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Voice and Sight Tags

NOW AVAILABLE! OSMP Howl-O-Ween Photos 2016

Howl-O-Ween-2016-884Howl-O-Ween-2016-894Howl-O-Ween-2016-900Howl-O-Ween-2016-910Howl-O-Ween-2016-896Howl-O-Ween-2016-914Howl-O-Ween-2016-921Howl-O-Ween-2016-917

See full photo set in the Photo Gallery

To download the high resolution large-sized photos, please follow the link to "View this photo on Flickr." 

New to the Program? Before You Register:

  • Complete the Voice and Sight Education Class: Attendance is automatically verified during the tag registration process. Please wait one full business day between taking the class and registering for Voice and Sight Tags to allow class attendance to be processed.
    • Select the registration button below to register for a class.
      Register for a Voice and Sight Education Class
       
  • Make sure your dog’s rabies vaccination is up-to-date: Obtain rabies vaccination certificate and have a copy available as a PDF, picture, or a graphic file to upload when registering online. A hard copy will be needed if registering in-person.

Renew or Register for Voice and Sight Tags:

All Voice and Sight Tags expire Dec. 31 of each year. See the options below for renewing. If you included an email in your account, you will be sent a reminder each year when it is time to renew. While the tag is no longer valid after Dec. 31, you have until Feb. 1 to take advantage of renewal pricing. 

Online:

Online Registration  

In-Person: 

Note: Please bring proof of dog's current rabies vaccination to register in person.

Information Desk
Monday to Friday 8 am - 4 pm
Municipal Building – 1st Floor
1777 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302

Alternate Location:
Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP)
66 S. Cherryvale Rd, Boulder CO 80303
Note: City of Boulder residents are unable to obtain city dog licenses at this location.

A mail-in registration form is also available in the FAQ section below under Registration Options and Details.

Renewal Fees:

  • City of Boulder residents: $5 plus $15 for each city dog license
  • Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder: $20
  • Non-Boulder County residents: $30

Initial Registration Fees:

  • City of Boulder residents: $13.
  • Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder: $33.
  • Non-Boulder County residents: $75.
  • The registration fee includes one guardian and one dog.
    • Each additional guardian in a household: $5.
    • Each additional dog in a household: $10.

Summer Safety Photo Contest:  

View the winning entry from the Summer Safety Photo Contest. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on the topic below to see frequently asked questions about that topic.

General Questions

What is the Voice and Sight Tag Program?
In 2006, OSMP rolled out the Voice and Sight Tag Program, which allows dogs to access designated trails off leash if they display special participation tags and they are under “voice and sight control” of their guardians at all times. In 2015, new program changes went into effect which require all program participants to complete an education class, verify a City of Boulder dog license or rabies vaccination for all dogs participating in the program and pay revised program fees.

Can I walk my dog off-leash within the city limits of Boulder after I have purchased a tag?
The Voice and Sight Tag Program applies only to certain City of Boulder lands where having a dog on a leash is not required. On-leash control is always required within the city limits of Boulder except in specially designated dog parks or other areas specifically exempted from this requirement. All trails posted as requiring a leash prohibit the use of voice and sight control.

Can I carry the tag instead of displaying it on my dog?
No. The tag must be displayed on your dog so that it is visible. If the dog is small or the tag seems uncomfortable, guardians can try using a harness with the tag attached or affixing the tag directly to the collar or harness. New participants who registered online must wait to receive the tag in the mail before walking their dog under voice and sight control. A receipt of registration is not sufficient. Dog guardians must display the tag on the dog at all times when using voice and sight control.

Is participating in the program a requirement or just a request?
It is required by law for anyone intending to use voice and sight control privileges. Participation in the program and displaying a valid program tag on all dogs under voice and sight control is required by the Boulder Revised Code (BRC) 6-1-16 and 6-13-2 through 6-13-5.

I paid the fees – where will my money go?
The money from fees will pay for the expenses of the Voice and Sight Tag Program.

I do not allow my dog to go off leash on OSMP trails. How do the program changes affect me?
They don’t. The changes only apply to people who want to allow their dogs off leash under voice and sight control on trails where off-leash control is allowed.

Is the Voice and Sight Tag unique to a specific dog?
Yes, the tag signifies that the dog guardian has registered in the program and that the dog meets vaccination requirements.  

Is there a test or certification process associated with getting Voice and Sight Tags?
No. By registering for the program and displaying the tags on your dog, you are simply stating that you have attended the education class on voice and sight control. You also agree to walk your dog under voice and sight control terms while on City of Boulder lands that allow voice and sight control.

Getting a Voice and Sight Tag

What do I have to do to obtain a new Voice and Sight Tag?
To participate in the program, you must attend an education class about the City of Boulder’s expectations for voice and sight control. Boulder residents will need to have a City of Boulder dog license for each dog to be registered. Non-Boulder residents will be required to provide proof of a current rabies vaccination for each dog to be registered. In addition, you will also be required to pay registration and annual renewal fees.

Registration Fees:

  • City of Boulder residents: $13.
  • Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder: $33.
  • Non-Boulder County residents: $75.
  • The registration fee includes one guardian and one dog. The fee for each additional guardian in a household is $5, and the fee for each additional dog in a household is $10.
  • The additional guardian and dog registration fees will be waived for City of Boulder households who meet income criteria consistent with the City of Boulder Food Tax Rebate Program or the Parks and Recreation Reduced Rate Program.

Annual Renewal Fees:

  • City of Boulder residents: $5.
  • Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder: $20.
  • Non-Boulder County residents: $30.
  • Between Nov 2 and Feb 1 renewal fees apply. After Feb. 1, renewal fees will no longer be valid and initial registration fees will be applied.

What does the registration fee cover?
The registration fee ($13 for residents of Boulder; $33 for Boulder County residents not in the City of Boulder; $75 for non-Boulder County residents) includes registration for one person and one dog. Additional individuals can be registered as family members for $5 each and additional tags for two or more dogs can be purchased for $10 each. The additional guardian and dog registration fees will be waived for City of Boulder households who meet income criteria consistent with the City of Boulder Food Tax Rebate Program or the Parks and Recreation Reduced Rate Program.

What else do I need to do to be in compliance with the program?
Voice and Sight Tag Program privileges must be renewed annually. Program participants must also complete an online refresher education course at least every five years. The refresher will include an on-line test to ensure that participants understand Voice and Sight Tag Program requirements. 

Dog guardians and dogs must remain registered in the program and demonstrate proper voice and sight control at all times. While on city trails that allow voice and sight control, all off-leash dogs must wear their program tag and guardians need to have a leash for each dog in their possession. 

Registration Options and Details

What options are available to register for a Voice and Sight Tag?

Online: www.voiceandsight.org

In-Person:
Tax and Licensing -Information Desk
Municipal Building-1st Floor
1777 Broadway, Boulder, Colorado, 80302

Alternate Location:
Open Space and Mountain Parks
66 S. Cherryvale Rd., Boulder, CO 80303
Note: City of Boulder residents are unable to obtain city dog licenses at this location.

Mail-In: Complete the registration form pdf.
Mail the form, a copy of your dog's rabies vaccination certificate and a check for registration fees to:

Secured-City of Boulder
Finance Department
P.O. Box 1620
Boulder, CO 80306
RE: Dog Voice and Sight

Methods of payment and where accepted?

Payment Location Methods of Payment Accepted
Online Credit Cards  (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express)
Tax and Licensing - Information Desk
Municipal Building - 1st Floor
1777 Broadway,
Boulder, CO 80302
Check, Cash, Credit Cards  (Visa, Mastercard, or American Express)
OSMP
66 S. Cherryvale Rd.,
Boulder, CO 80303
Cash, Check or Credit Card
(Visa or  Mastercard)
Mail-In
Secured-City of Boulder Finance Department
P.O. Box 1620
Boulder, CO 80306
RE: Dog Voice and Sight
Check only

What is needed to register online?

  1. Complete the Voice and Sight Class. Attendance is automatically verified during the registration process. Please wait one full business day between taking the class and registering for Voice and Sight Tags to allow class attendance to be processed for registration.
  2. City of Boulder Residents need to purchase a City of Boulder dog license for the current year. This can be done at the same time as Voice and Sight Tag registration. 
  3. Guardians residing outside the City of Boulder need to have a copy of each dog’s rabies vaccination certificate available as a PDF, picture or a graphic file to upload when registering.
  4. Credit card for payment.

What do I need to do to validate that I attended the class?  
Attendance is automatically uploaded and verified during the registration process from information provided when you registered for the class.

How long will it take me to get my tags after I have ordered them online?  
Please allow up to seven business days for tags to be processed and delivered in the mail.

If I meet the income criteria consistent with the City of Boulder Food Tax Rebate Program or the Parks and Recreation Reduced Rate Program, how do I register?
The additional guardian and dog registration fees will be waived for City of Boulder households who meet income criteria consistent with the City of Boulder Food Tax Rebate Program or the Parks and Recreation Reduced Rate Program. Registration must occur at one of the in-person registration locations at the Tax and Licensing Information Desk, 1777 Broadway, or OSMP Administrative Offices, 66 S. Cherryvale Road. Documentation of approval for either of the rebate or reduced rate programs will be required.

Rabies Vaccination and Boulder License Information

How do I obtain a Boulder dog license?
A dog license is required for all dogs over the age of four months, living within the city limits of Boulder. You must get a license within 30 days of acquisition of the dog, or within 30 days of moving to the city. All dogs are required to wear their city license tag on their collar or harness at all times. Licenses can be obtained online.

What is needed for providing proof of a valid rabies vaccination?  
A rabies vaccination certificate is provided by a veterinarian after inoculation and commonly includes information about the dog, dog guardian, and rabies vaccination date and expiration. The rabies vaccination must be valid at the time of registration. If you do not have a copy of a document with this information, contact your veterinarian to obtain a copy. A rabies tag will not be accepted as proof of vaccination.

If my dog cannot get a rabies vaccination for medical reasons, what can I do to be compliant with the rabies vaccination requirement?  
Exemption from the rabies vaccination requirement is possible with a letter from a veterinarian affirming that the animal is medically unable to receive the required vaccination. If you are a City of Boulder resident, you’ll need to provide this waiver when you purchase your Boulder dog license. If you live outside the City of Boulder, you’ll provide the waiver at the time of registering for your Voice and Sight Tags. If you purchase tags online, you’ll upload a copy of the waiver instead of proof of vaccination.

Renewal Process

Do I have to renew the tag every year?
Yes, all Voice and Sight Tags expire Dec. 31 of each year. If you included an email in your account, you will be sent a reminder each year for when it is time to renew. 

Do I have to pay a fee every year?
Yes, annual renewal fees will be $5 for City of Boulder residents, $20 for Boulder County residents outside the City of Boulder, and $30 for Non-Boulder County residents. Between Nov 2 and Feb 1 renewal fees apply. After Feb. 1, renewal fees will no longer be valid and initial registration fees will be applied.

Do I have to take the class again?
To stay active in the program, participants must pay annual renewal fees, and complete an online refresher education course at least every five years.

Infractions and Penalties

Am I protected from getting a ticket if my dog has a Voice and Sight Control Tag?
No. A dog guardian who participates in the program and walks a dog under voice and sight control in areas where it is allowed may still be issued for any violation of voice and sight control rules including but not limited to the following infractions:

  • The dog guardian is walking more than two dogs under voice and sight control;
  • The dog guardian is not carrying a leash for each dog being walked under voice and sight control;
  • The dog guardian fails to display a voice and sight tag on dog;
  • The dog guardian has a dog under voice and sight control and is not registered in the Voice and Sight Tag Program
  • The dog is not within the guardian’s sight and under voice control at all times;
  • The dog does not come to and stay with the guardian immediately upon command;
  • The dog charges, chases or otherwise displays aggression towards any person, or behaves in a way that any reasonable person may find harassing or disturbing;
  • The dog charges, chases or otherwise displays aggression towards any dog; or
  • The dog chases, harasses or disturbs wildlife or livestock.

What are the penalties associated with violations?
Offenses related to not meeting the requirements of the Voice and Sight Tag Program, off-leash or voice and sight control violations, and dog at large circumstances are subject to a maximum penalty for a first violation of $100. For a second violation within 24 months, the maximum penalty is a fine of $200. A third violation within the same 24 months will result in a fine of not less than $300. Additionally, the courts may impose conditions that require attendance at the education class related to voice and sight control, evaluation or training of the dog, or temporary suspension or permanent revocation of voice and sight control privileges for egregious violations or repeat offenders

Background on the Voice and Sight Tag Program Changes

Why did the City of Boulder make changes to the Voice and Sight Tag Program?
Since its rollout in 2006, the off-leash program has remained largely unchanged. However, compliance monitoring, community surveys and input from the Boulder City Council and the Open Space Board of Trustees indicated the need to improve compliance and reduce visitor conflicts related to off-leash dogs.

That information suggested the need to update the city’s Voice and Sight Tag Program to ensure that participants have a clear understanding of the City of Boulder’s expectation for voice and sight control. In 2011, the Boulder City Council directed OSMP staff to revise the Voice and Sight Tag Program.

After completing an 18-month process to review ways the program could be improved, changes were identified to make the program more successful. The Boulder City Council approved updates that will become effective on January 1, 2015.

The new program requirements are designed to ensure that trails remain a special destination for Boulder visitors and their dogs. Program changes will also help the City of Boulder protect wildlife and natural resources, and help increase dog safety.

How did OSMP involve the public in developing changes to the program?
The review of the Voice and Sight Tag Program included community open houses, over 300 public comments and five public hearings with the Open Space Board of Trustees and the Boulder City Council. Open Space and Mountain Parks staff also solicited input from program participants about modifications to the off-leash program. In May 2014, the Boulder City Council approved a series of changes to the program. Learn more about the program review on the Voice and Sight Tag Evaluation page.

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