You must get your pet microchipped before, or at the same time as, their rabies vaccination. If you do not, they’ll need to be vaccinated again.

Microchipping for pet travel can only be done by:

Make sure your vet puts the microchip number in your animal health certificate. The date must be before your pet’s vaccinations.

Reading the microchip

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

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

If the microchip cannot be read

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

  • rechip your pet
  • revaccinate your pet
  • issue a new animal health certificate if you’re travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland

You’ll have to wait the required time before you can travel if your pet is revaccinated 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 rechip your pet (the original chip is not removed).

This must be recorded in the animal health certificate in the ‘Marking of animals’ section 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 animal health certificate.


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

  • you’re travelling to the EU or Northern Ireland
  • 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 animal health certificate.