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How do I register my pet with I-CAD in France?

Registration with the I-CAD database is obligatory for all domestic animals

I-CAD is a registration service for domestic cats and dogs Pic: 4 PM production / Shutterstock

Reader question: What is required in France regarding registration of dogs with I-CAD? I have a French rescue dog. She was microchipped at three months old and I have her birth details. Is there anything else she should have?  J.M.

Registration on the I-CAD database is obligatory for dogs kept permanently in France but, from the information you give, it is likely that this has already been done.

I-CAD is a registration service for domestic cats and dogs and comes under the authority of the Agriculture Ministry.

The usual procedure is that during the pet’s first visit to a vet, it is microchipped. The vet then takes care of its registration with I-CAD. 

For dogs, this must be done before four months of age, and seven months for cats.

Prior to July 3, 2011, a tattoo inside the pet’s ear was allowed as an option to microchipping. This is still sufficient in the case of animals that were identified in this way before then, as long as the owner has kept a vet’s certificate proving the date it took place.

The vet should send paperwork to I-CAD and give the owner a temporary identification certificate, which is valid for a month. The I-CAD service sends an ‘identification card’ document, which should be kept to identify the animal for official purposes. If you lose this, you can ask a vet to apply for a duplicate, for which there is a set fee of €4.92. If you never received one, we suggest talking to your vet.

The document is needed, among other things, for issuing a pet passport for your pet to travel within the EU or to the UK.

If you are bringing in a pet that is already microchipped from abroad, the Interior Ministry says it should also be registered by a vet with I-CAD, within eight days of bringing it in. This would not apply if bringing in a pet temporarily during a holiday or on a visit to a second home.

There is no set fee for registering, though vets may charge a consultation fee for their work. The exception is bringing in a dog from abroad, when a set €9.23 fee applies for registering a foreign-registered animal.

The I-CAD database is consulted by all those involved in animal welfare. It is often consulted in the case of lost animals and pet owners should contact its services if their animal is lost.

Related stories:

Nice is named the friendliest French city for dogs second year running

Pet passports: Second-home owners in France left ‘upset’ by stalemate

Is my pet passport still valid despite 90-day limit on stay in France

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