Changing Ownership on a BHS Passport

​Revised August 2019 

Please note: We now return all passports by recorded delivery (Signed For™), therefore please do not include payment for this service in your application. 

It is a legal requirement for a new owner to update the ownership details on the passport within 30 days of purchasing the horse. Failure to do so is an offence.

Please note: the BHS cannot update passports that have been issued by any other organisation. Any non-BHS passports will be immediately returned to the sender by second class delivery and will then need to be sent to the original issuing organisation. A full list of approved Passport Issuing Organisations (PIO) can be obtained from Defra

Simply writing the new owner’s details into the passport does not constitute a legal change of ownership. The passport must be returned to the original issuer who will update both their database, and the passport itself.  On BHS passports, a formal change of ownership can be identified by an embossed mark or BHS stamp and an official signature from BHS HQ. 

How to complete a change of ownership

A change of ownership form will need to be completed before any changes are made to the passport. Download the form or contact the Passport Office on 02476 840574 or to request a hard copy. 

If you do not have a signature for the current registered owner you will also need to complete a disclaimer form.

It is important that we receive a signature from the current registered owner (who has been officially recorded and embossed within the passport) to confirm that they have sold the horse. If you have a signed proof of purchase from the currently registered owner, a photocopy of this will be accepted if you are unable to obtain a signature specifically for the change of ownership form.

Please do not send original copies of proof of purchase in the post. The new owner will still need to complete the remainder of the form.

What happens if the person I brought the horse from isn’t the registered owner?

The BHS advises that before purchasing a horse, potential buyers check the horse’s passport to make sure that it contains the seller’s details as the registered owner.

In the event that you are unable to obtain the signature from the current registered owner, you will also need to complete a disclaimer form


Change of ownership costs £15 per passport.

For registered charities, the cost is £10 per passport.

We now return all passports by recorded delivery (Signed For™), therefore please do not include payment for this service in your application.

Processing Time

Upon receipt of the change of ownership application, the BHS will transfer the ownership within 10 working days. Please be aware that incorrect paperwork can cause delays.

Fast-Track Service

The BHS now offer a fast-track service for all types of passport application/service. Fast-track applications will be processed within one working day of receipt at a cost of £25 per application, in addition to the cost of the application/service.

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