Your Ultimate Guide to ESA & Service Animal Registration

Having pets around can make a person feel less isolated, more active, and more emotionally stable. The presence of emotional support animals, also known as ESAs, around people suffering from psychological or emotional conditions has proven to decrease anxiety and help stabilize their emotions. For people who have a mental or physical disability, support animals can prove to be lifesavers.

While ESAs don’t need to meet any particular training requirements, service animals have to be trained to serve a specific function for their disabled owners. No matter whether you’re trying to register your ESA or service animal, this guide addresses the most frequently asked questions like where can you take your ESA or support animal, who can qualify to have them, and the benefits of registration.

Who Qualifies

A service animal or an ESA is an animal recommended by a doctor/physician to provide assistance to a traumatized person. People who experience a physical, mental, or emotional disability can qualify to have a service animal. Emotional support animals are useful in treating people who are suffering from psychological or emotional conditions like anxiety, depression, and phobias. While ESAs are different from service animals, they are recognized by the United States federal law.

A service animal can be of any breed given that the animal can perform a specific task that its disabled owner can’t. On another note, a service animal must be trained, either by a professional or by the owner of the animal. The best way to find out whether you qualify to have a service or emotional support animal is to consult your doctor.

How Can You Register

To register your service animal, you must fill out an application with the Official US Service Animal & Support Animal (ESA) Registry. You’ll need to enter your animal’s information for registration. Once you’ve provided the details, your animal will be registered as a service animal or an emotional support animal and placed in the official US Service and Support Animal Registry database. If you have an emotional support animal, you’ll need emotional support animal (ESA) letters from your doctor or physician since having only registration won’t be enough. After the confirmation of registration, you’ll receive the certificate, and photo ID of your newly registered service animal by mail and in a digital format that can be downloaded and printed for immediate use.

The Animal ID card will include a photo, your animal’s name, date of birth, animal breed, registration number, date of registration, owner’s name, and location. The registration is valid for the lifetime of your animal, given that it remains well behaved.

Where Can You Take Your ESA or Service Animal

Emotional support animals are allowed access to housing and air travel, while service animals can go to their owner’s workplace, restaurants, no-pet beaches, and hotels, in addition to no-pet housing and airplanes. If you’re traveling by air with your service animal, you must carry your pet’s ID and make sure that your service animal has its vest on. Having your service animal wear its vest is not mandatory but greatly helps to avoid any unwanted confrontation by people who aren’t aware of the ADA regulations.

The ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act, helps protect the people with disabilities and if any landlord or business owner denies entry to the service animal without due cause, they need to be reported. Registered ESAs and service animals must be allowed entry even in housing areas where normal pets aren’t allowed. In Australia, the requirements of acquiring a support animal may be different, though a plan manager will quickly handle all the paperwork.

The Benefits of Completing Your Registration

If you’re a disabled individual who has an emotional support animal or a service animal, you must complete the registration of your animal and keep a copy of the certificate with you. In case, you are unlawfully denied entry to a restaurant or a housing area, you can present the documentation to people questioning your right to have the ESA or service animal with you.

The supporting documentation can also avoid housing discrimination and other frustrating situations. That said, having your animal registered means they can be easily identified and returned to you if they ever get separated. Using the support and service animal registry can be very beneficial for you and your ESA or service animal.

Only people who have a mental, emotional, or physical condition are allowed to keep emotional support animals or service animals. The ESAs are animals that provide a therapeutic advantage to their owners, while service animals are trained to perform specific tasks for a disabled owner. The process of registering your service animal is fairly simple. Once completed, you’ll be able to have your companion by your side at all times.

Further Resources