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Overstamping a foreign passport

Revised October 2020

Please note that we are currently experiencing processing DELAYS OVER ONE MONTH for all passports, due to Covid-19. We can only process applications that are submitted with complete and correct paperwork. We regret we are unable to offer a fast-track service until further notice.
We will keep this website updated with any further changes.


Overstamping of passports issued outside the UK

If you are bringing a horse into the UK for more than 30 days you will need to get the passport overstamped by a UK passport issuing organisation, provided the passport is compliant with the Minimum Operating Standards issued by DEFRA.
To be deemed compliant the passport needs to contain the following:

  • A Unique Equine Life Number (UELN). This is sometimes referred to as the passport number and can be a combination of numbers and letters up to 15 characters/digits long.
  • A completed silhouette of the horse certified by an accredited vet.
  • A section confirming the food chain status (i.e. whether the horse is signed in or out of the food chain).
  • A vaccination record bound within the pages of the passport.

Owners with passports which are non-compliant will need to apply for a Replacement Passport instead.

Please contact the Passport Office to request Replacement application form and provide your full name and address details on 02476 840574 or email You can download the passport replacement form here, alternatively the overstamp form can be accessed here.

If your horse was originally registered with a stud book in the country of origin you should have the passport overstamped by a studbook PIO in order to keep the breeding information as complete as possible. Below is a link to the section on the DEFRA website which lists all the passport issuing organisations in the UK:

Once the passport has been overstamped by a UK PIO it is then administered by that organisation. The issuing PIO is informed and the passport details are entered on to the Central Equine Database as well as the UK PIO’s database.

If you are not the current registered owner in the passport

Where the ownership of the horse is different from that recorded in the passport, the new owner will need to change the ownership with the original issuing PIO. In extenuating circumstances, if the issuing PIO is non-contactable, a BHS Change of Ownership form AND a Disclaimer form need to be completed.

You can contact the passport office as above for the forms or you can download them by clicking on the Changing Ownership page and selecting the relevant link.

Further information about Horse Passports

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