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Changing Ownership on a BHS Passport

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: We now return all passports by recorded delivery, Therefore please do not include payment for this service in your application

  • Last reviewed: 19th October 2023

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 here or contact the Passport Office on 02476 840517 or to request a hard copy. 

It is important that you provide a signature for the current registered owner (that last name in the passport which has been officially endorsed by the BHS stamp) to confirm that they no longer own the horse.  If you have a signed proof of purchase from the current registered owner a photocopy of this will be accepted in lieu of a signature on 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.

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

What if the person I bought 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

Joint Ownership

Whilst The British Horse Society can record details of Joint ownership The Central Equine Database can not so in the event of more that one owner The Central Equine Database will only record one lead owner with any additional owners recorded on The British Horse Society database.


Change of ownership costs £15 per passport.

For registered charities, the cost is £12 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.

Learn more about horse passports

Find out how to apply for a horse passport and further information on the cost and processing time as well as what you need to check before applying.

Find out more
Horse Held Calmly BHS STOCK NOV2016 7753