Registration for service dogs in the U.S.
It’s a common misconception, but mandatory, legitimate registration for service dogs in the U.S. does not exist. Emotional support animals don’t need to be registered either, by the way.
Under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the Department of Justice, service dogs are not required to be registered or certified. A legitimate federal registration and/or certification agency for service animals or service dogs just doesn’t exist.
You may have seen websites online that sell service dog certifications, registrations, and other service dog items. Just know that purchasing these items does not turn a dog into a service dog, and are not endorsed by the ADA or Department of Justice, and convey no legal rights. Let’s jump into the details.
Service Dog Registration – Table of Contents
Local dog licensing and registrations for all dogs
Service dogs are subject to local dog licensing and registration requirements. In other words, if a city, county, or area requires all dogs to be registered and/or licensed as a dog, then service dogs are not exempt.
Dog registries can:
- Reconnect lost dogs to their humans
- Use dog registration fees to fund important programs, such as local animal shelter operations
The same is true for canine vaccinations; service dogs must be vaccinated as per city/county laws if all dogs in that area must be vaccinated. In plain English, service dogs still count as dogs, locally speaking.
Types of legitimate service dog registration
When all dogs must be registered as a dog
There are two types of legitimate service dog registries in the U.S. The first is when a city or area requires that all dogs be “registered,” as mentioned above. (I feel like this word gets thrown around).
Voluntary registries for emergency purposes
The other type of legitimate service dog registrations are voluntary registries at colleges, universities, and other places such as local governments. These exist for public purposes. They can help to ensure that emergency responders know to look for particular service animals during an emergency or an evacuation process, for example.
Mandatory registration of service animals is not permissible under the ADA. However, as stated above, service animals are subject to the same licensing and vaccination rules that are applied to all dogs.Americans with Disabilities Act FAQ Page
Is USA Service Dog Registration legit?
USA Service Dog Registration is just one example of a website that is not recognized by the ADA or the U.S. Department of Justice. The official Americans with Disabilities Act website clearly states that service dogs do not need to be registered, and papers purchased online do not convey any legal rights.
Covered entities may not require documentation, such as proof that the animal has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal, as a condition for entry.
There are individuals and organizations that sell service animal certification or registration documents online. These documents do not convey any rights under the ADA and the Department of Justice does not recognize them as proof that the dog is a service animal.Americans with Disabilities Act FAQ Page
Scam service dog registration websites
Of course, this begs the question, why do these types of websites exist – then – if not to take advantage of folks who simply don’t know the truth? If not to make some quick, shameful, and anonymous cash on the internet, then why?
How to identify legitimate websites online
Creating a website nowadays is relatively easy and requires little technical knowledge. Legitimate government websites that we can trust can be identified by the “.gov” “top-level domain” or suffix, and can’t be purchased by just anyone. Websites ending with “.com” and many other suffixes can be easily purchased by anyone with an internet connection for as little as $5.
Legitimate and trusted websites relating to service dogs:
- ADA.gov – Americans with Disabilities Act
- Justice.gov – U.S. Department of Justice
- EEOC.gov – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- HUD.gov – U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
How do I register my dog as a service dog?
Service dogs do not need to be registered under the federal ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), the Department of Justice in the US or any other agency. No legitimate registration agency exists.
Purchasing a registration paper from an online website does not turn your dog into a service dog. In addition, businesses and other places of public accommodation are not allowed to ask people with service dogs for registration, certification, or any other documentation for public access rights.
Even for housing situations, a doctor’s letter may be required, but registration is never required. Asking someone for service dog registration as a condition of entry to a public place or housing situation would be considered discrimination. Check out our article “Which Service Dog Registry is Legitimate?” to find out more and learn why registrations are not required.
Read more about the ADA Americans with Disabilities Act Laws here.
Documentation from the Internet
Some websites sell certificates, registrations, and licensing documents for assistance animals to anyone who answers certain questions or participates in a short interview and pays a fee. Under the Fair Housing Act, a housing provider may request reliable documentation when an individual requesting a reasonable accommodation has a disability and disability-related need for an accommodation that are not obvious or otherwise known.
In HUD’s experience, such documentation from the internet is not, by itself, sufficient to reliably establish that an individual has a non-observable disability or disability-related need for an assistance animal.
By contrast, many legitimate, licensed health care professionals deliver services remotely, including over the internet. One reliable form of documentation is a note from a person’s health care professional that confirms a person’s disability and/or need for an animal when the provider has personal knowledge of the individual.U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) Fair Housing Act (FHA)
Is United Service Dogs legit?
United Service Dogs is another example of a website that is not recognized by the ADA or the U.S. Department of Justice. It seems like a scam and a ripoff. The official Americans with Disabilities Act website clearly states that service dogs do not need to be registered, and papers purchased online do not convey any legal rights. So, why are they trying to charge folks $250 for “service dog registrations,” which aren’t even a thing? Real service dogs don’t need to be registered or certified, and they don’t need to wear IDs or special vests of any kind.
Is US Service Animals legit?
United Service Dogs is yet another sad example of a website that is not recognized by the ADA or the U.S. Department of Justice. It seems like another attempt at a scam and a ripoff. The official Americans with Disabilities Act website clearly states that service dogs do not need to be registered, and papers purchased online do not convey any legal rights. So, why are they trying to charge folks $109 for “service dog registrations,” which aren’t even a thing? Real service dogs don’t need to be registered or certified, and they don’t need to wear IDs or vests of any kind.
ADA Service Dog Registration
ADA service dog registration simply isn’t a thing; it does not exist. Beware of scams on the internet in the form of non-government websites attempting to appear official and legitimate, offering service dog registration paraphernalia for sale. Real service dogs don’t need to be registered, certified, or wear a vest or an ID tag of any kind.
- Which service dog registry is legitimate? (Why service dog registries are not required).
- Service animal laws by U.S. State
- Emotional Support Animal Laws in Wisconsin
More to come…