Legitimate Emotional Support Animal
Registration Requires a Legitimate ESA Letter

The only item you need, in most cases, to obtain housing with an emotional support animal (ESA) is a valid ESA letter.

Registering Your Pet with Certify My Pet, You Get

ESA letter from a licensed mental
health professional

24/7 Support for any questions


Help with paperwork for air travel
and housing

ID Cards, etc

Letters don't expire

Benefits to Register Emotional Support Animal

1. Identify Your ESA

An ESA letter does not name or identify your animal specifically. It only gives you, the person named in the letter, authorization to have a qualified emotional support animal. Therefore, one key benefit of ESA registration is that it identifies your particular animal as your ESA. This protects you and, most of all, your animal far more than a mere ESA letter alone.

2. Avoid Unnecessary Travel and Housing Fees

As laid out in the Fair Housing Act, a valid ESA letter allows you to live with your ESA even in housing that normally does not permit animals. The Fair Housing Act further prevents landlords from charging you extra fees and requiring extra deposits to allow your emotional support animal to take residence with you. As laid out in the Air Carrier Access Act, a legitimate ESA letter allows you to fly on commercial passenger airlines with your ESA accompanying you in the passenger cabin of the airplane. The Air Carrier Access Act further prevents airlines from charging you extra fees for traveling with your emotional support animal. Department of Transportation has recently changed this rule and now only Service Dogs are entitled to those benefits. Learn how to qualify for a service dog

3. Avoid Unnecessary Hassles and Delays

ESA registration makes it easier for you to identify yourself to potential landlords and airline staff as a qualified ESA owner and your animal as your qualified ESA. One way ESA registration does this is by helping you push through the resistance many landlords and airlines have to allowing emotional support animals by demonstrating that you know your rights. You are even given a card with registration that outlines your exact rights as legally-qualified ESA owner.

Additionally, registration also confers on you a number of items that can help make travel and/or housing situations far easier for you and your ESA than attempting those activities without them. These include:

A card identifying you as a legitimate ESA owner
A safety harness and vest with ID tag and holder for your animal to wear to identify him or her as your ESA and help you to keep him or her under your control at all times.
A listing in the Certifymypet digital database of legitimate ESA owners and their ESAs
Easily-accessible electronic copy of your current, valid ESA letter with doctor’s contact information
A convenient guidebook to traveling and obtaining and maintaining housing with an ESA

When you travel without a registered ESA, you may be subject to greater hassles and hold-ups, including more intensive searches of you and your animal and possible delays while your claims of your ESA’s legitimacy are verified. Similarly, when you seek housing for you and your unregistered ESA, you could face hassles and delays proving your ESA’s legitimacy before you get approved to take residence. With proper emotional support animal registration, airline workers and housing managers are far less likely to give you trouble bringing your ESA along with you.

Not only are your official ESA registration credentials more difficult to dispute or dismiss, but emotional support animal registration comes with follow-up ESA letter verification service for landlords and airlines. Through this system, each ESA letter issued through Certifymypet’s system has a unique number and can be verified 24/7. This service protects you from being denied housing or travel with your ESA without valid legal cause. Through this service, airlines and housing authorities can contact Certifymypet to request verification of your credentials and answer other relevant questions as mandated by the airline’s own ESA policy and permitted by law.

2. A Service Dog Can Live Attend School Classes With You

Under the Fair Housing Act (FHA,) a person with disability is protected from housing discrimination, including being forbidden from having a service assistance dog or being denied housing because of having a service assistance dog. Rather, in fact, landlords must make reasonable accommodations to allow you and your service assistance dog to take (or retain) residence. This applies even in “Pet-free” and “Dog-free” housing. One such reasonable accommodation would be to waive any pet fee or deposit.

To file a complaint about a housing violation of your rights to have a service assistance dog live with you, contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at 800-669-9777 (voice,) 800-927-9275 (TTY) or online at www.hud.gov/fairhousing

Qualifications to Register Emotional
Support Animal

In order to obtain the valid ESA letter you need as a prerequisite for registering your emotional support animal, you must have a qualified medical doctor (like a psychologist) or licensed mental health care worker (like a therapist) must determine and indicate in writing that you have a mental or emotional disability that impairs your ability to perform certain vital everyday tasks, and particularly as they relate to travel and housing,
on your own.

Moreover, this professional must attest that an emotional support animal may help alleviate some of those concerns and thereby make it easier for you to perform those tasks and conduct your daily life. The specific language required in the letter regarding this is that the animal would be considered a “reasonable accommodation” for your disability, not unlike
an assistive device. The professional is neither required nor permitted to disclose the exact diagnosis or nature of your qualifying disability.

About Your ESA Letter

Registering your animal as an ESA is an option only available to you after you first acquire the proper ESA letter. It is this letter you will use to have your animal permitted to live or travel with you, and it is this letter you will use to register your animal as your ESA. Therefore, the following sections discuss this part of the process, particularly as it affects ESA registration.

At Certifymypet, you will have a live video-conference with a real licensed physician in your state before your ESA letter is issued, so you know that this is real. This way, you can also establish rapport with the doctor should you or anyone else on your behalf need to contact him or her regarding your ESA or qualifications again .Only certain types of health care professionals are qualified to write ESA letters. They must be LMHPs, such as a:

Clinical Psychologist
Licensed Therapist
Licensed Mental Health or Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Licensed Professional Counselor or Mental Health Counselor

That said, Certifymypet takes it a step further. If you connect with a doctor through Certifymypet’s system, then it won’t just be any LMHP meeting with you and writing your ESA letter but an actual physician licensed in your state. While, indeed, LMHP’s of every sort are legally authorized to write and sign ESA letters, only licensed physicians can use prescriptive language: in other words, provide you with a prescription-type ESA letter. These letters are more easily recognized and quickly accepted by landlords and airline personnel, causing you even less chance of hassles or delays.

How to Recognize Fake ESA Letter?

Completing this first step to getting your animal registered as an Emotional Support Animal may seem simple enough considering the overabundance of websites selling ESA letters over the web. But purveyors of fake ESA letters exist, so you must be sure, when you obtain your ESA letter, that you are actually receiving a legitimate Emotional Support Animal letter.

Still other sites may sell actual, legitimate ESA letters, but they issue them without you ever speaking with a doctor face to face. While this may get a legitimate ESA letter into your possession quicker, and possibly cheaper, than other means, the doctor signing that letter, in truth, knows nothing about you or your animal and would be of absolutely no use to you if contacted by the airline or airport on your behalf to follow up and discuss your qualifications or any questions or concerns that may arise. For that reason, only an ESA letter from a legitimate emotional support animal registration service can give you total peace of mind that your ESA letter meets all the applicable qualifications.

Importance of Legitimate ESA Letters

Not only does misrepresenting your qualifications to have an emotional support animal violate airline and FAA regulations. In certain states, it is even against the law to do so. Currently, it is illegal in the following 24 states to falsely claim your animal is an emotional support animal.

To meet all applicable laws and regulations, your ESA letter must be signed by a licensed doctor or health care worker and your disability, while not explicitly named in the letter, must be a diagnosed mental or emotional illness, disorder or condition as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)

The Importance of Legitimate ESA Registration

As many purveyors of fake ESA letters exist, so too do many false ESA registries. Since ESA registration is not mandatory but only optional (albeit a wise and advisable option), one of the first and easiest ways to identify a fake ESA registrar is if it claims you must register your emotional support animal in order to comply with law and fly with your ESA or move into rental housing with your ESA.

Steps to Get a Legitimate ESA Letter

Register your pet in 3 Easy Steps 100% ONLINE


Discuss Your Condition with a Doctor


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Are you living in apartments
with no pet policy?

Emotional Support Animals and Service Dogs are exempt from such policies and any housing fees.

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