How to Instantly Register a Service Dog in New York State

service dog in new york

A recent survey from the New York State Department of Health found that in the State of New York, approximately 1 in 5 adults (or over 3 million people) suffer from a disability. Among the many ways to deal and treat disabilities, many choose to utilize a service dog in New York.

Service Dog in New York Definition

Under the ADA, a service dog is a dog in New York that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Pursuant to the ADA, business and public establishments may not discriminate against anyone due to a disability, which includes those who utilize service dogs to assist with their disabilities.  This includes all realms of establishments, including:

  • Movie Theatres and Arenas
  • Restaurants and Bars
  • Hotels
  • Public transportation and taxis
  • Shopping Malls

How do I Register a Service Dog in New York?

New York does not have any mandatory registration identification requirements, however we always recommended possessing a digital ID at the very minimum in order avoid getting into disputes with third parties about the validity of the service dog’s registration. Any dog that meets the ADAs definition of a service dog, is by law, a true and valid service dog in New York. Accordingly, any dog that has been individually trained to perform a specific task to assist someone living with a disability is a service dog.

Like many states, New York also has a fake service dog law in place which prohibits anyone from knowingly representing a non-service dog as a service dog.

We’ve distilled the requirements of how your dog can become a service dog in New York as follows:

  1. Identify the right service dog for your disability
  2. Ensure proper training
  3. Registering and certifying your service dog
service dog in new york sitting on a stoop.

Step 1: Identify the right service dog for your disability

While any dog breed is eligible to be a service dog in New York, certain breeds have characteristics and instincts that allow them to excel at specific tasks. New York allows service dogs to assist individuals who suffer from psychiatric disabilities. Such disabilities include:

  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • OCD
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance Abuse and Addiction
  • Eating Disorders

Service dogs can assist those suffering with psychiatric disabilities through numerous tasks such as tactile stimulation, blocking in public spaces, assisting with taking medication and many more physical and emotional tasks.

Step 2: Ensure Proper Training

This is the most important step in having your dog become a service dog. Training and temperament are the key aspects and markers of a service dog. New York does not issue or require any formal training certifications. This aspect of the process is completely self-regulated by the community.

Step 3: Registering and Certifying Your Service Dog in New York

There is no official registry for service dogs in New York and service dog certificates are not a formal requirement. Any service dog registry claiming to be government operated or sanctioned is simply false information.  Business operators and government officials cannot legally require proof of registration, training or licensing as a condition to enter their establishment where the public is permitted.

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?

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. 

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.

Where Are Service Dogs Permitted in New York

New York 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.

In addition, business are not permitted to charge additional fees for service dogs. For example, hotels may not charge additional fees for individuals when they are accompanied by a service dog. However, individuals are ultimately responsible for any damage caused by their service dogs, and may be required to pay for any associated costs.

Emotional Support Animals in New York

If your disability does not rise to certain thresholds or if your dog is not specifically trained to perform a specific task, you may be eligible to register your dog as an ESA. ESAs are officially recognized as assistance animals, however they do not get the same access of service dogs. That being said, there are many tangible benefits to registering an ESA, such as being able to travel to hotels without extra fees. ESAs are also permitted to live in buildings that do not otherwise allow pets.

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