CDC Dog Import Permit Application Instructions

Plan ahead: Due to the extremely high volume of permit requests, responses to applications may be delayed up to 8 weeks after submission.

Applications for CDC Dog Import Permits or requests for changes to an existing permit must be submitted by the owner of the dog. CDC will not accept permit applications from shippers, brokers or pet transporters without a power of attorney. If dog owners use a power of attorney, the document must be uploaded along with the required supporting documents in the application.

These instructions will help you complete your application for a CDC Dog Import Permit.

Each person may be granted permits to import a maximum of 2 dogs for one trip during the temporary suspension. You must submit a separate application for each dog.

Read the instructions thoroughly before filling out the application and remember it may take you several weeks to obtain the necessary documents for the application. Also, because of the high volume of applications, it can take up to 30 business days or 6 weeks to process a complete and valid permit application. However, if required information is missing from the application, the process can take longer. CDC will respond to you within 30 business days or 6 weeks.

STOP! Did you verify that you are eligible to apply for a CDC Dog Import permit? If not, go back to the flow process at Bringing a Dog into the United States.

Line-by-Line Permit Application Form Instructions

Applications for CDC Dog Import Permits or requests for changes to an existing permit must be submitted by the owner of the dog. CDC will not accept permit applications from shippers, brokers, or pet transporters without a power of attorney. If dog owners use a power of attorney, the document must be uploaded along with the required supporting documents in the application. Individuals with power of attorney submitting an application on behalf of an owner must enter the owner’s email address, physical address in the United States, and phone number on the application.

Fill out the permit application form. It will open in a new window. Please keep these instructions open too as you fill out the form.

Now, follow the line-by-line instructions below.

Section A: Person Requesting Permit (Applicant)

The Applicant is the owner of the dog. You must be at least 18 years old to apply. 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.

Fields 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.

Fields 4-7: Physical Address

  • Provide the Applicant’s complete physical address where the dog is expected to stay during the first 10 days in the United States. Do NOT use a Post Office Box address. The address does NOT need to match the owner’s address on the rabies vaccination certificate.
  • This location is where the dog will be confined until revaccinated in the United States within 10 days after arrival.

Field 8: Telephone Number

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

Field 9: Email Address

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

Field 10: Passport Number and Country Issued by

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

Section B: Permit Holder

CDC’s Dog Import Permit will only be issued to a single person (Applicant). However, the Applicant may designate someone (for example, a family member or friend), known as Permit Holder, who will travel with the dog to the United States.

A permit holder may be designated to travel with up to 2 dogs on a single trip one time during the temporary suspension.

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 present it to a US Customs and Border Protection officer upon arrival.

The first question in Section B asks if the Permit Holder is different from the Applicant.
If so, choose Yes.

Fields 11-13: Designated Permit Holder’s Name

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.

Fields 14-17: Physical Address

  • This location is where the dog will be confined until revaccinated in the United States within 10 days after arrival.
  • List the permit holder’s address if the permit holder will be housing the dog for the first 10 days after arrival. Otherwise, list the applicant’s address in the section.
  • The address must be a location in the United States.

Field 18: Telephone Number

  • Provide the Permit Holder’s direct-dial 10-digit telephone number. Include an extension if applicable.
  • This must be a telephone number in the United States.

Field 19: Email Address

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

Field 20: Passport Number and Country Issued by

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

Section C: Identification of Dog

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

Field 21: Country of Origin

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

Field 22: Name of Dog

Provide the dog’s name.

Field 23: Date of Birth

Using the calendar date selection tool, provide the dog’s date of birth or approximate date if unknown.

Field 24: Sex

From the list provided, choose the dog’s sex and whether it is intact or neutered. “Intact” means the dog’s reproductive organs have not been surgically removed.

Field 25: Breed

From the list provided, choose the dog’s breed. If unknown, select “Other/Mixed.”

Field 26: Color

List the color(s) of the dog.

Field 27: Microchip Number

List the dog’s ISO-compatible microchip number as it appears on the rabies vaccination certificate, microchip registration card, or other veterinary record with the microchip number listed.

  • The applicant is responsible for making sure the dog has an ISO-compatible microchip. If the dog does not have an ISO-compatible microchip, the applicant (or permit holder) can bring their own scanner that can read the microchip.
  • Many U.S. universal scanners have been unable to detect microchips that begin with the numbers 1 or 8. Please ensure your dog’s chip can be detected by a universal scanner if it begins with a number other than 9. If you are unsure, you should purchase your own scanner (available online) that can detect the microchip or have your dog re-microchipped.
    • If the microchip cannot be scanned on arrival, your dog may be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at your expense.

Field 28: Date of Rabies Vaccination

  • Using the calendar date selection tool, provide date of the dog’s most recent rabies vaccination given in a foreign country.
    • Note, your application may be denied if the dog has not been vaccinated against rabies. Unvaccinated dogs are only permitted to be imported for research purposes as defined in 42 CFR §71.50.

Field 29: Date of Serology

Using the calendar date selection tool, provide date the dog’s most recent serology (rabies titer) test sample was collected.

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.

Field 30: Date of Entry

  • Using the calendar date selection tool, provide the date you anticipate the dog will arrive into the United States. If approved, the permit will be valid from 14 days before the date you enter here until 90 days after the date you enter here.
  • Then select the time zone of where you are currently located when you are submitting the application.

Field 31: US Port of Entry

From the list provided, choose the approved US port of entry where the dog is expected to be cleared by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival.

Dogs from high-risk countries entering with a CDC Dog Import Permit must enter the United States ONLY 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).

Section E: Travel Itinerary

  • Under “Travel Type,”
    • Choose “Air” unless you are applying for a permit to travel to the United States with your service dog on a cruise ship (see below). .
    • Choose “Sea” ONLY if you are applying for a permit to travel to the United States with your service dog on a cruise ship (you must also select “Service Dog” in field 35).
    • Do not choose “Land.” Currently there are NO approved land border ports of entry.

If you haven’t finalized your travel itinerary, you may submit the application leaving fields 32–34 blank.

Field 32: Air

  • From the list of airlines provided, choose the airline that is shipping the dog. If the intended airline isn’t listed, select “Other/Charter,” and then list it under “if other, specify.”
  • Provide the flight number for the intended dog importation, if known. This field is optional.
  • If the dog is to be shipped as cargo, provide the air waybill (AWB) number, if known. This field is optional.
  • From the list provided, choose 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).

Field 33: Land Border Crossing

Leave these fields blank; they don’t apply during the temporary suspension.

Field 34: Sea

Currently, there are NO approved sea border ports of entry. Leave these fields blank, unless you are applying for a permit to travel with your service dog on a cruise ship (you must also select “Service Dog” in field 35).

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.

Field 35: Purpose

  • Provide the reason the dog is being imported — check only one box.
    • Personal Pet (including emotional support animals): If the Applicant intends to bring in 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 or foreign 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
    • Rescue, Adoption, Resale, or Other Transfer of Ownership: If the dog is intended for rescue, adoption, or resale; if you are purchasing or adopting the dog abroad; or if the dog is transferring ownership for any other reason.

Field 36: 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
  • Indicate “Other” if applicable and explain in “Other Reason (if applicable)” field.
  • Choose “Yes” if you are a US government employee traveling on official orders. Otherwise, choose “No.”

Section G: Supporting Documents

Field 37: Rabies vaccination certificate

  • Attach a copy of the current rabies vaccination certificate
  • For dogs older than 15 months with booster vaccinations, also attach a copy of the previous rabies vaccination certificate

Field 38: Serology results

Attach a copy of your dog’s valid rabies serologic titer from an approved laboratory.

Field 39: Photos of dog’s teeth

Attach two clear photos, front and side, of your dog’s teeth.

vet inspecting dog's mouth

Field 40: Photo page of passport

  • Applicants must attach a copy of the photo page of their passport.
  • If designating a permit holder, attach a copy of the photo page of their passport.

Section H: Signature

Field 41: Legal Signature

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

Field 42: Date Signed

This will autofill to the date the Applicant signed and submitted the permit application.

Additional Comments

Please enter any additional comments that you feel will be helpful to the CDC staff reviewing your application. If you are re-applying, you may have been asked to enter specific comments here or you can add an explanation about any additional documents you are including.