A Step-by-Step Guide to Emotional Support Animal Registration

Emotional Support Animal A Step-by-Step Guide to Emotional Support Animal Registration

A Step-by-Step Guide to Emotional Support Animal Registration

Do you have a pet that provides emotional support? If so, you are among 200,000+ Americans who benefit from an emotional support animal.  Are you wondering if your pet could qualify as an emotional support animal? Maybe you are wondering how to get accommodation for your support animal when using public transportation or flying, or when moving into a new apartment. If you need assistance with emotional support animal registration, DoNotPay can help you navigate the process.

Emotional Support Animal Overview

An emotional support animal is an animal that has been "prescribed" to provide support and companionship to ease the mental health and/or psychiatric episodes of its owner or handler.

Emotional Support Animal vs. Service Animal

Emotional support animals (ESA) are different from service dogs, who are specifically trained to perform certain tasks related to mental or physical disabilities and provide aid to their handlers. Because they are not specifically trained to assist with disabilities, they cannot be classified as service animals. Although emotional support animals provide very valuable support to their owners, they and their owners have different rights and obligations than an ADA service dog and its handler, including the burden of proof.

Here’s a table that outlines the differences between an emotional support animal vs a service animal:

ESAService Animal
DefinitionA pet, whose presence is determined to be needed for the mental health of a patient. The pet is prescribed by a licensed mental health professional to a person with a disabling mental illness.According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are dogs that are trained to perform tasks or do work for people with disabilities.
Does the assistance animal have access to public areas?NoYes
Can the assistance animal be banned or restricted when the owner is obtaining housing?NoNo
Will the owner of the assistance animal be charged a pet deposit for living with one?NoNo
Is the assistance animal allowed on flights free of charge?NoYes

Emotional Support Animal Registration

The only way to prove that your pet is an Emotional Support Animal is with an official ESA letter. This letter must be signed by a licensed mental health professional. If your therapist or psychologist is treating you for certain mental health conditions, you can speak to them. Otherwise, you may need to seek an appointment with a mental health professional about using an animal to ease mental and/or emotional disorders.

If the mental health professional agrees that you would benefit from the support, comfort, and stability of an emotional support dog or animal, they can write a letter on your behalf. An ESA letter is like a "prescription" for an emotional support animal to help you ease loneliness and reduce anxiety or depression, or other issues. The letter must include:

  1. Their license number
  2. The expiration date of their license
  3. The date the letter was issued
  4. Professional contact information

View a sample ESA letter.

How to Register an Emotional Support Animal on Your Own

Here are the steps on how to register your ESA by yourself:

  1. Schedule an appointment with your mental health professional.
  2. Discuss your medical condition, symptoms, triggers, and other issues.
  3. Discuss why you believe your condition would be improved with an emotional support animal.
  4. Request an official Emotional Support Animal recommendation and letter.
  5. Make copies of this letter. You can keep copies in your purse/wallet, in your luggage when traveling, or provide a copy to a new landlord when moving.

Keep in mind, that although you can acquire special training and/or certificates for your pet if you wish, this is not the same as an official ESA letter from a licensed medical professional, and will not grant you the same benefits.

DoNotPay Can Assist You With ESA Accommodations 

If you have tried moving or traveling with an ESA, you know that it can be a little tedious. DoNotPay is prepared to help you with all of your needs regarding your pet and its Emotional Support Animal status, including obtaining appropriate accommodations for housing and traveling when applicable.

Here's how DoNotPay can help:

Through our new Service and Emotional Support Animals product, DoNotPay can help you with all of your ESA-related concerns, including contacting your landlord about your ESA, asking airlines about their accommodation options, and finding the most affordable online ESA-letter service.

  1. Search "service animal" on DoNotPay. 
  2. Select the type of issue you need help with, including contacting your landlord about your ESA/service animal, asking your airline about ESA options, or requesting ESA/service accommodations at other venues. 
  3. Answer a series of questions about your current situation and the details of your ESA/service animal, so we can generate the best results for you. 

And that's it! Depending on your issue, DoNotPay will send a letter to your landlord and mail it on your behalf, contact the airline agency and get back to you with an answer, or send a letter to your mental health professional requesting an ESA letter.

If you still have trouble with getting appropriate accommodation as allowed by any federal laws, state or local laws, or ordinances, DoNotPay can help protect your rights. With Sue Now, we can generate a letter to demand compensation, handle small claims forms on your behalf, and even provide you with a script for court if necessary.

No matter what you need, DoNotPay makes the entire process as fast and easy for you as possible, because you do not have to handle the paperwork. You can relax and focus on your pet, your plans, and your mental health. Our services are simple and successful, and you can rest assured that we will always make the best case on your behalf!

More DoNotPay Services for Your Pets

Not only DoNotPay can help you with your ESA problems, but DoNotPay also has a variety of services to protect you and your pets. DoNotPay can help you with:

What Else Can DoNotPay Do?

DoNotPay can help you in many other ways:

DoNotPay can help you with any problem, issue, or concern!

Want your issue solved now?