Under the ADA, people with disabilities who have service dogs are entitled to the following protections:
Even businesses that post signs prohibiting pets, or in places where local laws would prevent you from bringing your pet, you are still allowed under federal law to bring your service dog with you into the business premises at no extra fee. This includes airline cabins and housing units that may have pet policies prohibiting dogs. The FHA accommodates those with emotional support animals into housing units with an accompanying letter from a medical professional.
Once you identify your dog as a service dog, businesses are prohibited by law from asking about the nature of your disability. Registration ID cards, tags, and vests help identify your dog to others from afar, which is especially important in the time of COVID-19.
(14 CFR Sec. 382.55(a))
Carriers shall permit dogs and other service animals used by individuals with disabilities to accompany the person on a flight.
(1) Carriers shall accept as evidence that an animal is a service animal identification cards, other written documentation, presence of harnesses or markings on harnesses, tags or the credible verbal assurances of the qualified individual with disabilities using the animal.
(2) Carriers shall permit a service animal to accompany a qualified individual with disabilities in any seat in which the person sits, unless the animal obstructs an aisle or other area that must remain unobstructed in order to facilitate an emergency evacuation.
View more about specific service dog and emotional support dog airline policies here.
The law does not distinguish based on the breed or size of dog - any dog can be a service or emotional support animal! Emotional support dogs do not need specialized raining while service dogs may be trained in their task by professionals or their owners.
The ADA takes precedence over local laws or business policies, so you can travel with your service dog knowing that your rights are protected in all 50 states.
While displaying registration ID cards, tags, or vests is not required or recommended by the ADA, many people find that having them helps instantly identify their service dog or emotional support animal, alleviating the hassle of constant questioning. Additionally, while technically against the ADA guidelines, many businesses still ask to see some form of documentation if you plan on bringing a service dog onto business premises.