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Pet Microchip Registration & Ownership in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Pet Microchip Registration and Ownership in Australia

Getting your pet microchipped is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a pet owner. Knowing your responsibilities as a pet owner when it comes to microchipping is an important part of responsible pet care. 

When your pet is microchipped, you still need to have your pet registered on a pet registry, which is separate from registering with your local council. Most of the time, your vet clinic will register your pet’s microchip when it’s implanted and provide you with the registration certificate. 

If you own a pet or are looking to get one, you need to know your responsibilities when it comes to microchipping your dog or cat. If you’re ready to learn about microchip registration and transfers, continue reading below. 

Do I Have to Register a Microchip for Pets?

Once your pet is microchipped, the microchip number will need to be registered on an animal registry. In Australia, your veterinary clinic will typically register your pet’s microchip when the procedure is performed. 

If this is your first time owning a pet, this is an important step not to forget. Once you pay for your pet to be microchipped, you still need to ensure that the microchip number is registered.

Once your cat or dog’s microchip is registered with a database, your pet’s microchip number will be connected with your personal details in that registry. Now any time your pet is lost and the microchip is scanned, vets and animal shelters can check the microchip number and contact you to reunite you with your pet. 

Is Microchip Registration the Same as Council Registration?

No, microchip registration puts your pet’s information into the microchip database, while council registration only registers your pet at your local Council.

Microchip registrations are an essential part of microchipping your pet, since it connects the microchip number to your contact details. On the other hand, council registration will usually be required for residents who own pets to ensure that it is kept safe in the community. Since councils only have a local database, you will have to re-register your pets whenever you move to a different location.

How Do You Register a Pet Microchip in Australia?

Your veterinary clinic will usually register your pet’s microchip when it’s implanted. Always confirm with your vet that your cat or dog’s microchip is fully registered. There are various registries in Australia where you can register your pet’s microchip — such as the Central Animal Records (CAR) and Petsafe.

Below are some of the primary registries and instructions on registering a microchip:

  • Central Animal Records (CAR) – Owners can register new microchips conveniently through the VetDB mobile app. The collaboration has removed the need for filling forms or manual data entry. After a few taps in the app, owners can receive confirmation of the pet microchip registration almost instantaneously. The app also allows owners to scan the microchip of lost pets and identify where it is registered.

  • Australasian Animal Registry (AAR) – As of 08 July 2022, current regulations in Victoria prohibit new registrations completed online. Residents of VIC will have to download and accomplish the New Registration Form and submit it to the AAR for processing. For those living in states and territories outside of VIC, you can register online through this link. You can seek assistance by contacting the AAR directly at 02 9704 1450.

  • Petsafe – Owners can head on to the Petsafe website and select ‘Register Your Pet’ at the top row. This will bring them to the webpage with the option of registering a pet for the first time, amending current registration and print certificates, and changing ownership. When registering a pet microchip for the first time, the owner will be redirected to the ‘New Member Entry’ web page, where you can input the details.

  • Global Micro Registry – New owners should go to the Global Micro Registry’s website and select the ‘Register Now’ button. They will be redirected to the pet microchip number entry page. The number will be run through their database, and if it’s not yet registered, the owner will be allowed to create an account and register their pet.

  • Home Safe ID – New pet owners can head to the website and select ‘Forms’ at the top row. For owners whose pets’ microchips do not exist on any registry, they can select the ‘New Registration Application’ where they can fill in their details. On the other hand, those still in contact with the registered breeder or owner can add their mobile number to the existing record or have the breeder or previous owner send the new owner a security code to access the website and update the owner details.

How Do I Get My Pet’s Microchip Registration Certificate?

Typically, you’ll receive a free microchip registration certificate when your pet is microchipped and their microchip is registered. If you’ve misplaced or lost your pet’s microchip certificate, you can download a new copy on the registry website. 

You may need your pet’s microchip certificate for local council registration, when taking your dog or cat to a new vet, or when applying for a rental property.  

Here is a step-by-step guide to get a copy of your pet’s microchip registration certificate:

  1. Identify your pet’s microchip number. This unique number can be found on your copy of the microchip paperwork. Contact the microchip provider for assistance if you do not have the paperwork. 
  2. Input the microchip number at http://petaddress.com.au/ to know which registry your pet is registered with.
  3. Head to the registry’s website and log in with your owner credentials. Depending on the registry, an option to download a copy of the registration certificate will be found somewhere on the website.

How Can I Check My Pet’s Microchip Details Are Up To Date?

To review or check the recency of your pet’s microchip details, head to the registry website where your pet’s microchip is registered and log in. 

If you’re unsure which registry your pet belongs to, your veterinarian can have your pet’s microchip scanned by your veterinarian or check it through its microchip paperwork and look it up at http://petaddress.com.au/. The owner and pet details are usually found within the user dashboard after logging in. Registries generally allow owners to update their profiles within the website.

How to Change Your Pet’s Microchip Details

Below are the RSPCA’s steps on changing pet microchip contact details:

  1. Identify your pet’s microchip number. You can find this in the microchip paperwork or have a veterinarian scan it. If you need further assistance, you can contact your local council, animal welfare shelter, or veterinarian.
  2. Head to http://petaddress.com.au/ to find which registry your pet is registered with. 
  3. Log in on the registry website to check current details
  4. Follow the registry instructions to update the details

Learn how to update your pet’s microchip details on each animal registry below.

How to Update Pet Microchip Information on Central Animal Records

There are three ways to update information on CAR:

  1. Online
    1. Using credentials on CAR, log in through the website or the My Pet App on your mobile.
    2. After logging in, head to the ‘Profile’ to edit your information
  2. Phone
    1. Call CAR through 03 9706 3187
    2. The CAR representative will verify your identity by asking for your full name and address. During the call, your pet’s microchip number should be ready. This method allows you to update every detail except your name (unless it was a clerical error).
  3. Email
    1. Send an email to CAR via info@car.com.au
    2. You will need to confirm your identity by providing your full name and address that is listed in their system. Your pet’s microchip number should be included in the subject or body of the email. This method allows you to update every detail except your name (unless it was a clerical error).

How to Update Pet Microchip Information on AAR

  1. Head to the Australasian Animal Registry’s website
  2. Scroll down and select ‘Update your pets registration details’
  3. You will be redirected to a landing page where pet owners’ guidance is shown, including an alternative option for those unable to update records online. You can find a link in the body of the text that reads ‘update registration details’.
  4. Once clicked, it will send you to a web page where you will ask for the microchip number, the owner’s surname, and password.
  5. Filling these details will redirect the owner to the web page where the details can be updated.

How to Update Pet Microchip Information on Petsafe

  1. Head to the Petsafe website, and click ‘Register A Pet’ at the top row
  2. You will then be redirected to a web page where you can amend your registration and print certificates. Select ‘Amend Registration & Print Certificates. Click Here’.
  3. It will send you to the login page where you must input your Member ID and Password.
  4. After logging in, you can update your details on Petsafe.

How to Change Pet Microchip Ownership

It is important to change the pet microchip ownership after a sale or adoption has taken place, this ensures that the pet can be traced to its new owner if it’s lost.

To change the ownership of your pet’s microchip information, follow these steps: 

  1. Identify your pet’s microchip number. You can find this in the microchip paperwork or have a veterinarian scan it. If you need further assistance, you can contact your local council, animal welfare shelter, or veterinarian.
  2. Head to http://petaddress.com.au/ to find which registry your pet is registered with. 
  3. Log in on the registry website and follow the registry instructions to update the details.

How to Update Pet Microchip Ownership on Central Animal Records

  1. Head to the CAR website, and select ‘Transfer a Pet’.
  2. On the next webpage, you will be given two options: create an account and transfer ownership, or sign in with your account and transfer ownership. Choose whichever fits your situation.
    1. An option to download the Change of Ownership Form is also shown on the same webpage. Through this option, signatures of both previous and new owners should be affixed after accomplishing the form and sent to the CAR for processing.
  3. After selecting an option, you will be redirected to a webpage where you can fill in your login credentials.
  4. After logging in, you will be sent to your user profile to commence the change of ownership.

How to Update Pet Microchip Ownership on AAR

You can update your pet microchip ownership information through AAR either digitally or using physical form submission.

  1. Online
    1. Head to the Australasian Animal Registry’s website
    2. Scroll down and select ‘Change of ownership’
    3. You will be sent to a webpage with a link to commence an online change of ownership, click the link to continue.
    4. You will be sent to a new webpage with five different selections; individual owners, rescue agencies, vets, councils, and breeders.
    5. After clicking any of these buttons, you will be sent to a webpage asking you to input your pet’s microchip number.
    6. After you input the number, select ‘Add Request’.
  2. Paper-Based
    1. Head to the Australasian Animal Registry’s website
    2. Scroll down and select ‘Change of ownership’
    3. You will be sent to a webpage with instructions on changing ownership through a paper document. Download the Change of Ownership Form.
    4. After accomplishing the form, send it to the AAR for processing.

How to Update Pet Microchip Ownership on Petsafe

  1. Head to the Petsafe website, and click ‘Register A Pet’ at the top row
  2. You will then be redirected to a web page where you can see guidance on the change of ownership.
  3. To change ownership, you must notify Petsafe in writing with the signature of both the previous and new owner of the pet. The postal address where the letter should be sent is shown on the website.

What Determines Legal Pet Ownership in Australia?

The Family Law Act determines legal pet ownership in Australia. Since pets are not (yet) distinguished differently from property, they are legally treated the same way a family property would be – like a house or car.

This is one reason why pet microchipping is so important. As the microchip details should be kept as up-to-date as possible, the information associated with your pet’s microchip is often a huge component of determining legal ownership. 

This is important to know for couples who live with a pet together. When these couples decide to part ways, pets are treated as property instead of being treated like human children. As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to know how legal ownership is determined when it comes to pets to give you the greatest chance of keeping custody of your pet. 

There are several ways to reduce friction when deciding who gets to keep the pet; among these are ensuring that the pet is legally registered in a person’s name, ensuring that the person has reasonably contributed to the purchase price of the pet, or having the person own the insurance policy under their name.

A legal alternative is called the “pup-nup” — an informal co-parenting agreement or a binding financial agreement between persons for the pet. Some couples choose to pre-determine their financial position at separation through a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA), which outlines exactly what happens to assets during separation (including the pet).

Does a Microchip Prove Pet Ownership?

Yes, if your pet has been stolen and recovered, one key, consistent way to prove ownership is through the microchip since it isn’t uncommon for people to falsely claim that a pet is theirs.

Related Questions

What Should I Do if My Pet Is Stolen?

If you think your pet has been stolen, your initial response should be to report the theft to the police. In addition, it is also advisable to notify your pet’s microchip registry to allow them to immediately flag your pet as stolen. 

Doing so will alert authorities whenever your pet’s microchip is scanned. You could take further action by notifying your local veterinarians and shelters too, since there is a chance that your pet may be taken to any one of them.

Do Vets Automatically Check Pets for Microchips?

Yes, vets will typically check for microchips when seeing a pet to ensure that they are microchipped, as it’s a legal requirement across most states in Australia. Checking for microchips is standard practice for any new animal introduced as a veterinary client. 

Disclaimer:

This article is published in good faith, for general informational and educational purposes only. Paws and More Vet Centre does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. This article should not be used as a substitute for veterinary advice, including for diagnosis or treatment of a pet’s medical condition. Always consult a veterinary professional before making decisions on your pet’s health. 

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