Bangsiri is registered with the Nowon-gu Office in Seoul. Korea introduced mandatory dog registration a few years ago but only created a database this year. For months I was in a panic, thinking I’d have to walk around looking for the Nowon-gu Office before the end of the grace period (mid-year, I think) and find a time when it was open. I had so many other things to do.
The process was a lot easier than I expected. Last week I went to the animal hospital around the corner to buy some cat litter, and I noticed a sign on the wall about the registration system. When I asked about it, an English-speaking vet came out to the reception area, scanned Bangsiri’s microchip, and helped me fill out the form.
The form was in Korean, but it was simple and I had no problem using an alien registration number instead of a Korean resident registration number. I was relieved to find out Bangsiri’s 15-digit microchip is compatible with the system—any vet or animal shelter should be able to read it. I paid 10,000 won, a discounted fee because Bangsiri is already sterilized. The vet needed to see written proof, so I gave her the number of the hospital in Pyeongchon where she’d had the surgery five years earlier. I was a bit surprised—in a good way—when the Pyeongchon clinic looked up her records from 2008 and faxed proof of sterilization to the Nowon clinic.
Meanwhile, Phoenix and Gemma are still registered as dogs in the city of Anyang and I couldn’t transfer their registration to Seoul. Maybe in a year or two, the vet said.