Emotional Support Animal Registration

When considering an emotional support animal (ESA), it is not unusual to hear phrases such as “ESA registration” and “ESA certification” used interchangeably with “ESA letter.” This can be confusing and lead you to waste time and money.

There is no registration required for you to have an emotional support animal. The only way for you to have an animal recognized as an ESA by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act is with an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional.

Your Emotional Support Animal is Not a Service Animal

It is not unusual to hear landlords and others use the words “service animal” to cover all animals, including ESAs, that assist people. Service animals and ESAs are not the same thing.

One thing that service animals and emotional support animals have in common is that neither are required by law to be registered.

How to Get an ESA Letter

To get an ESA letter, you must be evaluated by a licensed mental health professional. Following evaluation, the mental health professional may, in a properly formatted letter, indicate that you need the therapeutic value of an emotional support animal. This letter is your ESA letter, and it is all you need for your pet to be considered a legitimate emotional support animal, ensuring your access to “no pets” policy housing and into the cabin of the aircraft without paying additional fees.

Is ESA Registration Required?

No, you are not required to submit your animal to any sort of registry. All you need to access the privileges guaranteed by law to an ESA is a proper ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. While there are many outlets offering official-sounding registration and certification for your ESA, these are unnecessary.

If, however, you want some sort of ID card or frameable certificate, you can easily access and pay for them from a number of outlets.  For example, some people feel that having an ID card makes it easier to explain to the general public why their ESA might be in a place that pets are not typically expected. Some suggest using an ESA marked vest or harness instead of an ID card. Some like having both.

Understand that these are not required for your pet and will not grant them any legal rights beyond those of any other pet.

Simplified ESA Letter Process

For many people, dealing with the numerous specific requirements to get a proper ESA letter can be somewhat overwhelming. An extensive mental health professional referral network combined with years of experience uniquely position the DOGtor to help you with your ESA letter. You will find the DOGtor process surprisingly simple, affordable and fast.

Interested? Take our no-risk mental health assessment today.