacement Tag – $5
  • Service Animal (Proof Required) – Free
  • Fine for Not Licensing – $125 for Spayed/Neutered (Proof Required), $250 for Unaltered

These fees are yearly, and should be paid on a recurring basis. Late fees also apply and range from $15 to $30 depending on the length of time elapsed.

If tenants sell their pets, they should also update the RASKC pet licensing office at 206-296-2712.

Tenants can purchase their license online (includes a $1.49 processing fee) at the RASKC website, or download and fill out paperwork, and then bring it in to Bellevue’s walk-in locations at the following addresses:

  • City Hall, 450 110th Avenue NE;
  • Mini-City Hall, 15600 NE 8th St.;
  • Aerowood Animal Hospital, 2975 156th Avenue SE;

How to Inform Tenants

Most tenants are more than happy to register their pets; they just might not know that they are supposed to. By reminding and asking your tenants to license their pets, you can help to make your rentals and your neighborhood a better and a safer place. Common options for reminding tenants to license pets include adding a brief to a newsletter, mailing out reminders, or if you only have one or two rentals, ask them in person. Sending a message through a client tenant portal is a great option if you have one. You can also include a clause in your lease contract that all pets in your building should be licensed according to King County Law.

Finally, any dogs or cats that go outside are required to wear their licenses outside. This helps the RASKC to identify and return the pet as quickly as possible.

Pet licensing is just one of the many things you should be concerned about as a property investor. If you need help with this, or any other details of property management like collecting rent, handling maintenance and repairs, or marketing and renting out your property, contact SJA Property Management, for a free quote.