Harford County is streamlining its dog licensing procedures so that pet owners soon will be able to buy licenses online, among other changes.
The county Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits said the changes are the result of Harford County Council Bill 13-47, introduced at the department's request and passed unanimously by the council in December.
The legislation, which takes effect Feb. 18, allows the department to take advantage of a new licensing system expected to be operational in July, the county said in a news release. The legislation did not change existing fee schedules nor the requirement that dogs six months or older must be licensed.
One example is the implementation of rolling calendar year licensing, allowing for renewals to be spread throughout the year and alleviating the need to process approximately 9,000 licensing renewals over a two-month period.
The new system will provide for the issuance of a single tag for the life of the animal and the ability to submit an application or renewal of animal licenses online. Replacement tags still will be available at minimal cost should one be lost or misplaced.
Another change is the end of multi-year licensing. The new system "will allow for a more efficient interaction for county citizens seeking to obtain animal licenses," the news release states. Existing multi-year licenses set to expire in 2015 and 2016 will not be affected.
To implement the new procedures, a one-time extension for current licenses that are set to expire July 1, 2014 was approved as part of the legislation.
According to the county, the extension sets a new expiration date of Sept. 1, 2014, which will allow for licenses set to expire this year to be fully processed and to take advantage of the new system from notification to re-issuance. In addition, renewal notices this year will be sent out in July rather than in May.