Recording a brand   

Branding is very important in proving ownership of lost or stolen livestock.
The first step in protecting your livestock is choosing a good brand. 
Your brand is your return address for your livestock.
An unbranded animal is called a 'slick' and hard to identify.
Most common brands are registered for cattle, horses or mules.
Buffalo, swine and sheep brands can also be registered.
Brand positions   
Each brand is individual to its position on the animal.
Brand must be used exactly as pictured on the brand card.
Cattle: shoulder, rib and hip
Horses & mules: shoulder, hip and jaw
Swine and sheep: shoulder, hip, jaw and back
Buffalo: hip or rib
Sheep/goats: jaw or ear
How to read brands
How to submit a brand application   

Submit three brand choices in order of preference on application. Brands are checked for availability and conflicts with other brands before approved.

All brandowners listed on the application must sign it before submitting it.

Brands should be recorded in the name of a real person(s).

Brands may be recorded under a ranch name if the name is the same as the owner but must include the owner's name. (ex. Smith Ranch, John Smith).

Brands for trusts must be recorded in the name of the trustee.

If recording a brand in a corporation name or partnership, copies of incorporation papers, fictitious name certificate or trade name registration which have been filed with the ND Secretary of State need to accompany the application with the appropriate signatures. All those who will be doing business with the brand must be listed as owners.

Indicate which of the following terms is to be used between the names: "or", "and" or "and/or". To indicate joint tenancy with right of survivorship, use "or" or "and/or". For tenancy in common use "and".

Recording fee is $25 per position/per species. (ex. one position on cattle = $25, one position on cattle and one position on horse = $50.)

Download Brand Application

Complete application and mail to: North Dakota Stockmen's Association, 407 S. 2nd St., Bismarck, N.D., 58504. 


Applications can only be submitted via mail or in person at the location above.

Do not brand livestock until you receive your brand card.

Livestock sold or consigned any way other than how the brand is recorded will cause the brand inspector to hold proceeds of the sale.

How to make ownership changes on a brand
Brand transfer information
Remove a name from my brand or transfer ownership from a deceased brand owner
How long is a brand certificate good for?
Brands are renewed every five years. Current brands expire Jan. 1, 2021.
If a brand is recorded in between recording years, the brand will need to be renewed at the next renewal period and then it is good for 5 years.
Can I freeze brand?
North Dakota does not recognize freeze brands on cattle. However, freeze brands are acceptable on horses.
Brand recording tips
Don't botch with a blotch - branding tips
How do I get a duplicate brand certificate?
Submit request and $5 per certificate to 407 S. 2nd St., Bismarck, ND 58504

Contact Rachael Preusse, brand recorder at 701-223-2522 or for further questions.