Brand Inspection Information for Western States

South Dakota, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, Utah

Would like to start collecting "Brand Inspection" information for the various western state's. The Brand Inspectors are stopping a lot of trailriders and asking for Brand Inspection papers.
If you have additional Brand Inspection information for any state please send a e-mail to:
E-mail: Chuck Olsen

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Go to  South Dakota Trail Riders  Web page
Go to  Horse Review Brand Laws, By State  Web page
This is a sub page of, Horse and Mule Trail Guide USA

Questions on South Dakota Brand Inspection call. 1-877-574-0054

Some people bringing their horses to Western South Dakota are not familiar with the SD Livestock Ownership Inspection laws. The law regulating the transporting of horses and mules into and out of the SD ownership inspection area requires that the animals must be inspected for ownership by a brand inspector.
Following the inspection you will be issued a Certificate of Inspection allowing for the sale or removal of the animal from the inspection area.

A. Be inspected by a brand inspector prior to leaving the inspection area which includes all lands WEST of the Missouri River to the Wyoming, North Dakota or Nebraska borders. Proof of ownership will be required.
The inspection fee is $.80 per head plus mileage. (If you are transporting with other horsemen or camped as a group in a horse camp, the mileage is pro-rated at the current state mileage rate). Twenty-four (24) hours advance notice for inspection is required.

B. If you have a Lifetime Livestock Transportation Permit for your animal, be ready to produce it at the time of inspection when asked for a proof of ownership. If you wish to obtain a Lifetime Permit, the brand inspector must physically inspect the animal and proof of ownership must be shown to the inspector.
The cost of obtaining this permit is $10.00 per animal and is valid for moving the animal out of the Ownership Area (West River) for the life of the animal or until ownership of the animal changes, at which time the permit becomes invalid.

C. If you fail to have your animal(s) inspected and are within one mile of the Missouri River or state lines and you are stopped, you could be charged for a Class 2 Misdemeanor.

D. An annual permit may be obtained by east river or out of state residents allowing them to transport their animal(s) from the West River Inspection Area for purposes other than sale or trade WITHOUT obtaining an inspection. The permit is available from County Extension Agents located East of the Missouri River or may be available at horse camps in the Black Hills. The cost of this permit is $3.00 per head.

In the Black Hills National Forest, the local brand inspectors have been making regular visits to the horse camps AS A SERVICE to the horse campers. If you have not already obtained a Certificate of Inspection or one of the two permits available, you may agree to have the inspection done at the horse camp. You are not required to have the inspection done at that time, but you must make arrangements with one of the below listed brand inspectors as specified above before you cross the river or state line.

Address to request Brand Inspection Information.

Chief Brand Inspector
South Dakota Brand Board
209 W Dakota Ave.
Pierre, South Dakota 57501

E-Mail: E-mail: Brand Inspector

South Dakota Brand Board
209 W Dakota Ave.
Pierre, South Dakota 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3324
Toll Free: (877)-574-0054
Go to   South Dakota Brand Board  Web page

List of brand inspectors
Go to   South Dakota Brand Inspector list  Web page

Note From: Roxanne Hill

Brand inspections in the West for those of us coming from the states that do not have them is confusing. I am going to Wyoming through Colorado but frequently go to Colorado . Have never gotten anything because had been told that if your state does not require it then it does not pertain to you.
Found out differently thanks to the Horse and Mule Trail Guide USA. I called and set up a appointment on my way with a brand inspector to get a permanent travel card for Colorado . It is good for the whole time I own these horses.
Wyoming will also honor this card.
The fee's are $15 for the inpection. $25 per horse and the in state fee to residence is $3 per horse but will be waved because I am out of state.

Brand Inspection Wyoming

Buffalo area brand inspectors
Kurt Kinghorn 307-684-5718
John Garman 307-684-7905
Johnson CO Sheriff 307-684-5581 to reach an inspector by radio.

Ten Sleep / Worland Brand Inspectors
Jim McManus 307-347-4504
Bill Bowling 307-347-4891
Lyle Bader 307-347-8445

Wyoming requirements are:
Health Certificate
Negative Coggins Test
A brand inspection at your Final destination from a Wyoming Brand inspector

Besides the health and coggins certificates to enter the state; "to leave Wyoming or to move between counties in Wyoming, you will need a brand inspection on each equine."
Most of the information is already on the Wyoming State web page.
Here are the links.
  • Wyoming brand inspection
  • Brand Inspection, Wyoming state web page
  • Wyoming state web page

    This note is from Lee Romsa, Wyoming State Brand Commissioner
    " An out of State Visitor has the option of an A-Form inspection or an L-Form, permanent Brand Inspection. The A-Form is good for one trip, and could be used to get back out of state. The L-Form is good for the life of the animal or until the animal is sold. then it is void on change of ownership.
    You don't really "order" an Inspection form. These are issued upon the actual physical Inspection of the Animal by one of our Brand Inspectors. Brand Inspections are made by appointment on a first come first serve basis. By law, Brand Inspections can only be performed during daylight hours. This means in the fall and winter, there are fewer daylight hours to work with than in the summer, and late spring. Also, fall is the busiest time for us. It is the shipping season when people market their livestock. Therefore, many of the Brand Inspectors have full days with of appointments several days in advance of an actual Inspection. It would certainly be an advantage to contact the Brand Inspector in the area you are going to be in as soon as possible. It can be extremely hard to get an Inspection on one or two days notice in the fall. We would be happy to supply names and phone numbers for local Brand Inspectors to anyone coming in from out of state."
    E-mail: Lee Romsa
  • Brand Inspection Nevada
    (Note from Valerie Williams): As I understand it, you are supposed to have a brand inspection to travel in or out of the state, when you purchase a horse, and generally, they can stop you if you're transporting a horse anywhere in the state and ask for a brand inspection.

    The brand inspector that I have used is Bruce Greenhall. He is a very, very nice guy. His phone is 775-883-9514. You can get a "lifetime" brand inspection for $20.00 plus his mileage. You need photos of both sides and the front of your horse that you give to Bruce when he shows up at your house for the inspection.

    The State Division of Agriculture issues the brand inspection certificates. They are at 350 Capitol Hill Ave., Reno, NV 89502-2992, phone is 775-688-1180.

    Other offices are:
    Sparks 775-688-1166
    Las Vegas 775-486-4690
    Elko 775-738-8076
    Winnemucca 775-623-6502.

    When they issue you the "lifetime" permit, it is laminated with a picture of your horse. It is called a "State of NV Horse Transportation Permit." It states that it must be surrendered to the brand inspector at any change of ownership. The letter I received with mine states that it is good in California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and Utah.

    Submitted By: Valerie Williams

    Brand Inspection Colorado
    If you leave the state without a brand inspection, then you are technically breaking the law.

    All horses leaving Colorado must be brand inspected, so when you come, please bring with you proof of ownership and the health certificate.

    You can call (303) 294-0895, or 1-800-886-7683 for the local brand inspector's phone number and you can arrange for a brand inspection when you leave the state.

    Janet Jackson
    Public Information Officer

    Brand Inspection Utah

    Utah Requirements for Sale and Movement of Livestock

    Brand Inspection Requirements


    1. It is recommended but not required that horse owners record a brand with the state and have their horses branded. A freeze brand may be more eye appealing and less painful than the hot iron brand, but either will work.
    2. Get a brand inspection certificate issued by a department inspector, even if the horse is not branded, when:
    A. Changing ownership
    B. Leaving the state. This requirement may be met by obtaining:
    a. 72-hour travel inspection; cost - $5.00 (one-way)
    b. Yearly travel inspection; cost - $10.00 (round-trip)
    c. Lifetime travel permit (honored in all states and Canada; good for lifetime ownership of horse); cost - $20.00
    3. When traveling anywhere within the state always carry proof of ownership. This may include:
    A. Brand inspection certificate or auction invoice showing where you purchased the animal. A bill of sale will not be accepted as proof of ownership.
    B. Wallet-size brand card matching brand of horse.
    C. Lifetime or yearly travel permit.
    D. Registration papers in name of current owner.
    4. If you are transporting horses belonging to someone other than yourself, carry written permission from owner.


    1. All cattle that forage on open range must be branded with a Utah recorded brand. You should always carry your wallet-size brand card with you. It is recommended that all cattle not grazing on open range also be branded with a recorded brand to assist in the return of stray cattle and to prevent theft.
    2. Get a brand inspection, even if cattle or not branded, when they are:
    A. Changing ownership
    B. Going to slaughter
    C. Leaving the state (yearly rodeo and show cattle inspections are provided at a cost of $10.00 per head)
    3. When traveling within the state always carry proof of owhership. The following items will be accepted as proof:
    A. Wallet-size brand card matching brand on cattle.
    B. A brand inspection certificate showing where you purchased the animals or travel destination. A bill of sale does not serve as proof of ownership.
    C. An auction invoice.
    D. Registration papers (in name of current owner) on registered cattle.
    4. When you are transporting cattle that belong to someone else, carry written permission from owner.
    5. All cattle should be rebranded with new owners brand within 30 days of purchase.


    Transportation of sheep must be accompanied by proof of ownership such as:
    A. Brand card.
    B. Sheep-hauling permit.
    C. Bill of sale.


    No brand or transportation requirements.

    Health Requirements

    To reduce the risk of spreading disease from other states to our livestock the following laws pertain:
    1. All livestock entering the state must have a valid health certificate issued by a certified veterinarian in the state of origin, except when they are consigned on the brand inspection certificate directly to an approved auction or slaughterhouse.
    A. In addition to the health certificate, all horses must also have had a negative Coggins test within the last year.
    B. All cattle must have a permit number issued by the Utah Department of Agriculture prior to entry.
    2. Horses, sheep, hogs, and Bangs - vaccinated cattle moving within the state may move freely without any health requirements.
    3. Livestock being shipped or transported to other states must comply with the import requirements of the state of destination.
    4. You should keep cattle purchased from out of state separate from your breeding herd until you conduct a second blood test for brucellosis between 45 to 120 days after the purchase to check for previously incubating infection.


    The present brand and health programs have been developed by livestock owners for livestock owners. The Utah Department of Agriculture is committed to helping you carry out these programs and thereby protecting your industry. Your support of these programs will assure their success.

    Port of Entry Requirements

    All vehicles transporting livestock are required by law to stop at all Utah Port of Entry stations.


    Failure to Stop at Utah Port of Entry
    Failure to Carry Proof of Ownership Within State
    Failure to Obtain Livestock Inspection When Crossing State Lines
    Failure to Obtain Health Certificate When Crossing State Lines
    Failure to Obtain Negative Coggins Test When Crossing State Lines
    Sale of Livestock Without Obtaining Livestock Inspection


    $100.00 minimum, plus $2.00 per head, payable within 15 days. Fine doubles after 15 days, but within 30 days. Fine doubles again after 30 days.

    Department Personnel

    Commissioner of Agriculture
    Cary G. Peterson
    (801) 538-7100

    Director of Animal Industry and State Veterinarian
    Dr. Michael R. Marshall
    (801) 538-7160

    Livestock Inspection Bureau Chief
    Terry Menlove
    (801) 538-7166

    Brand Inspection California

    Web Page California Brand inspection information Click here

    Bureau of Livestock Identification
    1220 "N" Street, Room A-130
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Phone (916) 654-0889
    Fax (916) 653-5190

    Brand Inspection Nebraska

    I received this e-mail in July 2008.
    According to this rider, Brand Inspection is not required for horses.

    I called the Brand Inspector to get an inspection for my horse.
    Nebraska does not require brand inspection for horses.
    He said I should ask the vet to write �Brand Inspection not required� on the Health Certificate for my horse.