Many Americans live with mental health challenges that benefit from having an emotional support animal (ESA) in their lives. However, the process of getting your pet upgraded to an ESA is not always so clear, so it can be hard trying to figure out what you need — and what you don’t. Unfortunately, there will be scammers waiting to take advantage by offering products and services that aren’t required to have an ESA. A commonly sold illegitimate service is ESA registration, there is no legal requirement to register your emotional support animal. Some companies pose as official government organizations acting as an ESA registration of America, however, no official registry exists.
Is There An ESA Registration of America?
Contrary to common belief, there is no officially recognized or mandated ESA registration of America. Beware of companies posing as government organizations claiming to be an official emotional support animal registry. Instead, look for legitimately licensed mental health professionals who can prescribe you an ESA letter.
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ESA Registration of America
In the United States, there is no official ESA registration. Instead, individuals seeking an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) should follow a legal process, obtaining a recommendation letter from a licensed mental health professional. This letter, outlining the therapeutic need for an ESA, serves as the valid documentation required by housing providers and airlines to accommodate individuals with emotional or mental health disabilities.
What is Legitimate Emotional Support Animal Registration?
Despite what some companies might insinuate online, there is no such thing as a federal ESA registration. However, to have your support animal in your rental home, you will need a legitimate ESA letter, which verifies your needs through a diagnosis from a licensed mental health professional (LMHP). Any company who tries to persuade you to register your ESA is trying to trick you into making an unnecessary purchase.
Is There an Official Emotional Support Animal Registration of America?
In the United States, there are no requirements to register your ESA with any group or registry. The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) is the primary law that protects assistance animals, including service dogs and ESAs, and it has no such requirement. Neither does the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which protects individuals and their ESAs in seeking, acquiring, and maintaining housing from rental companies and the like.
Do I Need to Register My Emotional Support Animal?
As of 2023, there are no state or federal requirements to register your ESA with any governmental agency. But that doesn’t mean you don’t need any type of documentation to have an assistance animal. A legitimate ESA letter, signed by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), is the only official document you need to secure housing. Even after you have your ESA letter, you don’t have to register it with any federal agency or state registry.
How Do You Certify an Emotional Support Animal?
Some companies may try to sell you some sort of certification (that is not an ESA letter) to take advantage of consumers’ lack of knowledge about support animal laws and regulations. There is no requirement for an ESA to be certified by any governmental agency or medical professional. So even if you’re promised a pretty piece of paper you can frame and hang, it won’t do you any good — without an ESA letter.
Getting the Correct Documentation: ESA Letters
When it comes to keeping an emotional support animal in your rental home, all you need is an official ESA letter. This is a document you can show housing providers and landlords to affirm your legal need to have a support animal living with you. It even works with housing providers that don’t typically allow pets or have a “no-pet” policy; it even exempts you from having to pay extra pet deposits, rents, or fees.
What Makes a Legitimate ESA Letter?
For your ESA letter to be legitimate, all you need to do is meet with a licensed mental health professional (LMHP) and get your mental or emotional health disorder diagnosed. Once the LMHP has consulted with you and made their diagnosis, they will write your legitimate ESA letter, typed on official letterhead with their current license number and contact information. To make it completely official, your LMHP will seal the deal with their signature. Now, you have a legitimate ESA letter to present to your landlord or housing manager.
Look out For Emotional Support Animal Scams Online
It’s easy to get tricked into emotional support animal scams online, but now that you have the knowledge — and the law on your side — you can get your own ESA letter with Pettable. We offer a money-back guarantee that our ESA letter will do the trick when you’re hunting for housing. It’s quick, easy, and a great value, especially considering what you’ll save in pet fees and such.
Unnecessary Emotional Support Animal Products & Services
When you want to get your own ESA, there are plenty of unnecessary products and services scammers will try to sell you. These include any type of “registration” or “certification,” both of which are not required to have an ESA. Other products you don’t need include:
- Identification cards
- Other identifying items
Remember, all you need to have an emotional support animal is an ESA letter and a critter that you love. Whether it’s a dog, cat, bird, or other unconventional pets, you can make your beloved pet an ESA, and Pettable is here to help.