Service Dog Identification
Service Dog Registration
All service dogs with a Service Dog Certifications License will be registered in our database. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal must be individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a disabled individual to be legally considered a service animal. A service dog is allowed in areas open to the public, even in places that may prohibit pets, such as stores, restaurants, hotels, beaches, parks, and other public venues.
Registering your Service Dog with Service Dog Certification provides you 24-hour access to the Service Dog Registration database. Your Service Dog identification card will have your Service Dog Registration ID listed so that a third party may verify your registration at any time and any place.
A Service Dog Certificate or ID card can help service dog owners signal to members of the public that their animal companion is a trained service animal. It can be useful to keep these accessories readily available when out in public with your service dog.
The following are some frequently asked questions about service dog certificates and identification cards
1. What is someone allowed to ask me in order to verify that my dog is a service dog?
If it is obvious what service the dog provides, then staff at a public establishment may not make any inquiries regarding your disability or what your service dog is trained to do. For example, if the service dog guides a blind person or is pulling a wheelchair, it would be obvious what the individual’s disability is and what task the service dog is trained to perform.
If it is not obvious what service your animal provides (for example, if you have a psychiatric service dog), then staff members are allowed to ask only two questions:
- Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
- What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
2. Can someone ask me additional questions about my disability or service animal?
Under the ADA, inquiries from staff members must be limited to the two questions noted above. Disabled people who need service dogs have a right to privacy regarding their condition and cannot be subject to intrusive interrogations. Staff members also cannot ask a disabled person to have their service dog demonstrate the task they have been specially trained to perform.
3. What should I do if someone stops me and makes unwanted inquiries regarding my service animal?
As a disabled person with a service dog, it’s important to understand that you are protected from harassment regarding your condition. If it is obvious that your service dog is a service animal that is helping with your disability, any inquiry regarding your condition is not allowed. You have no obligation to respond to questioning, and you can inform the questioner that they are violating your right to privacy.
If it is not obvious what task your service dog has been trained to perform, the staff member responsible for determining whether your service dog should be allowed on the premises can ask the two questions noted above. You do not have to give any further information or elaborate on your answers.
You may also, at your election, use ID cards, service dog registration information, certificates, harnesses, tags, or other accessories to help demonstrate that your dog is a service dog. Many service dog owners use these signaling accessories to prevent people from making intrusive inquiries in the first place.
4. Do I need an ID card, certificate, harness or vest for my service dog?
Many service dog owners carry identification cards, registration information, or certificates and use tags, vests, and harnesses in order to signal that their dog is a working animal. Under the ADA, these items are not required for a service dog to gain access to a public areas and do not confer any rights. Service dog owners commonly use these accessories to inform members of the public that their animal is a service dog. Service dog paraphernalia is especially helpful for owners who value privacy and want to curtail people from making intrusive inquiries regarding their disability or service dog.
It’s important for service dog owners to understand that no one can insist on these items to prove that their dog is a service dog. They are used voluntarily by service dog owners to distinguish their trained service dog from normal pets. If you have a fully trained service dog that assists with a qualifying disability, staff members cannot make showing these items a prerequisite for entering a public area or require proof of training. These items are never a substitute for properly qualifying for a service dog, and their use by non-service dog owners is unethical and potentially punishable in certain jurisdictions.