How to Apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit

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As of July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies. This includes dogs arriving from countries not at high risk if the dogs have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months.

CDC has the authority to issue a CDC Dog Import Permit for US citizens and lawful residents relocating from high-risk countries to bring their dogs into the United States. Such permits will be issued on a limited basis.

UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, dogs vaccinated in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:

  1. has a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
  2. has proof of a microchip;
  3. is at least 6 months old;
  4. is healthy upon arrival; and
  5. arrives at an approved port of entry

Expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, you must apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit, if eligible.

UPDATE: Effective December 1, 2021, all dogs that have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months may only enter the United States through an approved port of entry, which includes all 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station: Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

All dogs imported into the United States must be healthy on arrival.

Dogs that have not been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or a CDC Dog Import Permit—and can enter the United States at any port of entry, but must be healthy upon arrival and vaccination against rabies is recommended.

Important Information

On an extremely limited basis, CDC has the authority to issue advance written approval (CDC Dog Import Permit) to import a dog vaccinated outside the United States from a high-risk country. CDC Dog Import Permits will not be issued upon arrival. Dogs that were vaccinated against rabies outside of the United States and arrive from high-risk countries without a CDC Dog Import Permit will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense.

Dogs with Valid US Rabies Vaccination Certificates

Dogs over 6 months of age with valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate and proof of microchip are exempt from the suspension—they can enter the United States without a permit. Expired US rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, you must apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit. See For Dogs Vaccinated in the United States for more information.

Permit Application Requirements:

  • Each eligible importer of personal pet dogs may be granted approval (permits) to import a maximum of 3 dogs for one trip during the temporary suspension. Importers wishing to import dogs for science, education, exhibition, or bona fide law enforcement may be granted approval to import more than 3 dogs.
  • For dogs to be eligible for an import permit, they must:
    • be at least 6 months old, as verified by submission of current photos of the dog’s teeth
    • be microchipped
    • have a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued outside the United States
    • have a valid rabies serologic titer from an approved laboratory.
      • Titers must be drawn a minimum of 30 days after initial rabies vaccination and at least 45 days before US entry.
      • Dogs due to receive rabies vaccination boosters may have their titers drawn at any time, but titers are most easily detected at least 30 days after vaccination.
    • View the list of approved laboratories
      • Results from unapproved laboratories will not be accepted.

Approved Ports of Entry

During the temporary suspension, all dogs coming from high-risk countries either with a valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate or with a CDC Dog Import Permit can only enter the United States through an approved port of entry, which includes all 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station:

Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

Who Can Apply—Apply Here if Eligible

These types of importers are eligible to apply for a permit to import a dog from a high-risk country into the United States. Click on your type of importer to review application requirements and confirm you have all the documents—then you can apply.

An incomplete application will delay the time to process the permit.

Documents must be submitted in English or be accompanied by a certified English translation. A certified translation is a signed statement on professional letterhead issued by a licensed translator declaring that the translation is an accurate and true representation of the original document. The translation must include the name, address and contact information of the translator and have a signatory stamp or elevated seal with the translator’s license number included. A certified translation service provider can be found online.

Permit FAQs