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How Much Does a US Pet Passport Cost in 2020?

The price for a complete US Pet Passport in 2020 can cost anywhere between $38 and $1,235. The cost varies depending on the veterinarian practice you visit, the species of your pet, and where you are traveling to and from. The price is broken down into the following compulsory and potential costs:

  1. Rabies vaccination
  2. Health certificate
  3. USDA endorsement
  4. Pet microchipping
  5. Rabies titer test
  6. Tapeworm treatment
  7. Screwworm treatment
  8. Additional vaccines and treatments
  9. Import permits / licenses
  10. CITES permit for endangered species

In this article we will breakdown the different fees for a Pet Passport in the USA, and how you can save some money.





What is a US Pet Passport?

US Pet Passport is a term used to represent the documentation your pet needs in order to travel. The documents required to travel depend on which country you are travelling from, and which country you are entering. Each country has different rules and requirements to export and import pets. These also vary between pet species. To enter the US with a pet, generally you will need a rabies vaccination and health certificate. Microchips are not required but are recommended. Dogs will need tapeworm and screwworm treatments. Essentially, a pet passport demonstrates that your pet is fit and healthy to travel.

Rabies Vaccination costs between $0 and $50

Dogs, cats and ferrets require rabies vaccinations when traveling to most countries. If traveling to the US from a rabies-free country (listed below) it is not a requirement. However, if traveling with a dog from anywhere else, they will need to be vaccinated against rabies. Cats, rabbits, birds and other small pets are not required to have rabies vaccinations.

Dogs entering the United States from the following countries MUST be vaccinated against rabies no sooner than 3 months of age and wait for 28 days before entering the United States:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan,Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The average cost of the one-year rabies vaccination in the US is around $15 to $20. This is the price for getting your pet’s vaccination at a veterinary clinic.

A three-year shot will usually costs around $35 to $50. The US does accept three-year vaccinations upon entry. The date of your pet’s last rabies vaccination must be shown on your pet’s passport and must be less than 12 months prior to entry to the US.

How do I save money on my rabies vaccinations for my pet’s passport?

Different veterinary clinics have different prices for rabies vaccinations. Shop around for the cheapest rate.

Additionally, some charities offer rabies vaccinations for free. Check your local charity to see if you are able to get this for free.

Furthermore, not all animals require rabies vaccinations.

Dogs, cats and ferrets are usually required to have their vaccinations. However, as only mammals are able to get rabies, birds, reptiles and amphibians do not need to be vaccinated. Therefore, for these pet owners, the cost will be $0.



Health Certificate costs between $0 and $150

When both importing and exporting pets to and from US, you must obtain a health certificate to prove that your pet is fit and healthy for travel.

The average cost of a veterinary consultation can be between $25 and $150.

Your pet’s health certificate must be completed by an USDA-accredited veterinarian. So make sure you check that your vet is accredited before booking your appointment. The health certificate must be in English, or translated into English. If your documents are translated, you should provide both the original documents and the translated documents.

In order to obtain a health certificate, the vet must be confident your pet is fit and healthy enough to travel. Your pet must also have all the relevant vaccinations and treatments for your destination country.

You can check all of the requirements for different countries at the USDA website here.

How do I save money on my health certificate for my pet’s passport?

Different veterinary clinics charge different amounts. Shop around to find the best price for you in your area.

Additionally, some animal shelters offer this service for free. Again, just make sure that they are USDA-accredited.



USDA Endorsement costs between $38 and $173+

When exporting pets from US, you must have their health certificates endorsed by the USDA. USDA endorsement is not a requirement when bringing pets to the US 

The cost for USDA endorsement ranges between $38 and $173+.

Their pricing starts off with the cost for endorsing a health certificate for a destination country that requires just vaccinations.

The price then goes up with the number of tests that are required on top of that.

Additionally, the price goes up $7 to $14 for each additional pet.

The USDA APHIS list the following on their website to breakdown the fees for endorsement.

ALL ENDORSEMENT FEES ARE CHARGED PER CERTIFICATE/ DOCUMENT.

Number of tests and number of animals on the certificate User Fee Fee Explanation
No tests
(other endorsements or certifications)
  If a country ONLY requires vaccinations, the fee is $38 per certificate regardless of the number of animals on the certificate.
   Any number of animals $38.00
1-2 tests If a country requires any testing (rabies titer or other disease testing), the exact fee is determined by the number of tests USDA is required to verify for each animal on the same certificate. The fee will be between $121 and $173 for the first animal on a certificate. Each additional animal on the same certificate will cost $7-14 depending upon the number of tests.
   First animal $121.00
   Each additional animal $7.00
3-6 tests
   First animal $150.00
   Each additional animal $12.00
7 or more tests
   First animal $173.00
   Each additional animal $14.00

You can contact the APHIS VS Area Office in your state for more information.



Pet Microchipping costs between $0 to $60

Pet microchipping is not always required to enter many countries, including the US. However, many countries do, including all countries in the UK and the EU.

The cost to have a pet microchipped at a veterinary clinic ranges from $25 to $60.

How do I save money on my pet’s microchip for my pet’s US passport?

Different veterinary clinics charge different amounts for getting pets microchipped. Check your local vets to see if you can find a cheaper price.

Alternatively, give your local charities a call. Many charities and animal shelters offer this service for free! Check how to get free microchipping in the UK here.

Additionally, not all pets require a microchip, usually this rule just applies to dogs, cats and ferrets.

You can check different country regulations at the USDA website here.

If your destination country does require a microchip, have this done before getting your pet vaccinated against rabies. If the vaccination is done after microchipping, it will not count.



Rabies Titer Test / Rabies Blood Test costs between $80 to $150

A rabies titer test, also known as a rabies blood test, is not required when bringing pets to the US. However, many countries require your pet to have a rabies titer test before entry. This is to ensure that there is a sufficient amount of the rabies antibody in your pet’s blood.

Generally, your veterinarian will need to take a blood sample from your pet at least 30 days after their rabies vaccination. Your vet will then send the blood sample to an approved blood testing laboratory. To qualify for travel, the blood rest results must show that your pet’s vaccination was successful – i.e. your pet’s blood must contain at least 0.5 IU/ml of the rabies antibody. Usually, you must then wait 3 months from the date of the blood sample before travel.

The cost ranges between $80 to $150, depending on the veterinary clinic. This doesn’t include the cost of the office visit.

Many veterinary clinics offer a speedy service in which they can get results within 4 days. This normally costs around double the price.

How do I save money on a rabies titer test for my pet’s US passport?

Different veterinary clinics charge different amounts for taking your pet’s blood sample and sending the sample to the laboratory. Shop around for the cheapest price.

Do all pets need a rabies titer test?

No. Firstly, only mammals can get rabies. Therefore, you can rule out rabies vaccinations and blood tests for birds, reptiles and amphibians. Secondly, not all countries require the titer test.



Tapeworm Treatment costs between $3 to $18+ (dogs only)

Some countries require dogs to be treated against tapeworm. This is the case if travelling to the UK, Finland or Malta. When bringing certain dogs to the US, they must have a tapeworm treatment.

Collies, shepherds, and other dogs to be used in the handling of livestock must have a tapeworm treatment administered by a licensed veterinarian shortly prior to entry to the US and are subject to inspection and quarantine. This does not apply to dogs traveling from Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies.

The price for a tapeworm treatment ranges between $3 to $18, plus a potential basic vet visit fee.

The tapeworm treatment must be completed by an accredited vet. Therefore, an over the counter treatment does not count.

How do I save money on my dog’s tapeworm treatment for my US pet passport?

Some veterinary clinics will only charge you for the tapeworm tablet. However, some will charge their basic vet visit fee too.

Shop around to find the cheapest price.



Screwworm Treatment costs between $3 to $18+ (dogs only)

If bringing dogs to the US from any of the following countries, they must be treated for screwworm within 5 days of entry:

Angola, Argentina, Bhrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo, Democratic Republic, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, French Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paracel Islands, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spratly Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Your veterinarian must verify that your pet has been inspected for screwworm, and the results are negative.



Additional Vaccines & Treatments costs between $5+ and $30+

As well as the rabies vaccination, many countries require additional vaccines and treatments. Dogs being imported to the US for commercial reasons (adoption or resale) must also be vaccinated for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus.

The amount you will pay for these additional vaccines and treatments depends on your destination country. Some countries may just require one additional vaccine, where others may require many.

Turkey requires that all cats need to be vaccinated against calicivirus, panleukopenia and feline viral rhinotracheitis, before entering the country. Furthermore, dogs are required to be vaccinated against parainfluenza, leptospirosis, parvovirus, bordetella, hepatitis and distemper before being allowed into the country. You are also required to treat your dog or cat against Echinococcus.

What are the prices for common pet vaccines required for a US Pet Passport?

DOGS

  • Coronavirus – the average cost is $10-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
  • Lyme – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
  • Leptospirosis – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
  • Bordetella: – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.
  • Canine Influenza – the average cost is $10-$15. The vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $20-$30.

CATS

  • Bordetella – average cost for one vaccine is $5-$15.
  • FeLV – average cost for one vaccine is $5-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $10-$30.
  • Feline Chlamydia – the average cost is $5-$15. This vaccine is administered twice for a total cost of $10-$30.
  • Feline Immunodeficiency (FIV) – the average cost for one vaccine is $5-$15. This vaccine is administered three times for a total cost of $15-$45.

How can I save money on my pet’s vaccinations and treatments?

Different veterinary practises charge different amounts. Shop around a little to find the best prices.

Furthermore, some vaccines can also be given along with DAPPV (Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza) to form a five-way vaccine. This may bring the cost down.

Additionally, there is the option of signing up for a pet plan. With a pet plan you pay a monthly or yearly fee, in exchange for free or discounted treatments and vaccines.



Import Permit or License for Pets costs between $7 to $330+

Many countries require you to apply for an Import License or Permit before entering the country. When bringing pets to the US, you may need an import permit, depending on the species or your pet and where you are traveling from.

Cats, dogs, rabbits, rodents, ornamental fish, reptiles and amphibians are not required to have an import permit when entering the US. However, it is a requirement for birds entering the US.

The price of an import permit ranges drastically between countries. You can check whether you will need one here.

The cost for an Australian import permit costs $330, where an import permit for New Zealand costs $140. On the other hand, the cost for an import permit is just $7 for The Philippines. 

The prices are normally irrespective of which country your pet is from. Additionally, some countries offer a discounted price for additional animals.



CITES Import & Export Permit costs between $50 and $125

If your pet is an endangered species, you will require a CITES permit or certificate to travel.

Exotic pets, mainly bird and reptile species, are most likely to require a permits before crossing international borders. You can check whether you require a CITES permit for your pet here.

If you have determined that your pet is protected under CITES, you will need to apply for one or more of the following permits:

#1 One-time import, export, or re-export of personal pets listed under CITES or the Wild Bird Conservation Act (WBCA) costs $50.

If you are planning to make one border crossing (either an import, export, or re-export) with their CITES-listed pet, you should complete application form 3-200-46.

#2 ‘Pet Passport’: Multiple import, export, or re-exports of a personal pet listed under CITES costs $75.

If you live in the US and intend to make multiple border crossings with your CITES-listed pet, you should complete application form 3-200-64.

You should allow at least 60 days to process your application, noting that some applications may take longer than 90 days.



Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

How do I get a US Pet Passport in 2020?

There are three simple steps to get a US pet passport:

  1. Research – the export and import requirements for pets vary widely between countries. Familiarise yourself with the requirements to export your pet from your home country, and those required to enter your destination country,
  2. Visit to the vet – get your pet up to date on all the vaccines and procedures required by your specific destination country. Often this will include microchipping, vaccinating against rabies, parasite treatments and obtaining a health certificate or veterinarian certificate.
  3. Apply for an import permit (if required) – if you are transporting dogs to the US for commercial reasons, or if you are not traveling with your dog, you will need an import permit. Additionally, an import permit is required when traveling with a bird to the US. It is also often a requirement when importing pets to many other countries.
  4. USDA Endorsement – if exporting pets from the US, you must have your pet’s travel documents certified by the USDA. All pets leaving the USA must send relevant paperwork required for the destination country to the State USDA office for endorsement prior to leaving the country.

For more information, check How to get a US Pet Passport in 2020 [ULTIMATE GUIDE].


How long does it take to get a US Pet Passport in 2020?

The process of obtaining a US pet passport can take a few weeks to many months. The time depends on the country you are visiting, as these vary.

For example, if you are visiting Australia, you will need to allow yourself at least 2 months to prepare. Australia requires all pets entering the country to pass a rabies titer test. A blood sample must be taken 3-4 weeks after your pet’s rabies vaccination. Next, the blood sample must be sent to a laboratory. It can take up to 1 month to get your results. If your pet fails the test, then he or she must get another rabies vaccination and start the process again. 

We recommend that you start researching the requirements of your destination country as soon as possible to ensure you have enough time.

Furthermore, let your veterinarian know of your travel plans as early as possible. They can advise you on the requirements and specific timings of certain treatments.


What pet species can get a US Pet Passport?

Most pet species are permitted to enter the US, as long as you have the correct documentation. If you are planning on exporting pets from the US, the requirements vary depending on where you are traveling to.

As expected, most countries allow dogs and cats to be imported. Additionally, throughout Europe, ferrets are also accepted with an EU Pet Passport.

For other pets, such as birds, rabbits, reptiles and amphibians, it depends on the country you are visiting. Requirements vary widely between countries.

Usually, common pets such as those listed above, are able to travel with a health certificate. However, pets may be required to stay in quarantine upon arrival.

For example, if travelling from the US to the UK with a rabbit you will require a rabies import license. Your rabbit will also need to spend 4 months in quarantine. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable. 

Furthermore, some countries require a Import License and birds may require a CITES import & export permit. If required, you must apply for these whilst in the US.

For example, if travelling from the US to the UK with a bird, you will need a Bird Import License and a health certificate. You may also need a CITES import & export permit. 

Thus, what pet species can get a US Pet Passport completely depends on where you are travelling to. We advise that you check the requirements for the specific country you are visiting.

How to use a US Pet Passport

You can use your pet’s US passport just as you would your own passport!

When crossing a border, you will need to inform the customs agent that you are bringing your pet. You will need to inform your travel company that you will be bringing your pet along. It’s important to do this as some companies do not allow pets.

When at the border, you will simply need to present both your passport and your pet’s passport.

It is important to keep in mind that vaccinations must remain up to date in order for your pet’s passport to be valid. The US accepts both 1 year and 3 year rabies vaccinations. Additionally, remember to check border requirements prior to entry in case the country has additional requirements.




How difficult is it to get a Pet Passport in the US?

It is not very difficult as long as you do you research and give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Contact your veterinarian as soon as you are aware of your plans. You can also get in contact with the USDA for guidance.

What if my pet doesn’t meet requirements for a US Pet Passport?

If your pet is deemed unfit for travel, then you will have to leave him behind. The thought of leaving your pet behind may be sad, however, it is for their own well-being. Travel is hard on pets and your companion may be better off staying behind.

What are the requirements to bring my pet back to the US?

Pets returning to the US are subject to the same requirements as those entering for the first time. Therefore, you should consider getting a new health certificate if you are staying abroad for more than 30 days. The certificate must be in English, so you may need to get the document translated.

Can I get my puppy or kitten a US Pet Passport?

Many countries require that dogs and cats are a minimum of 4 months old. This is because many countries require rabies vaccinations which can only be administered to pets over the age of 3 months. Most of the time you must wait 28 days after the vaccination, before entering a country. This is the case for entering the US. Additionally, proof of age should be available.



Conclusion

So, as you now know, the cost of a complete USA Pet passport can vary quite dramatically between $38 and $1,235. This is dependant on where you and your pet are travelling to, which veterinary clinic you visit and the species of your pet.

As soon as you know where you and your pet are travelling to, check the entry requirements here.

Don’t worry, it is possible to save some money on your pet’s passport. Firstly, compare the prices that different veterinary practises offer as these can vary a lot. Secondly, check whether any animal charities or shelters offer free vaccination and microchipping services.

Hope you have found this helpful.

For a more thorough guide on USA Pet Passports check How to get a USA Pet Passport in 2020 [ULTIMATE GUIDE]. Additionally, for more information on the requirements for a USA Pet passport check What are the Requirements for a USA Pet Passport in 2020?.

Happy travels!



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