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How to Register a Dog as a Service Dog in Texas

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Service dogs provide disabled individuals the assistance they need to help them lead full and independent lives. Many tasks that non-disabled and neurotypical individuals take for granted are difficult or not possible for some disabled individuals, such as opening a door, pushing a button for an elevator, or picking an object up off the floor. A service dog can be trained to do these tasks for them.

Service dogs are not pets and are therefore afforded more rights, including the ability to go to such places as restaurants, doctors’ offices, and public transportation, where pets are not allowed. These rights are outlined in The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and it is important for disabled individuals who require a service dog to know and understand their rights.

Certified Service Dog Registration

Key Definitions

Disability Defined

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person living with a disability as:

a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities

Service dog of Texas

Service Dog Defined

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a service dog as:

any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, do not service animals for the purposes of this definition

Examples of the tasks that service dogs provide in accordance with the ADA are listed below:

  • Guiding people who have low vision or are blind
  • Alerting people who are hard of hearing or deaf
  • Provide non-violent protection
  • Pulling a disabled person in a wheelchair
  • Retrieving items or medication
  • Alerting people with severe allergies to the presence of allergens
  • Provide assistance and support for people with stability or mobility disabilities
  • Calm a person with PTSD during an anxiety attack

It is important to understand that service dogs are not pets; service dogs provide vital services to disabled individuals that they cannot do for themselves. Service dogs are permitted to go with their handler wherever the general public is allowed, including restaurants, hospitals, schools, or other places that would generally not allow dogs.

Registering a Service Dog in Texas

Texas flag painted on wall
Certified Service Dog Registration

Service dogs are not required to be registered or certified by the State of Texas. The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that clearly states service dogs are allowed to accompany their handler in public places by simply saying their dog is a service dog.

Registering your dog as a service dog is easy. Follow the steps below to register your service dog:

  1. Establish your need for a service dog for your disability.

  2. Train your service dog to provide a task for your disability.

  3. Register your service dog with a reputable organization, like Service Dog Certifications.

Texas Law

Furthermore, Texas service dog laws specifically state:

Public establishments may only ask if the service animal is required because the person has a disability and what type of work the service animal is trained to perform

Also, Texas service dog laws provide the following information regarding service dogs:

  • Any individual or individuals that deny disabled individuals who require the assistance of a service dog access are subject to criminal penalties, including fines of up to $300 and 30 hours of community service.
  • Disabled individuals who require service dogs cannot be charged extra for their service dog unless the service dog causes damage.
  • Public facilities and transportation are required to allow entrance for disabled individuals and their service dog.
  • Individuals with service dogs must be provided with full and equal access to housing and are not required to pay extra for their service dog.
  • Provides Texas state employees up to ten days of paid leave to attend training programs designed for disabled individuals and their service dog.

While the ADA is a federal law, and all states must comply with the rules and regulations stipulated in the act, Texas provides its residents with detailed rules applying to service animals. If you or anyone you know lives in Texas and requires a service dog, it is important that they know and understand their legal rights. You can review them by clicking here.


Service dogs have clear and specific rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Texas law. They are not required to be registered, nor are their handlers required to carry any identification or proof that they are service dogs. Nonetheless, service dog registration and IDs/visually identifying paraphernalia are used by many handlers to inform the public without necessitating direct interaction.

If you or someone you know requires the use of a service animal, it is important to know and understand your legal rights and where to go if you need to file a complaint if you feel you have faced discrimination based on your disability or use of a service dog. For all the information you need regarding The Americans with Disabilities Act, click here.

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Service Dog Identification


1) Add Service Dog and Handler Info

Information must be exactly as you want it to appear on the ID card.

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Please enter handler name!

2) Service Dog's Photo

File types accepted: jpg, png, gif, bmp
Max file size: 10 MB

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3) Additional Options

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4) Psychiatric Service Dog Letter

5) Service Dog Vest

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Avoid Confusion with a Service Dog ID and Registration

Registering your service dog with Service Dog Certifications provides you with an identification card and 24/7 access to our Service Dog Registry. Your Service Dog ID card will have your registration number listed so that anyone in Texas can look up your service dog’s information at any time.

An ID card for a service dog can be helpful as it provides a quick and easy way to communicate the dog’s status to others, potentially reducing misunderstandings or challenges in public places like stores, hotels or restaurants. However, it’s important to note that neither Texas law nor the ADA require service animals to have any form of identification, and their access rights are not contingent upon possessing an ID.

Remember, while ID cards, certificates and other documents can be helpful, they do not convey any rights under the ADA.

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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.


  1. Pearl Escamilla says: September 14, 2022
  2. James H. says: March 18, 2023
    • Timothy Cook says: March 15, 2024
      • SDC says: March 20, 2024

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