Uber’s Service Animal Policy
Uber is working to make catching a ride easier, safer, and always a five-star experience. They connect the rider with affordable transportation anytime, anywhere, all at a tap of a button. You can also see your driver’s contact information and the vehicle’s details in the app, so you will always know you’re getting into the right car.
This company is working towards making the most affordable and pleasant experience they can when it comes to using this type of transportation, and that includes working with those folks that need a Service Animal.
In this post, we will cover Uber’s Service Animal policies in both the United States and Canada, so that you can ride in style and with peace-of-mind.
Does Uber Allow Service Animals?
In both the United States and Canada, Uber does allow Service Animals into their vehicles. However, be aware of their definition of “service.”
According to Uber’s website, a Service Animal is one that assists the person with a disability that is both visible and nonvisible.
What Are the Uber Rules in the United States Regarding Service Animals?
Uber in the United States does allow Service Animals in their vehicles as both state and Federal laws prevent the discrimination against these working animals.
In the US, Uber defines a Service Animal as one that is trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability.
There are only two questions a driver may ask the disabled individual to confirm his/her need for the Service Animal;
- 1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
- 2. What work or task has the animal been trained to perform?
Note: The driver-partner may not request that the rider present documentation proving that the rider’s animal is a Service Animal. In the United States, there is also no requirement that a Service Animal must wear a tag, be registered, or display any proof that it is a Service Animal.
If you require a Service Animal and are refused entry to an Uber due to having one, the driver-partner will be permanently banned from using the Driver app.
There are also no cleaning fees charged for the shedding of a Service Animal or the first and second reported incidences of its bodily fluids. However, you may be charged a cleaning fee for the third reported incident of bodily fluids emitted by your Service Animal.
What Are the Uber Rules in Canada Regarding Service Animals?
There are two ways that Uber will qualify an animal as a Service Animal in Canada;
- 1. The animal is easily identified as a service animal. For example, it is wearing a service vest or harness and is helping the individual.
- 2. The person may also present documentation confirming the animal is a Service Animal. This could be in the form of a letter from a health professional stating that the animal is needed due to a disability, a government-issued Service-Animal card, or, in Quebec, a certificate from a Service-Animal training school.
Note: In Canada, a driver may ask to see this documentation.
Canadian laws prohibit Uber driver-partners using the Driver App from discriminating against riders with Service Animals.
If a driver refuses to give the rider service due to a Service Animal, it is considered to be a discriminatory act, and they will lose their ability to use the Driver app.; as explained in Uber’s Non-Discrimination Policy,
“Riders cannot be charged cleaning fees for shedding by their service animals. Riders will be refunded any cleaning fees charged for shedding by their service animals.
A rider will not be charged for the first or second reported mess involving a service animal’s bodily fluids. A rider can be charged for the third reported mess involving a service animal’s bodily fluids. The rider may contest that such a mess occurred by responding to the fee notification email to notify customer support.”
Riding With “Non-Service” Animals
The definition of “Service Animal” within the Uber policy is well-defined. Therefore an Emotional Support Animal would not fall under this definition. According to their website, when riding with “non-service” animals they suggest it’s good practice to contact the driver who accepts your ride request. Using your app, send a text message or call to let the driver know you’d like to bring a pet.
They also suggest you bring a crate or blanket to help reduce the risk of damage or mess. Some drivers may keep a blanket in the trunk.
Both the United States and Canada will accept the Service Animal in the Uber, but both regions also have their requirements; this is especially important to know if you are traveling from one country to the next. Know your rights when it comes to bringing your Service Animal in an Uber and plan accordingly.