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Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Apply for a License or Registration

The Licensing and Registration Assistant is a self-service tool that helps you determine whether you need a license or a registration. After answering the questions, the tool will provide you with a link to the relevant registration or license application. People typically spend 5 to 15 minutes using the tool. Launch the Licensing and Registration Assistant

License Applications

Application Apply Online Download Revised
License Application – with dogs and cats
License Application – other than dogs and cats
License Application – with dogs, cats, and other animals
License Renewal Application
Re-License Application

Registration Applications

Application Apply Online Download Revised
Registration Application – with dogs and cats
Registration Application – other than dogs and cats
Registration Application – with dogs, cats, and other animals
Registration Update Application

Commercial Animal Dealers

Individuals or businesses who sell or offer to sell or transport or offer for transportation, in commerce, warm-blooded animals for use in research, exhibition, or as pets must be licensed as a dealer. In addition, individuals or businesses who buy, sell, offer to buy or sell, or transport or offer to transport, in commerce, warm-blooded animals to or from another dealer or exhibitor must be licensed as a dealer. A Class A license is issued to dealers who sell animals that are bred and raised at their facility in a closed or stable colony. A Class B license is issued to other dealers whose business includes the purchase and/or resale of warm-blooded animals Examples of dealers include commercial dog-breeding facilities, animal brokers, and operators of auction sales.

There are exemptions to the dealer licensing requirements. In summary, the exemptions include but are not limited to, retail pet stores, breeders with four or fewer breeding females of dogs, cats, and/or small exotic or wild mammals, sales of less than 25 dogs or cats per year to research facilities, purchases and sales of animals used only for the purposes of food or fiber (including fur), and any person who buys animals solely for his or her own use or enjoyment.


Individuals or businesses with warm-blooded animals that are on display, perform for the public, or are used in educational presentations must be licensed as exhibitors with APHIS. Licensed exhibitors include circuses, zoos, educational displays, petting farms/zoos, animal acts, wildlife parks, marine mammal parks, and some sanctuaries. The animals involved in the exhibition may include domestic and exotic animal species.

Research Facilities

Research facilities use animals (as defined by the Animal Welfare Act) for research, teaching, testing or experimentation. Examples of research facilities include hospitals, colleges and universities, and pharmaceutical firms. The Animal Welfare Act requires researchers to provide anesthesia or pain-relieving medication to minimize the pain or distress caused by an experiment, unless otherwise scientifically justified. The Animal Welfare Act does not allow Animal Care to prevent the use of animals in research or experimentation, however.


A person with a commercial business that moves animals from one location to another is considered a transporter under the Animal Welfare Act and must be registered with the USDA. Examples of transporters include airlines and trucking companies.

If you have any questions about applying for a license or registration under the Animal Welfare Act, please contact the USDA Animal Care office below.

2150 Centre Avenue Building B
Mailstop 3W11
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8117
Phone: (970) 494-7478

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