Protecting the lives, property, and constitutional rights of people in Idaho since 1919.

Commonly Asked Questions

When is a brand inspection required?

  • When ownership changes in any manner.
  • When leaving the state of Idaho.
  • Going to slaughter
  • For the purpose of leaving the state or going to slaughter, a brand inspection is good for 96 hours.

    NOTE: All livestock must be brand inspected whether the animal is actually branded or not. A brand inspection establishes "Prima Facie" evidence of ownership.  Brand Inspections are not required on sheep.

Is a bill of sale a legal document for a livestock transaction?

  • Yes, if the bill of sale is valid and current.

    NOTE: A brand inspection must be done within 10 days after the date of the sale. A bill of sale does not replace a brand inspection.

A valid bill of sale must include:

  • Date of the sale.
  • Complete description of livestock sold.
  • Name of the purchaser.
  • Signature of the seller.

What is an annual brand inspection?

  • Annual (also known as a "seasonal") brand inspection is good for up to 12 months. This brand certificate is designed to allow the livestock owner to travel in and out of the state of Idaho to our neighboring states annually. We have reciprocal agreements with most all of our neighboring states, except the states of Montana and Wyoming.
  • Cost: $8.26

    NOTE: A seasonal or annual brand inspection may not be used for slaughter, sale or trade.

What is an ownership and transportation certificate, also known as a lifetime certificate?

  • The "Lifetime" certificate may only be issued on horses, mules and asses. It has no restrictions, and may be used to travel nationwide (including Montana). It may also be used for slaughter, sale or trade.
  • Ownership and transportation certificates, also known as lifetime certificates for any horse, mule or ass shall be valid so long as the animal remains within the ownership of the person to whom the certificate was issued.
  • The ownership and transportation or "lifetime" certificate is not transferable.
  • Cost: $38.00

What information is required to obtain a brand inspection?
Proof of ownership. Ownership can be determined in several ways:

  • Your recorded brand on the animal/brand card.
  • Valid and current bill of sale.
  • Idaho brand inspection or another state's brand inspection.
  • Purebred registration papers or possibly health papers.
  • Lip Tattoos or other permanent markings not acceptable for brand recording, but acceptable for proof of ownership purposes.

How do I get a brand inspection?

  • Call your district brand inspector. If you do not know who the local inspector is, call the State Brand Inspector's Office in Meridian. In state toll free: 1-800-772-8442 or local number 884-7070.
  • So we can provide the best service to you, please allow us as much notice as possible as to when you need the brand inspection. However, we do require a minimum 24 hour notice.

    NOTE: Make sure you have satisfactory proof of ownership. If you are going to use a bill of sale, make sure it is valid and current. If you are unclear whether or not you have satisfactory proof of ownership to obtain the brand inspection, ask the brand inspector when you are arranging an appointment and he or she will be more than happy to advise you.

What information is required to travel within the State of Idaho?

  • Proof of ownership. (Basically, the very same information required to obtain a brand inspection).

    NOTE: If you are in possession of livestock other than your own when traveling within the state, you must have a written permit filled out by the owner giving a description of the livestock and his or her signature.

    Written Permits can be obtained at no charge from the State Brand Inspector's office in Meridian.

What other laws affect the interstate and out of state transportation of livestock?


Idaho State Police Headquarters
700 S. Stratford Drive, Meridian, ID 83642
208.884.7000