Never buy a horse without a passport.
1. Always check it is in order before you pay for the horse. Don't agree to the owner posting the passport to you (as they very rarely do) and the law requires they hand it over to you at the time of the sale so that you have it with the horse when you travel home.
If a horse doesn't have a passport you should suspect that it might be stolen, or not as described. By hiding the passport a seller can ensure you cant verify the age of the animal or contact previous owners.
2. Expect the person selling the horse to be recorded in the passport (on Horse Passport Agency passports look for official typed ownership details - not handwritten details). Whilst some dealers may appear helpful by applying for a new passport in your name they do this for a reason: They don't want their name to be linked to the animal and this is likely to make proving you bought the horse from them very difficult.
3. The markings and description within the passport should match the horse you are buying. If you are having the horse vetted (recommended) ask the vet to compare the horse against the passport and scan to ensure any stated microchips are present.
Once you have bought the horse you have 30 days to record the passport into your name. If we issued the passport you can do this very easily On-Line via Owner Services. If you haven't used Owner Services before click on the grey Register button and follow the prompt from there.