4. Microchip

Your pet must be microchipped before they get a rabies vaccination or they’ll need to be vaccinated again.

Microchipping for pet travel can only be done by:

  • a vet
  • a vet nurse, student vet or student vet nurse (directed by a vet)
  • someone trained in microchipping before 29 December 2014, and with practical experience
  • someone who has been assessed on an approved training course - contact DARD if the course was in Northern Ireland

Make sure your vet puts the microchip number in your pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate. The date must be before your pet’s vaccinations.

Reading the microchip

Airlines and train and ferry companies in the EU can read microchips that meet International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards ISO 11784 and ISO 11785 when you check in for your journey.

You may have to bring your own microchip reader when you travel if your pet’s microchip doesn’t meet ISO standards. You should check with your travel company before you leave.

Your pet could be refused entry or put into quarantine if its microchip can’t be read when you enter or return to the UK.

If the microchip can’t be read

You’ll have to do all the preparation again if your vet can’t read the microchip. This means you’ll have to ask your vet to:

  • re-chip your pet
  • re-vaccinate your pet
  • take new blood tests if you’re travelling from an unlisted country
  • issue a new pet passport

You’ll have to wait the required time before you can travel if your dog is re-vaccinated or has new blood tests.

If the microchip can only sometimes be read

Your vet should try to read the microchip - if they get a reading they can then re-chip your pet (the original chip isn’t removed).

This must be recorded in the current pet passport or a new passport with:

  • the number of the old and new chips
  • the date they were read
  • the date the new chip was inserted

The vet must sign and stamp the page in the pet passport.

Your vet should record in the ‘Others’ section of the pet passport that your pet has been re-chipped.

Pet passports issued from 29 December 2014

You must get a new pet passport if your pet is re-chipped because its microchip can’t always be read.

The vet needs to:

  • get a reading from the old chip
  • insert a new chip
  • issue a new pet passport
  • record both microchips in the ‘Marking of animals’ section in the pet passport

You won’t need to prepare your pet again for travel.


You don’t need to have your pet microchipped if it’s been tattooed with an identification number and all of the following are true:

  • your pet was tattooed on or before 3 July 2011
  • the tattoo is clearly legible
  • your pet was vaccinated against rabies after it was tattooed

Your vet must record the date of tattooing, the tattoo number and the date of the rabies vaccination in the pet passport or third-country official veterinary certificate.