Your success as a pet transporter requires you to build trust and inspire confidence among pet owners, breeders, shelters, and other organizations. One of the best ways to set yourself apart from the competition is to be USDA registered.
The USDA/APHIS oversees the Animal Welfare Act* which sets federal standards for the care and treatment of animals in research, exhibition, and transport. The act states that animal transporters should be registered with the USDA. So, it’s easy to see why being USDA- registered can be a boon to your pet transport business. USDA registration brings another level of comfort to individuals who are considering your services. In fact, recent research shows that USDA-registered pet transporters using CitizenShipper win bids 42% more frequently than those who are not registered.
Applying for USDA registration is free of charge and getting your registration verified on CitizenShipper is a straightforward process. To make applying and verifying even easier for you, we've streamlined the procedures into 2 easy steps that take just a few minutes to complete! For simple instructions, you can watch our quick step-by-step USDA registration/verification video tutorial or follow the easy directions below.
Step One: Fill out the application form
- Access the application form for registering with the USDA as a class T animal transporter and click the green “start filling” button.
- Most of the form has been pre-filled for you. All you need to enter is your name, location, and contact information.
- Once you’ve filled in the information required, click "Submit", a copy of your completed registration application will be submitted to the USDA via email.
- According to the USDA site, a physical certificate should arrive in the mail within a few weeks.
Step Two: Verify your certificate
Once you receive your USDA certificate in the mail, you’ll need to make sure potential customers know you’re an officially registered animal transporter.
Here’s all you have to do:
a. Access the verification page on your CitizenShipper profile.
b. Under "USDA registration", you'll be prompted to upload a photo or scan of the certification you received in the mail.
And that's all there is to it! Once completed, the verification will occur instantly.
A USDA-Registered checkmark will immediately be added to your driver profile, alerting potential customers of your officially recognized status.
You can reference the video tutorial below for a summary of the process.
What if you don’t receive your certificate?
As previously mentioned, the USDA website states that once an application is received, it will take several weeks to be approved and for you to receive the certificate in the mail. However, input from numerous drivers has informed us that this process can take several months. We understand how frustrating this might be because of the value USDA registration adds to your driver profile.
We reached out to the USDA to see if there were any actions available to help accelerate receipt of the certification. Here’s what we found out:
You can ask the USDA to expedite your application by calling (970) 494-7478 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. PLEASE NOTE: If you are pursuing this course of action, it is important you are of the following:
When contacting the USDA, you will be asked for the email address the form was sent from to help locate your application. CitizenShipper sends all USDA applications from the same email address, which is email@example.com**. That is the email you need to provide the USDA when asked. If you give your personal or business email address, the USDA will likely tell you that your application was not received.
Due to staffing issues caused by the current pandemic and other challenges, the USDA cannot guarantee that expediting your application will speed up the approval and mailing of your certificate. But, it is certainly worth a try!
While it’s hard to wait for good things to come, we encourage you to be patient and hang in there! Your USDA certificate will arrive. And once it does, don’t forget you need to complete Step 2 above – verifying your certificate – to start enjoying the competitive advantage USDA registration provides.
** If you made your application via our online form before November 19, 2020, your application has been sent to the USDA via this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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