Essex County Virginia

Licensing and Rabies


It is unlawful for any person to own a dog four (4) months old or older in the Commonwealth of Virginia unless such dog is licensed.  A dog license may be obtained by contacting the treasurer’s office.   Your dog has to be up to date on its rabies shot.  
County:  The annual license tax on the ownership of dogs shall be as follows: Dogs are $10.00 male or female, for one year; and $25.00, male or female, for 3 years. A three-year tag must be purchased within 30 days of the rabies vaccination. Small kennel for up to 10 dogs is $35.00. Large kennel for over 10 is $50.00.  Tags are not required for cats. Licenses can be purchased here at the Treasurer’s office located at 321 Prince Street Tappahannock, Va.  Tags are due by Feb. 1st of each year. A valid rabies certificate needs to be presented each time a tag is purchased.
Town: The annual license tax on the ownership of dogs or cats shall be as follows: For a kennel of not more than 20 dogs or cats, $15.00; for a kennel of more than 20 but not more than 50 dogs or cats, $25.00; for each male dog or cat or spayed female dog or cat, $5.00; and for each female dog or cat, $8.00.

(b)  The license tax shall be paid between January 1 and January 31 of each year on any dog or cat four months old or older. If any dog or cat becomes four months of age or comes into the possession of any person between January 1 and November 1 of any year, the license tax for the current year shall be paid forthwith by the owner. After October 31 until the end of the year the license tax for the succeeding year shall be paid forthwith by the owner.

(c)  No license tax shall be levied on any dog that is trained and serves as a guide dog for a blind person, that is trained and serves as a hearing dog for a deaf or hearing impaired person or that is trained and serves as a service dog for a mobility-impaired person. (Code 1993, § 4-39)

State law reference—  Dog license, Code of Virginia, §§ 3.1-796.86—3.1-796.92.


All dogs and domesticated cats must receive a rabies vaccine prior to the age of 4 months.  
Dogs and cats should initially be immunized between 3 and 4 months of age.  The second vaccination should be given a year later.  A 3- year duration of immunity to rabies shot can be given at that time.  Or you can elect to have the animal vaccinated every year.  Check with your veterinarian for additional information, and which shot works best for your pet.