Microchipping – How does the process work?

Microchips are a very popular low cost way to permanently ID an animal in the United States.

Registered microchips are a great way to help prove ownership of an animal.


First, I want you to consider a microchip as your serial number or VIN number for your horse.

So why get one for your horse? That answer is very simple. You get one to prove ownership in case of theft, disaster, civil situations and a multitude of other really good reasons. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you wished you had one, it is too late.

Second, even with all of the pros and cons, microchipping is one of the best forms of personal identification for a horse. Think about it, if all horses had them would we need anything else?

It is not legal in most states to insert a microchip into another person’s horse unless you are a veterinarian or veterinarian technician under a vets watchful eye.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners has determined that the implantation of a microchip is a veterinary procedure. The USEF recommends that a licensed veterinarian supervise this procedure.

Before the microchip is implanted, the horse should be properly identified and checked for an existing microchip with a reader.

Getting the microchip is a quick, easy process. The microchip should be implanted in the nuchal ligament, halfway between the poll and the withers on the left side of the horse. After the microchip has been implanted, it should be checked again with a reader to verify that it is still readable.

Microchips are about the size of a grain of rice and can hold electronic data. They provide a reliable way to verify a horse’s identity, which can contribute to the well-being of a horse and support consumer confidence during horse sale.

Microchips are not tracking devices. They are radio-frequency identification (RFID) implants that provide permanent ID , Because they use RFID technology, microchips do not require a power source like a GPS.

The average cost to have a microchip implanted by a veterinarian is around $45-$100  which is a one–time fee and often includes registration in a pet recovery database. If your pet was adopted or purchased from a breeder, your horse may already have a microchip.

Most implants last an average of 25 years and usually will not need replacing or updating. Peace of mind and closure. Animals that are found, even if expired, are still scanned for a microchip so their owner can be notified.

It is now a requirement that horses are microchipped before a passport is issued. If your horse already has a passport,, then you do not need to get a microchip if you don’t want to. You could be fined if you don’t have one. Only the owner of a horse can apply for a passport.

Horses, ponies, donkeys and related animals (including zoo species like zebras) must have a horse passport. The passport is a small booklet or smart card that: identifies your animal by its height and species.

*You owe this to your horse and yourself. Look into Microchipping.

After microchipping, you can report your microchip number to the USEF through any of the following methods:

-Online by signing in to your My USEF Member Dashboard and updating your horse or pony’s record.
-You can fax your Microchip Reporting Form to 859-231-6662 or email it to horseservices@usef.org. The form may be used to report multiple horses.
-Completing the microchip field on a USEF Horse Recording/ID Application. Microchip reporting does not replace recording your horse with the USEF or registering your horse with the USHJA. If your horse is not yet recorded with USEF or registered with USHJA, you will need to complete an USEF Horse Recording Form and include the 15 digit ISO 11784/11785-compliant microchip number on the form.

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