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How to Register a Dog as a Service Dog in Indiana

How to Register a Dog as a Service Dog in Indiana

In Indiana, service dogs play an essential role in assisting individuals with disabilities by enhancing their mobility, independence, and quality of life. While neither the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) nor Indiana state law requires service dogs to be registered, doing so can provide significant benefits for both the handler and the service dog. 

This guide focuses on why you might consider registering your service dog, the benefits of registration, and how to complete the process in Indiana.

Who can handle a service dog in Indiana?

Service dog requirements in Indiana boil down to having these two essential elements: 1. a physical or mental health disability and 2. A dog that has been trained to perform a job or task that assists with that disability.

Service dogs perform a wide variety of tasks like pulling wheelchairs, guiding the visually impaired, and providing pressure therapy for individuals with mental health impairments. Service dogs used for psychiatric, mental, or intellectual disabilities are referred to as psychiatric service dogs.

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What is Service Dog Registration?

Service dog registration involves entering your service dog’s details into a database, which may provide you with an identification card, a certificate, and sometimes service dog gear like vests or tags. These items and registration can serve as a quick reference for the public to recognize your service dog’s status.

Why Register Your Service Dog in Indiana?

Voluntarily registering your service dog can offer several practical advantages:

  • Ease of Access: Service dog signifiers can simplify access to public spaces, reducing the frequency of explanations about your dog’s role and your disability.
  • Public Perception: An identified service dog is often more readily accepted by the public and businesses, minimizing confrontations or questions.
  • Enhanced Credibility: Registration can add a layer of credibility, helping to distinguish your service dog from pets.

Remember, however, that under Indiana law, third parties cannot demand to see proof of registration before accepting your service dog. 

How to Register Your Service Dog in Indiana

Here’s how you can register your service dog in Indiana with Service Dog Certifications: 

  1. Confirm you are a service dog owner. You will be asked to confirm that you are a service dog owner with a qualifying disability and a fully trained service dog.
  2. Enter the name of the service dog and owner. This information will be entered into the service dog registration database.
  3. Enter your email address. This is where you will receive your digital identification card and registration information.
  4. Upload a recent photo of your service dog. The photo will be displayed on the ID card and in the database.
  5. Select Any Additional Items. You’ll have the option to purchase additional items like certificates and service dog vests or tags, which can further assist in public recognition.
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Additional Registration Considerations

Here are some other things to keep in mind about service dog registration in Indiana: 

  • Local pet registration: While Indiana state law does not require service dogs to be registered as such, your city or county may require that all dogs be registered by their owners. That means your service dog still needs to get regular pet registrations or licenses under local rules. 
  • Avoiding Scams: Be cautious of organizations promising more than they can legally offer. Service dog registration does not grant you any additional rights under the ADA.
  • Respect and Responsibility: Registration carries a responsibility to ensure your service dog is well-trained, behaves appropriately in public, and genuinely performs tasks related to your disability.


Registering your service dog in Indiana can significantly enhance your experience when accessing public spaces and interacting with the community. Although not technically required in Indiana, it offers a layer of convenience and legitimacy that many handlers find invaluable. 

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About the Author: The writing team at Service Dog Certifications is made up of folks who really know their stuff when it comes to disability laws and assistance animals. Many of our writers and editors have service dogs themselves and share insights from their own experiences. All of us have a passion for disability rights and animals.

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