Service Dog Registration 101

What Is A Service Dog?

Thanks to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, which outlines and protects the rights of people with disabilities, service animals are able to provide the support needed by many individuals.

Unfortunately, some people are still unaware of or unfamiliar with the protections granted by the ADA and can try to impede people with service dogs’ access to certain places. That’s when registering your service dog with a reputable organization and obtaining an ID card, certificate, and service dog vest can help. We are here to educate and support you and others along the way to help maximize your rights as a service dog or ESA handler.

Who Can Register A Service Dog?

Individuals with disabilities who need support in order to live independently can register their trained animals as service dogs. Registration is not required nor recommended by the ADA in order for your dog to be legally considered a service dog, however registration ID cards, tags, vests, and other identifying accessories help let others know that your dog is a service dog before they approach you, reducing hassle and inconvenience when bringing your dog in public.

What Do Service Dogs Do?

Service dogs are specifically trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Service dogs can be trained to perform many different tasks, for example, to guide the blind, alert deaf people, protect people during seizures, pull wheelchairs, calm a person with anxiety or who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and remind a person to take their medications. The law does not distinguish based on the breed or size of dog - any dog can be a service animal!

When Can I Register My Dog As A Service Dog?

You can register your service animal once the dog has completed training. You can have your dog professionally trained or do it yourself, and there are no set guidelines in the U.S. for how long the training must be.

Where Is My Service Dog Allowed To Go With Me?

Under the ADA service dog laws, all state and local governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations that serve the public must allow service dogs and their handlers full access to their premises where the general public is allowed to go. Additionally, The Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) allows that your service dog may travel with you on an airplane, but it’s important to check with your airline service dog policies regarding details prior to flying.

Why Should I Register My Service Dog?

Even though you have the right to bring your service dog with you, restaurants, hotels, landlords, and airports will often try to impede you. When you register your service dog it makes it much easier to ensure your rights are respected. Many disabilities are not visibly apparent, and many service dogs help in ways that are not immediately obvious. Registration gives you the peace of mind of being able to pull out an ID card and show it to whoever is barring you access. Our ID cards have the applicable federal laws printed on the reverse side so you can instantly educate the person questioning your access. Getting a service dog vest and a tag provides visible awareness from a distance that your dog is a service animal and can prevent people from giving you trouble in the first place.

How Can I Register My Service Dog?

Registering your service dog is fast and easy when you register your dog with USA Service Dogs. Just choose which registration kit you’d like and provide us with some basic info like you and your dog’s names and what your condition is. Your registration with USA Service Dogs is valid for the lifetime of your dog, and can be looked up anytime, anywhere. Register your service dog now and join the over 30,000 satisfied dog owners who have given us 5-star reviews!

Is this a government service?

No, this is not a government sponsored registry. There are no official government service dog registries. Purchasing a service dog registration ID card from USA Service Dogs gives you an easy way to assert your rights when bringing your service dog with you in public, as the applicable federal laws are printed on the reverse side of your customized registration ID card. Many service dog handlers find that identifying accessories like ID cards, vests, leashes, and tags make it easier to bring their service dog with them in public as it reduces uncomfortable hassle and questioning. Furthermore, by joining the thousands of other service dog handlers who are part of the USA Service Dogs family, you let everyone know that you take your rights as a service dog owner seriously and are aware of all applicable laws, behavior guidelines, and proper etiquette when bringing your service dog with you in public, and expect to receive the same respect that you give to others. Please be aware that it may be a violation of local or state law to misrepresent a pet as a service dog.