CDC Dog Import Permit Application Instructions

These instructions will help you complete your application for a CDC Dog Import Permit that is being requested through advance written approval for dogs coming from high-risk countries  for dog rabies.

Each eligible importer may be approved to import a maximum of 3 personal pet dogs for one trip during the temporary suspension. You must submit a separate application for each dog. No permits will be issued at the port of entry.

Section A: Person Requesting Permit (Applicant)

The Applicant is the owner of the dog. Your contact information must be complete, current, and accurate to receive your permit and communicate with CDC. Notify CDC of any changes by emailing cdcanimalimports@cdc.gov. Verbal change requests are not accepted.

Blocks 1-3: Applicant’s Name

Provide Applicant’s full name
“Full name” refers to a person’s full legal name, including first name, middle initial(s), and last name (surname), without nicknames.

Blocks 4-7: Physical Address

  • Provide the Applicant’s complete physical address—do not use a Post Office Box address.
  • The address must be a location in the United States.

Block 8: Telephone Number

  • Provide the Applicant’s direct-dial 10-digit telephone number. Include an extension if applicable.
  • Must be a telephone number in the United States.

Block 9: Email Address

  • Provide the Applicant’s email address.
  • Include the email domain (examples: .com, .edu, .gov, .net, .org).

Block 10: Passport Number and Country Issued by

  • Provide the Applicant’s passport number and country where the passport was issued.

Block 11: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Number or Visa Number

  • Provide the Applicant’s US visa or USCIS number (required if applicable).

Section B: Permit Holder

CDC’s Dog Import Permit will only be issued to a single person (Applicant). However, the Applicant may designate another person (Permit Holder) who will submit the dog’s entry documents to US Customs and Border Protection.

For example, the Applicant’s designated Permit Holder may be the person bringing the dog into the United States or the Applicant’s Customs broker or agent.

If the Applicant and Permit Holder are different people, then the Applicant must make sure the Permit Holder receives the permit, so the Permit Holder can give it to US Customs and Border Protection upon arrival along with the dog’s other entry documents.

Blocks 12-14: Designated Permit Holder’s Name

  • Provide the person’s name, other than the Applicant, who will be in possession of the dog at a US port of entry and be required to submit entry documents to US Customs and Border Protection (examples: courier, broker, agent).
  • Provide the full name of the designated Permit Holder
    “Full name” refers to a person’s full legal name, including first name, middle initial(s), and last name (surname), without nicknames.

Blocks 15-18: Physical Address

  • Provide the Permit Holder’s complete US physical address—do not use a Post Office Box address.

Block 19: Telephone Number

  • Provide the Permit Holder’s direct-dial 10-digit telephone number. Include an extension if applicable.

Block 20: Email Address

  • Provide the Permit Holder’s email address. Include the email domain (examples: .com, .edu, .gov, .net, .org).

Block 21: Passport Number and Country Issued by

  • Provide the Permit Holder’s passport number and country where the passport was issued.

Block 22: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Number or Visa Number

  • Provide the Permit Holder’s US visa or USCIS number (required if applicable).

Section C: Identification of Dog

Each eligible importer may be approved to import a maximum of three personal pet dogs for one trip during the temporary suspension. You must submit a separate application and required supporting documents for each dog.

Block 23: Country of Origin

  • Provide the most recent high-risk country where the dog has been located during the past 6 months.

Block 24: Length of Time (in months) in country of origin

  • List the total length of time (in months) that the dog has resided in the high-risk country.
  • The total length of time should be in consecutive months.
    • A month is the period between a date in one month and the same date in the next month (example: June 2 to July 2). Don’t use any other definition of “month,” such as 4 weeks or 30 days.
    • Please round up if the time in a country is less than 1 full month (example: if the dog was in a country for 2 weeks, please enter 1 month; or if the dog was in a country for 3 months and 10 days, please enter 4 months).

Block 25: Date of Birth

  • Provide the dog’s date of birth or approximate date if unknown.
  • Provide the date of birth in MM/DD/YY format. For example, a dog born on July 30, 2015 would have the following date of birth: 07/30/15.

Block 26: Sex

  • Provide the dog’s sex.
  • List the sex as either “male neutered,” “male intact,” “female neutered,” or “female intact.”

Block 27: Breed

  • List the dog’s breed or “mixed” if unknown.

Block 28: Color

  • List the color(s) of the dog.

Block 29: Microchip Number

  • Dogs arriving from high-risk countries must have a microchip, and the microchip number must be provided.
  • The microchip number must also be listed on the dog’s rabies vaccination certificate.

Block 30: Date of Rabies Vaccination

  • Provide date of the dog’s most recent rabies vaccination.
    • Visit CDC’s website for rabies vaccination certificate requirements to be sure your dog’s rabies vaccination was administered according to US entry requirements and the vaccination certificate includes all required information.
  • Use the MM/DD/YY format.
  • List “NA” (Not Applicable) if the dog has not been vaccinated against rabies.
    • Note, your application may be denied if the dog has not been vaccinated against rabies. Only in extremely rare cases will CDC permit entry of an unvaccinated dog.
  • Submit a copy of the dog’s rabies vaccination certificate that includes the following:
    • Name and address of owner
    • Dog’s breed, sex, date of birth (approximate age if date of birth unknown), color, and markings
    • Dog’s microchip number
    • Date of rabies vaccination
    • Vaccine product information (manufacturer or vaccine name, lot number, and vaccine product expiration)
    • Date the vaccination certificate expires
    • Name, license number, address, and signature of veterinarian who administered the vaccination
  • Submit a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate as part of your application packet with all required documents.

Block 31: Date of Serology

  • Provide date of the dog’s most recent serology test.
  • Use the MM/DD/YY format.
  • Submit a copy of the serology results as part of your application packet with all required documents.
  • Serology results will only be accepted from Approved Laboratories

Section D: Entry and Final Destination

Only one permit will be issued per dog. The permit can only be used once before the expiration date. There are no extensions.

Block 32: Date of Entry

  • Provide the dog’s arrival date into the United States.
  • Use the MM/DD/YY format for the date.

Block 33: US Port of Entry

  • Provide the first US port of entry where the dog is expected to be cleared by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). To verify the correct US port of entry:

NOTE: After October 14, 2021, all dogs from high-risk countries must enter the United States at a port of entry with a CBP-bonded live animal care facility. Additional airports are allowed through October 14, 2021. See list of Approved Ports of Entry.

Section E: Travel Itinerary

Applicant must indicate if the dog will arrive by air, sea, or land border crossing. Please choose the method with the first arrival point into the United States.

Block 34: Air (if applicable)

  • Provide the airline that is shipping the dog.
  • Provide the flight number for the intended dog importation.
  • Provide the air waybill (AWB) number for cargo shipments.
  • Check whether the Applicant intends to have the dog
    • hand-carried in the airplane’s passenger cabin, OR
    • placed in checked baggage, OR
    • shipped as unaccompanied cargo (shipment has an AWB).

Block 35: Land Border Crossing (if applicable)

  • Bus company (if applicable): provide the name of the bus company shipping the dog.
  • Train company (if applicable): provide the name of the train company shipping the dog.
  • Private vehicle (if applicable): provide the license plate number (and country and state/province where issued) of the private vehicle transporting the dog.
    • If you will be renting a car, fill in the blank with the word “RENTAL.”

Block 36: Sea (if applicable)

  • Name of the ship company transporting the dog
  • Vessel’s name (ship or ferry’s name) for the intended dog importation

Section F: Request Details

Applicant must indicate the purpose of importation (how the dog will be used after the intended import). The Applicant must also indicate why a dog permit is being requested.

Block 37: Purpose

  • Provide the reason the dog is being imported — check only one box.
    • Personal Pet: If the Applicant intends to relocate to the United States with a dog they already own and intend to keep as their own personal pet.
    • Service Dog: Owners with service dogs that are trained to assist them with a disability.
      • In accordance with US Department of Transportation regulations at 14 CFR part 382, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not considered service animals.
    • Government Owned Animal: If the dog is owned by a US local, state, or federal government agency and is being imported for bona fide law enforcement purposes.
    • Research: If the animal is being imported for research, education, or exhibition purposes as defined in 42 CFR §71.50
    • Other: Provide explanation in box.

Block 38: Reason a Permit Requested

  • Check the box “High-risk country” if the dog has been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months.
  • Check the box “Unable to vaccinate against rabies because of research protocols” if dog is being imported by a research facility with supporting Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) documentation.
    • Unvaccinated dogs are only permitted to be imported for research purposes as defined in 42 CFR §71.50

Section G: Supporting Documents

Block 39: Proof of Relocation or Service Dog

Attach a copy of one of the following:

  • Official US government or military orders*; or
  • Offer of employment or university acceptance letter; or
  • US Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation Form  pdf icon[PDF – 1 page]external icon (for owners of service animals only); or
  • For returning travelers (US citizens or lawful residents) who left the United States before July 14, 2021 and are returning before October 14, 2021, attach:
    • USDA Export Health Certificate from the United States issued between July 14, 2020 and July 14, 2021; and
    • Documentation that the dog(s) traveled out of the United States with their owner before July 14, 2021 (for example, official airline documentation showing the animal traveled with owner).

* Official government orders are designed to provide for travel and transportation expenses of an employee and immediate family members, movement and storage of household goods and personal effects, and certain other allowances incidental to movement overseas or back to the United States.

Block 40: Rabies vaccination certificate

  • Attach a copy of your dog’s valid rabies vaccination certificates with microchip number listed on the rabies vaccination certificate
  • Attach at least 1 previous rabies vaccination certificate if the current certificate is a booster
  • Note: For return travelers (US citizens or lawful residents) who left the United States before July 14, 2021 and are returning before October 14, 2021, dogs must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate issued in the United States.

Block 41: Serology results

  • Attach a copy of your dog’s valid rabies serologic titer from an approved laboratory if the dog was vaccinated outside of the United States.
    • Dogs with a valid US rabies vaccination certificate are not required to submit serology results.
  • Serologic titers must be drawn in accordance with World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) recommendations.
    • Currently, titers must be drawn a minimum of 30 days after vaccination and at least 90 days before US entry.
    • Dogs due to receive rabies vaccination boosters should have titers drawn before receiving the booster to avoid the 30-day waiting period.
  • View the list of approved laboratories
    • Results from unapproved laboratories will not be accepted.

Block 42: Photos of dog’s teeth

vet inspecting dog's mouth
  • Clear photographs of your dog’s teeth:
    • A single front view of upper and lower teeth
    • A single side view of upper and lower teeth

Block 43: Photo page of passport and Visa or US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Number (if applicable)

  • Applicants must attach a copy of the photo page of their passport and visa or USCIS (if applicable).

Section H: Signature

Block 44: Legal Signature

  • Signature should match the Applicant’s name listed in Section A, Blocks 1-3
  • A typed name constitutes a legal signature confirming the Applicant acknowledges and agrees to the Terms of Acceptance.

Block 45: Date Signed

  • Enter the date the Applicant signed the permit application.
  • Use MM/DD/YYYY format.