Health certificates are required for shipping horses to another state (or country) and in most cases for simply crossing a state line. A health certificate is an official document, completed and signed by a veterinarian, attesting to the state of health of the described animal. The health certificate includes recent vaccination dates and coggins test information. The certificate will state that on the date noted, the animal was examined and found to be free of “signs of any infectious or contagious disease.” Some states require more extensive statements on the certificates accompanying the animals.

The purpose of the health certificate is to reduce the chances of an infectious disease entering a state. The health certificate is not a guarantee of health, or for that matter a guarantee that the animal has no infectious disease, only that there was no sign of disease upon routine examination of the animal.

To obtain a health certificate from South Shore Equine Clinic, please contact our office IN ADVANCE – we will need the following information:

  1. Date of departure
  2. Departing location (name and address)
  3. Owners information (name, address, and telephone number)
  4. Who will be shipping (name and address)
  5. Reason for movement (showing, training, sale, race meet, or permanent move)
  6. Destination (name of farm or location, street address, city, and state)
  7. Copy of your Current Coggins Test (see NOTES below for more information)
  8. Copy of Current Vaccine history


Your horse must have a current coggins.  If we did not do the coggins, please mail or fax a legible copy to us. We are required to send a copy to the state and to keep one on file at the clinic.

Please be sure you have a street address and not a P.O. Box. Horses cannot be dropped off at a Post Office!!

A veterinary examination is required to make sure your horse is healthy and to obtain a temperature. We would like this information at least 7 to 10 days prior to the expected departure date.

Some states require a 6 month coggins and some states require entry permits.
Click Here to access official state special requirements. This link lists the states individually, simply click on the state your horse is traveling to and then search/ find “regulations for equines.”

If you are traveling to FLORIDA, you must have the ORIGINAL coggins form and not a photocopy.  An alternative is that you can have a copy notarized, and this will be accepted.  IF you do not have one of these, you will be held at the state border until the on-call veterinarian can get there to examine your horse(s), retest the horse and then wait for the results…”

Canadian Health Certificates

Health certificates to Canada are more complicated and require additional time for completion.  The horse must have a coggins test that is current within 6 months and we need the original.

We will also need the following:

  1. Date of departure
  2. Departing location
  3. Owner’s information (name, address, and telephone number)
  4. Who will be shipping (name of shipper, state of origin, and telephone number)
  5. Current Coggins Test(within 6 months)
  6. Reason for movement (showing, training, sale, race meet, or permanent move)
  7. Destination (name of farm and person, street address, city, and state)
  8. Shipping address (where to ship the Health Certificate after it is completed)

Once we have completed our sections of the form, it must be sent to the USDA to be endorsed by the Federal Veterinarian. After the Canadian Health Certificate is completed, the USDA will ship the paper work to the owner or any desired location.