|If you think that you can simply jump in the car and cross state lines with your pets hold your horses. Every state has a law on the books that require appropriate health documentation for your visiting pet. While this isnt an enormous issue for people who like to travel with their pets, it is important to obtain proper documentation before taking your next trip across state lines.
Anyone who plans to travel to another state(s) with their pet needs to have a health certificate or, as it is more formally called, a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. This is an official document that is signed by a licensed and accredited veterinarian. It guarantees that the pet shows no signs of communicable disease and gives a date that the inspection took place. Included in this document should be rabies vaccination information that includes the dates that it was given.
States might also require:
- An import permit
- Tests for disease
- Additional Vaccinations
- Information guaranteeing that the pet did not come from an area under quarantine restrictions.
As a general overview, rabies vaccination documentation is required by all states for dogs and by most states for cats. States where cats are exempt include Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Oklahoma. A Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) for dogs is required by all states except for California and Texas. Cats are exempt from needing this certificate in California, Illinois, Montana, Texas and Vermont.
These are general recommendations. As always, we recommend that you contact the state Agricultural or Veterinary department directly for an official answer. More detailed information can be found at the USDAs APHIS site.