Horse Passports
There are two types of horse passports that the horse owner may require:
  • DEFRA Passports - all horses and ponies in the UK must have a DEFRA passport.
  • FEI Passports - all horses and ponies wishing to compete at FEI events require an FEI passport.

Passport numbers are required in order to complete entry forms for many events. The FEI and DEFRA passport numbers are different. If your animal has an FEI passport, this number is preferred on the entry form.

Please consult the relevant section below for more information about the two types of passport:

DEFRA Horse Passports

All horses and ponies (and other equines) in the UK must have a passport identifying the animal.

Owners are not be able to sell, buy, export, slaughter for human consumption, use for the purposes of competition or breeding a horse which does not have a passport.

Passports last for the life time of the animal and include a Unique Equine Life Number. Penalties for failing to obtain a passport can be up to ?5,000 or imprisonment.

A number of organisations and societies have been authorised by DEFRA to issue horse passports. It is strongly recommended that the passport for any animal registered with a breed society is obtained from that society, providing they have been authorised to issue passports.

Following discussions with the British Driving Society, who are an official passport issuing body, they have generously agreed to issue passports for BHDTA members at a special discounted rate. Please see for more details.

Holders of FEI Passports

If you already have an FEI Passport for your horse, the BEF have confirmed that they are able to insert Section 9 (stating whether the animal can be slaughtered for human consumption) into an existing FEI Passport. This service is free of charge; all you need do is forward your passport with a stamped addressed envelope.

This offer applies to both current and old (out of date) FEI Passports. If your FEI passport is no longer valid for international travel (an FEI Passport is valid for four years from date of issue) the BEF have assured us that it will remain valid for DEFRA's purposes.

List of authorised passport issuing bodies in the UK (from DEFRA website).

If your horse or pony is registered with a Breed Society, then you should obtain your passport from that society, e.g. if your pony is a Welsh or part-bred Welsh, then you should contact the Welsh Pony & Cob Society.

Horse passport frequently asked questions



As of Saturday 1st August 2009, the Horse Passports Regulations 2009, which implement Commission Regulation 504/2008 in the UK, have come into force. As a result the Horse Passports (England) Regulations 2004 are revoked.

The Regulations themselves can be viewed on the website of the Office of Public Sector Information at this address:

and the Explanatory Memorandum at:

Of course, the Regulations, the associated Impact Assessment and the guidance document for the Regulations can be viewed on the DEFRA website:

Please note that the guidance is a working document and you should always check the web site for the newest version.

FEI Passports

FEI Driving Regulations:

Article 915 PASSPORTS

All Horses entered for any Competition at a CAI-B in a foreign country, and all Horses entered for CAI-A, CAIO or Championship, whether at home or in foreign countries must have an official FEI Passport, or a National Passport approved by the FEI, accompanied by an FEI Recognition Card as a means of identification and to establish ownership. (see General Regulations)

Horses taking part in a CAI-B in their own country are not required to have such a Passport as mentioned above. All such Horses must be properly registered and identifiable by diagram.


Applying for or re-newing an FEI passport

FEI passports last for 4 years and should be applied for or re-newed through the BHDTA office.

If you need a NEW FEI passport for an animal that didn't have one before, please use the FEI Passport Application Form.

If your horse's existing passport has expired and you wish to re-new it, download the FEI Passport Renewal Form.

Remember that the passport application/re-newal procedure can take several weeks, so apply in plenty of time. An additional fee is charged for express applications.

Passport diagrams

For anyone competing internationally, please ensure that you have the diagrams filled in and signed by your vet. With the increase in microchipping, some vets are leaving this section blank, however the FEI expects this section to be completed fully. The FEI officials may prevent you from competing and may issue a fine. The FEI introduced new rules regarding documented evidence of equine identity from 2016, but some officials are extending this to older passports too. Please be safe and have these pages in your passport completed to avoid disappointment at an event.

Horse and Driver registration

Please remember that all horses/ponies AND competitors taking part in International FEI classes at Horse Driving Trials, require to be registered with the FEI annually. Please see our guidelines on FEI Horse and Driver Registration and ensure that your registration is up to date.

Competing at International events

Please visit our page on competing abroad, which gives helpful advice on what to do to prepare for International competition.


Extract from FEI General Regulations 2009:

Article 137 - Horse Passports

1. Every Horse entered for any Competition at CNs or CIMs (see Appendix E) in a foreign country (see GRs 139.2), and all Horses entered for other CIs, CIOs, FEI Championships, Regional, Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, whether at home or in foreign countries (see GRs 141.2), must have an official, valid FEI Passport, or a National Passport approved by the FEI and accompanied by an FEI Recognition Card and, when applicable, must be registered with the FEI, as a means of identification and to establish ownership.

2. Horses taking part in CNs and CIMs (see Appendix E) in their country of residence are not required to have such a passport as is mentioned in paragraph 1. All such Horses must be properly registered with the FEI and identifiable and, unless there is no national requirement for equine influenza vaccination in the host country and in the country of origin all Horses must have a valid vaccination certificate.

3. All FEI and/or National Passports must include the full name, address and signature of the Owner as registered by the NF. The description of the Horse and the diagram must be accurately completed, and the FEI and/or National Passport must include a record of all vaccinations and medication control tests. Whenever the name of a Horse with an FEI and/or National Passport is changed, or any pertinent changes are made to an FEI and/or National Passport, the NF must notify the FEI.

4. NFs are responsible for issuing FEI Passports and FEI Recognition Card for all Horses required to have them and for ensuring that the FEI and/or National Passports are correctly completed, as specified in the Veterinary Regulations, prior to being authenticated by the stamp of the NF and the signature of an Official of the NF. NFs must provide the identification page to the FEI for registration. The Person Responsible for a Horse at an Event is responsible for the accuracy of the FEI and/or National Passport and for presenting it at the Passport Control, except for Events with borrowed Horses (Art.111) where it is the responsibility of the host NF.

5. A Horse may only have one FEI Passport or one National Passport with an FEI Recognition Card as per paragraph 1 of this Article and one permanent FEI number. If an NF is satisfied that an FEI and/or National Passport has been lost or if any section of the FEI and/or National Passport is full, it may issue an FEI and/or National Passport clearly marked "duplicate" and bearing the same number as the original FEI Passport. The issue of a duplicate FEI and/or National Passport must be reported to the FEI (see VRs).

6. OCs must arrange for each Horse to be positively identified at the Passport Control during the examination on arrival, in accordance with the VRs. Any case of misleading or inaccurate information in an FEI and/or National Passport, or if the Horse cannot be positively identified, must be reported to the President of the Appeal Committee, who must report the case to the Secretary General, giving the number of the FEI and/or National Passport with the FEI Recognation Card and the name of the Horse.

7. If any Horse arrives at a CI, CIO, FEI Championship, Regional Games or Olympic Games without an FEI and/or National Passport with an FEI Recognition Card, or if its FEI or National Passport is inaccurate, it must not be allowed to compete unless the Appeal Committee (or the Ground Jury if there is no Appeal Committee) gives its Approval. Only in exceptional circumstances may a Horse without an FEI or National Passport or without an FEI Recognition Card be allowed to compete.

8. All Horses taking part in FEI Events must be registered with the FEI.