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Legitimate ESA Certification: 10 Things You Need to Know Before Getting One in 2023

Legitimate ESA Certification

You know what’s better than a furry little companion that’ll snuggle up with you on the couch? A furry little companion that’ll snuggle up with you on the couch AND help you manage your mental health! That’s right, folks, we’re talking about Emotional Support Animals (ESAs).

ESAs have been gaining popularity in recent years for their ability to provide comfort and support to people struggling with mental health conditions. But with this growing popularity comes a need for legitimate certification.

In this blog post, we’re going to cover 10 things you need to know before getting a legitimate ESA certification.

What is a Legitimate ESA Certification?

First things first, let’s define what constitutes a legitimate ESA certification.

Legitimate certification comes in the form of an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional. This letter must include the professional’s licensing information and signature, as well as a mention of the individual’s need for an ESA due to a mental health condition.

The process of obtaining an ESA letter involves a mental health assessment from a licensed professional, during which the individual’s need for an ESA is evaluated. If deemed necessary, the professional will provide the individual with an ESA letter.

It’s important to note that there are many scams out there claiming to offer ESA certification for a fee. These scams often provide illegitimate certifications that will not hold up in legal situations. Stick to obtaining an ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional like us to ensure its legitimacy.

10 Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Legitimate ESA Certification

If you’re looking to get a legitimate ESA certification, there are definitely a few things you need to know before diving in.

First off, don’t just Google “ESA certification” and click on the first link that pops up – you might end up with a fake certificate and a lighter wallet.

Second, it’s important to understand what exactly constitutes a legitimate certification and what protections it provides.

And finally, if you’re going to go through the trouble of getting an ESA certification, make sure it’s a legit one so you can take your furry friend with you on a plane or keep them in your apartment without any issues.

Speaking of which, if you’re looking for a legit ESA certification site with excellent customer service and all the perks, I highly recommend checking out Service Paws USA. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

How to Choose a Reputable Online Service for ESA Certification?

Legitimate ESA Certification

Now, you may be wondering why we’re talking about online services when we just stressed the importance of obtaining an ESA letter from a licensed professional. While it’s true that obtaining certification from a licensed professional is the most legitimate route, there are many online services that offer the same service. The key is to choose a reputable online service.

So, how do you identify a reputable online service for ESA certification?

Start by checking reviews and asking for recommendations from trusted sources. Make sure the service requires proof of a mental health condition before providing certification. And always remember that a legitimate ESA letter will come from a licensed mental health professional.

What ESA sites are legit?

Legitimate ESA Certification

It’s important to ensure that you’re getting a legitimate ESA certification so that you can enjoy the benefits that come with it.

Now, to answer your question, there are a few sites out there that offer legitimate ESA certifications, but in my opinion, the best one out there is Service Paws USA. Let me tell you why.

First of all, Service Paws USA offers excellent customer service. They truly care about their clients and make sure that they get the support they need. Their team of professionals is always ready to answer any questions and concerns you may have throughout the process.

Secondly, Service Paws USA offers numerous advantages. With their ESA certification, you’ll be able to fly with your pet without any additional fees or hassle. You’ll also be able to keep your pet in any accommodation, even if the establishment has a no-pet policy. And the best part is that you won’t have to pay any deposit for your pet.

Thirdly, Service Paws USA is compliant with both the Fair Housing Act (FHA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). This means that you’ll have the legal protection you need when it comes to housing and air travel.

Finally, Service Paws USA provides you with an ESA letter from a licensed therapist. This ensures that your certification is legitimate and recognized by housing providers and airlines.

In summary, if you’re looking for a legitimate ESA certification, I highly recommend Service Paws USA. They offer excellent customer service, numerous advantages, are FHA and ACAA compliant, and provide you with a legitimate ESA letter from a licensed therapist.

Understanding the Lack of Official Certification Requirements for ESAs

Contrary to popular belief, there is no official certification requirement for emotional support animals. This means that any animal can technically be considered an ESA as long as it provides comfort and support to an individual with a mental health condition.

However, just because there’s no official certification requirement doesn’t mean that an ESA letter isn’t necessary. In fact, without a legitimate ESA letter, people may face challenges when it comes to accessing ESA accommodations.

Another important aspect to consider when choosing an online service for ESA certification is the level of customer support they provide. You want to make sure that if you have any questions or concerns, there is a reliable customer service team available to help you. Reputable online services should offer multiple channels of communication such as email, phone, or live chat support.

It is also important to note that there is no official certification requirement for emotional support animals. An ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional is sufficient to qualify for ESA accommodations. However, it is crucial to ensure that your ESA letter is legitimate and meets all the necessary requirements.


Now, let’s tackle some frequently asked questions regarding ESAs:

What is the difference between a service animal and an ESA?

A service animal is trained to perform specific tasks for individuals with disabilities, such as guiding a blind person or alerting a person with epilepsy of an oncoming seizure. Service animals are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and have full access rights to public spaces. ESAs, on the other hand, are not trained to perform specific tasks and do not have the same access rights as service animals. However, ESAs are protected under the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Access Act.

Can any animal be an ESA?

Any animal can technically be an ESA, but certain animals may be more suitable for the role than others. Dogs and cats are the most commonly used animals for ESAs due to their social nature and ability to provide comfort. However, other animals such as rabbits, birds, or even reptiles can also be used as ESAs.

Can my landlord deny my ESA even with a legitimate ESA certification?

While landlords cannot deny individuals with legitimate ESA certification, they can require certain documentation and may place restrictions on the animal’s size and breed.

Is an ESA letter valid for air travel?

Yes, an ESA letter is valid for air travel under the Air Carrier Access Act.

What is the best emotional support dog?

There is no “best” emotional support dog breed because different breeds can provide different benefits depending on the needs of the individual. Many breeds, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Corgis, Great Pyrenees, Standard Poodles, Beagles, American Staffordshire Terriers, Golden Retrievers, Yorkshire Terriers, and Irish Setters, are commonly recommended for emotional support. It is critical to select a dog that fits your lifestyle and personality, as well as to consult with a professional to determine whether an emotional support animal is right for you.

How do I get an ESA letter in Florida?

In order to obtain an ESA letter in Florida, you must first obtain a signed letter from a licensed mental health professional or physician confirming your need for a support animal. You can find licensed professionals who can provide this service online. In Florida, the Fair Housing Act protects people who have emotional support animals, so you cannot be evicted or charged extra for having one.

Who can write an ESA letter in Texas?

A recommendation letter from a licensed therapist, doctor, or social worker is required in Texas to obtain an ESA letter.

Is it OK to get ESA letter online?

Yes, a valid ESA letter can be obtained online through a licensed professional. While there are some scams to avoid, obtaining an ESA letter online is just as legitimate as meeting with someone in person. However, make certain that the website or service you use is reputable, and that the professional providing the letter is licensed and qualified to do so.

What is the best way to get an ESA letter?

To obtain an ESA letter, you should first speak with a licensed mental health professional or doctor in your state. A psychologist, psychiatrist, counselor, social worker, registered nurse, physician’s assistant, or other licensed professional who is familiar with your mental and emotional health can be included. Service Paws USA and ESA Pet are two reputable online services that provide ESA letters.


In conclusion, obtaining a legitimate ESA certification is important for people with mental health conditions who require emotional support animals. When choosing an online service for ESA certification, it is crucial to do your research and choose a reputable provider that meets all the necessary requirements.

Remember, there is no official certification requirement for ESAs, but having a legitimate ESA letter from a licensed mental health professional can help protect your legal rights and ensure you have access to necessary accommodations. If you do face challenges with landlords or airlines despite having a legitimate ESA certification, it is important to know your rights and seek out resources and advice to help you navigate the situation.

If you liked this blog article about the ESA Verification, don’t forget to leave us a comment down below to tell us about your experience.

Elisa Steffes

Elisa Steffes

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An emotional support animal, or ESA, is an animal companion that provides comfort and support to someone suffering from a mental or emotional disability such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or a phobia. Emotional support animals and their owners have certain protections under federal and state laws. Landlords, Co-Ops, HOAs, and other housing providers must allow tenants to live with their ESAs free of charge, even if the building has a policy banning pets.

To have a valid emotional support animal, you must be in possession of a recommendation letter from a licensed health care professional (sometimes also referred to as a “licensed mental health professional” or “LMHP”). The ESA letter will establish that you have a disability and that an emotional support animal alleviates symptoms of that disability. Under federal law, this is the only legitimate way to qualify an animal companion as an emotional support animal.

A valid ESA letter is the only documentation you need in order to qualify an emotional support animal. Landlords cannot ask for a certificate, registration, license or ID, or insist that your ESA wear a vest. These items do not confer any legal status on emotional support animals. Some ESA owners use such items as tools to signal that their animal companion is an ESA, but they are not mandatory and do not function in lieu of an ESA letter as valid forms of proof for an ESA. There is also no need to register your ESA in a database or registry.

No, ESAs do not have an automatic legal right to be in grocery stores, restaurants, and hotels that prohibit animals. ESA owners have the legal right to be accompanied by their animal companion in their home pursuant to the Fair Housing Act. Only ADA service animals trained to perform tasks (such as seeing-eye dogs for the blind) have public access rights in places like grocery stores and restaurants. Some establishments such as hotels are not obligated by law to accommodate ESAs but will do so anyway as a courtesy. It is best to check with the hotel or other businesses to see if they have a policy regarding emotional support animals.

No, ESAs are not a scam. Regrettably, there is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on the internet when it comes to emotional support animals that puts an undeserved cloud over legitimate ESA owners and service companies. Contrary to some myths, there is a developed regulatory framework surrounding emotional support animals in the United States. ESAs are protected by federal laws and government agencies which enforce those laws. There are specific legal requirements that ESA owners must adhere to in order to obtain accommodation under law for their animal companion. Legitimate owners of emotional support animals must have documentation in the form of a recommendation letter from a licensed healthcare provider. Housing providers have the right to demand an ESA letter from the tenant before accommodating an ESA request.

There are also many legitimate emotional support animal services online such as You should proceed with caution with any website that promises that their certification, registration, license or ID will immediately qualify your pet as an emotional support animal. Websites that are not scams will instead connect you to a healthcare professional who is licensed for your state. That professional will conduct an independent assessment of whether an ESA is right for you and issue an ESA letter only if they determine that you qualify. Legitimate ESA companies online cannot guarantee to instantly qualify an emotional support animal, since that determination must come from an independent licensed professional after evaluating the client.


A psychiatric service dog (or PSD) is a type of service dog that has been individually trained to perform tasks relating to a handler’s mental, emotional or learning disability. Psychiatric service dogs have the same rights as other types of service dogs which assist handlers with physical disabilities. Service dogs have special access rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act and Air Carrier Access Act. They are allowed to accompany their owners in the home, on-flights and in places where members of the public are generally allowed to go.

A psychiatric service dog is not the same thing as an ESA. The primary difference between a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support animal is that a PSD must be fully trained to perform tasks relating to a disability. A PSD in training does not yet qualify as a service dog. In contrast, ESAs are not required to have any specialized training. ESAs primarily provide comfort to their owners just through their presence and companionship. An ESA also requires a letter of recommendation from a licensed healthcare professional.

PSDs and ESAs also differ in terms of their access rights. ESAs have the right to live with their owners free of charge (even in buildings that prohibit pets) under federal Fair Housing laws and various state laws. PSDs have greater access rights under the ADA and ACAA – they can board flights as well as places generally open to the public like stores.

The other major difference between ESAs and PSDs is that an ESA can be a wide range of animals but a psychiatric service animal can only be a dog.

In order to qualify for a PSD, the handler must have a mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. That can include things like depression, anxiety, PTSD, phobias, learning disorders and autism. A licensed healthcare professional is best suited to determine whether you have a qualifying condition.

Under new rules that went into effect in January of 2021, PSDs can board the cabin free of charge as long as the handler submits the Department of Transportation’s Service Animal Transportation Form prior to boarding the flight. The form requires the handler to self-certify that their animal is a trained psychiatric service dog. It also requires information regarding the dog’s trainer (which can be the handler) and veterinarian. Only the handler is required to sign the form.

The ADA allows for service animals to be trained by the handler or through a professional. If the handler is confident and capable of training their psychiatric service dog, they are allowed to do so. It is not necessary to use any organization or professional trainer, although those alternatives may be useful for owners who are not experienced in training dogs.