Service Dog in New Jersey: A Step-by-Step Guide to Registering Your Companion

Service Dog in New Jersey

Having a Service Dog in New Jersey can greatly enhance the life of a person with a disability by providing them with essential assistance. If you live in New Jersey and need the help of a service dog, you have the right to bring your Service Dog in New Jersey to almost any public place. A Service Dog in New Jersey is allowed to accompany their handlers in most places where anyone else can go, with few exceptions such as sterile hospital environments where their presence could pose a risk to public health and safety. Furthermore, any breed is eligible to become a service dog at any age.

Definition of a Service Dog in New Jersey

A Service Dog in New Jersey is defined in the Americans with disabilities Act (ADA) as a dog that is individually trained to do work, or perform tasks for a person with a disability. “Work” or “tasks” means to take a specific action when required to assist its handler with their disability in question Under the ADA, public places may not discriminate against people with disabilities who utilize service dogs to assist them. A Service Dog in New Jersey is permitted in all public areas, including but not limited to:

  • Movie theaters and arenas
  • Restaurants and bars
  • Hotels
  • Public transportation and taxis
  • Shopping malls

According to New Jersey law, It is unlawful to deny full and equal access to a person with a disability simply because he or she is accompanied by a Service Dog in New Jersey or guide dog.

Registering a Service Dog in New Jersey

Although there is no requirement for service dogs to be formally registered in New Jersey, many handlers opt to carry identification to prevent disagreements with others who may doubt the legitimacy of their service dog. According to federal law, any dog that fulfills the ADA’s definition of a service dog is considered to be a genuine service dog. Therefore, a dog that has been specifically trained to perform tasks to aid someone with a disability may be recognized as a service dog.

The process to register is straightforward, just follow these three steps:

  1. Identify the right service dog for your disability
  2. Ensure proper training
  3. Register and certify your service dog

Step 1: Identify the Right Service Dog for Your Disability

Although any dog breed can serve as a service dog, certain breeds possess unique traits and instincts that make them better suited for particular tasks. Service dogs can be trained to support people living with psychiatric disabilities such as:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • OCD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance abuse and addiction
  • Eating disorders

Do I qualify for a support dog?

Take the support dog certification quiz now and you'll gain a better understanding of the type of assistance you require and the potential benefits of having a service dog registration or an emotional support animal registration.

Step 2: Ensure Proper Training

Training and temperament are critical markers of a service dog.  Formal training certifications are not required, so this aspect of the process is self-regulated by the community. You can receive professional training or self-train your service dog but it is important to understand that professional training is not required.

Step 3: Registration and Certification for Your Service Dog in New Jersey

There is no government-mandated registry for service dogs in the United States or New Jersey, and possessing a service dog certificate is not obligatory. Any registry claiming to be government-affiliated is likely fraudulent. By law, business owners and government officials are not authorized to demand evidence of registration, training, or licensing as a prerequisite for entry into public establishments.

The only two questions that are permissible for you to be asked about your service dog are:

  1. Is the animal required because of a disability?
  2. What task has the animal been trained to perform?

If the task your dog is trained to perform is extremely obvious, then these questions may not be required to be ask.

Once you confirm the above, businesses must make reasonable accommodations. Unfortunately, many businesses that interact with the public are unfamiliar with the laws surrounding service animals and insist on receiving physical proof of service dog registration.

As a matter of convenience and to ensure proper access as intended by the ADA, many service dog handlers choose to voluntarily register their dogs as service dogs and carry a digital ID card and/or certificate with them. This can prevent uncomfortable situations or confusion when interacting with staff at public establishments. 

Service dogs should also always be easily identifiable as such by the use physical markers such as bandanas or collars so that the public can quickly confirm service dog status without having to interact directly with a handler

Where Are Service Dog in New Jersey Permitted?

State and Federal laws states that business are required to allow service dogs in the same areas that the general public is permitted. The only exceptions to this are situations where there is a risk to public health that outweighs the individual benefits received from the service dog. The state of New Jersey also provides that service dogs in training are provided with the same access rights as service dogs.

Although a person with a service or guide dog cannot be required to pay extra for having a service or guide dog on the premises, they can be held liable for any damage that the dog causes to the premises.

Emotional Support Dog In New Jersey

Emotional Support Animals are also not considered to be Service Animals. However, ESAs are included under the Fair Housing Act’s definition of assistance animals, and accordingly may permitted to live in buildings where landlords do not otherwise allow pets for no additional fees.

If someone is eligible for an Emotional Support Animal, they may be entitled to reasonable accommodations, such as being exempt from a “no pets” policy or size and weight restrictions. Nonetheless, a housing provider may set practical requirements on approvals for these animals, such as ensuring that they are supervised while on the premises or that the occupant or someone else is responsible for cleaning up after them.

Register your support dog online now to receive your instant Service Dog Registration, Service Dog certificate and Service Dog Certification Documents or Register your Emotional Support Animal for ESA Registration, ESA  Certification and Emotional Support Animal Certificate Documents