Our Services and Mission
We are a free, voluntary, non-governmental, privacy-conscious and secure Service and Assistance Dog registry. We have been developed to help provide free self-identification — online and offline — for disabled individuals who qualify under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to use a Service or Assistance Dog.
We believe that Service and Assistance Dog teams have the right to a free self-identification service. Identification is especially important for disabled individuals who use a Service or Assistance Dog to help with invisible disabilities such as deafness, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and other conditions that may not be immediately apparent to others. While Service Dog owners are allowed to verbally state their animal is a Service Animal for public access, many individuals find that identification, while not required by law, can help minimize discrimination and reduce access issues while keeping disability information private.
We do not certify or authorize anyone to use a Service Animal — nor is certification required by law. The privilege to use a Service or Assistance Animal is granted, under the law, by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and local governments.
Our focus is twofold. (1) To provide a form of self-identification (the equivalent of providing a cape or vest for a Service Dog) for those who qualify under the ADA to use a Service or Assistance Dog while helping encourage education, training and exemplary behavior and (2) provide method for Registrants to formally state that they understand what is involved with training and using a Service or Assistance Animal; how important their behavior, and that of their Service or Assistance Dog, is to the general public and other Service and Assistance Animal teams; the legal definition of a Service or Assistance Animal; the Minimum Training Standards for a Service or Assistance Animal; what is involved with a Public Access Test and to accept our Terms and Conditions.
What does Registration mean?
We're an extra step that goes above and beyond the law. Under the law it is not required that Service and Assistance Dog teams show or have identification in the form of a vest, special harness, training certificate or registration. Nor is it required that animals are officially trained, certified or registered with any state, federal or independent organization.
We hope to help reduce the number of people abusing the ADA by requiring our Registrants to understand that intentionally misrepresenting an animal as Service or Assistance Animal for any reason is not only unethical, it is also illegal and may be punishable by fines or imprisonment. All of our Registrants are required pass through our Educational Gateway and read and accept the following:
- - What is involved with training and using a Service or Assistance Animal
- - How important their behavior, and that of their Service or Assistance Dog, is to the general public and other Service and Assistance Animal teams
- - The definition of a Service or Assistance Animal
- - The Minimum Training Standards for a Service or Assistance Animal
- - What is involved with a Public Access Test
- - Our Terms and Conditions
Individuals are able to obtain identification in three ways:
- Individuals may choose to keep their disability private by not using a dog vest, ID card or specialty harness. They may provide their free 10 digit ID code only when needed to allow for their registration to be easily viewed online through their Public Profile page.
- Individuals may make their own identification materials and refer back to their Public Profile page by using the free 10 digit code the USSDR provides.
- Individuals may purchase the professional identification materials we provide.
- A Registry Must Be Free In order to keep the registry open to all, free registration is imperative. Registration is conducted under the honor system and any individual found to violate our Terms and Conditions (which includes misrepresentation of a Service or Assistance Animal) will be expelled from our registry.
- A Registry Must Be Voluntary No one is required to participate in the registry, and we realize registries aren't for everyone. We welcome all Service and Assistance Dogs and handlers regardless of disability, certification levels, training methods or other affiliations. Please note that Service and Assistance Dogs in training are not recognized by all states. It is your responsibility to learn about and abide by the laws in your state.
- A Registry Must Be Secure and Private The information individuals provide must be kept secure and private at all times. We do not share any personal information with any government agency or any private entity.
- A Registry Must Not Be a Certification Process There are many different types of Service and Assistance Dogs, and each one fulfills a very specific and personal need for its owner. While there are guidelines (qualifying animals must be individually trained to to provide assistance to an individual with a disability) there are not universal standards. Additionally, under the law it would be illegal for us to create and impose standards. The United States Service Dog Registry is not a certification process and Registrant data is based solely on the assertions of the dog owner. Registrants accept full responsibility for the accuracy of their information, their own conduct and the conduct of their animals. Please read our Terms and Conditions. We provide no benefits or protection for our Registrants, legal or otherwise. Protection and benefits are granted by the ADA and local governments.
- A Registry Must Be Independent and Non-Governmental The USSDR is not affiliated with any government agency, Assistance or Service Dog organization.
Why should I self-register my Service Dog?
There are many reasons why you should register your Service Dog. While it isn’t required by law that your dog be registered or certified, registering with the United States Service Dog Registry has many valuable benefits.
- Identification Registering with United States Service Dog Registry identifies you and your dog as service dog and handler eligible for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
- Acceptance When traveling, proper documentation for your Service Dog can speed along check-in airport, airlines, hotels, restaurants, theaters, and other establishments.
- Emergencies and Disasters In the case of a disaster, pets are not always admitted into shelters, but Service Dogs are. Registering here can help officially authenticate you and your dog.
- Public Awareness Many people in the general public do not understand the ADA protection afforded to service animals or the many ways they assist. The United States Service Dog Registry offers a registration process and documentation materials which can be used to educate the public as you are out and about with your dog. The unique registration look-up feature is a simple way to provide others with an official third-party validation of you and your dog.
- Inclusion The United States Service Dog Registry welcomes all Assistance Dogs and handlers regardless of certification levels, training methods or other affiliations. We provide free Service Dog registration, which is really the only fair way to make this service available to everyone.
- Free There is absolutely no charge to register with United States Service Dog Registry.
What is a Service Dog?
The United States Department of Justice defines a Service Animal through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal specifically trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability. If an animal meets this definition, it is considered a Service Animal regardless of whether they have been licensed or certified by a state or local government. Please visit the Delta Society for more information on Service Dogs.
Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. Guide dogs, used by some individuals who are blind, are the most well known type of Service Dog. Other specific terms for specialized service dogs include Signal Dogs for the deaf or hearing impaired, Mobility Assistance Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and Psychiatric Service Dogs. The terms “Service Dog,” “Service Animal” and “Assistance Dog” all mean the same.
Service Dogs can benefit people with disabilities associated with many diagnoses, including:
• Ataxia (poor balance)
• Blindness or Impaired Vision
• Deafness or Impaired Hearing
• Cardio/Pulmonary Disease
• Cerebral Palsy
• Physical mobility Issues
• Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.)
• Psychiatric Disabilities
• Seizure Disorders (Epilepsy)
• Severe Allergy Alert
• Spina Bifida
• Spinal Cord/Head Trauma
In short, any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity might be a candidate for a Service Dog. Please note that Therapy Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Forensic Dogs, Police K-9's, Military Working Dogs and other types of working dogs are NOT Service Dogs and under no circumstances may be registered with the US Service Dog Registry.
How do I self-register my Service Dog?
Self-registering your Service Dog is an easy process that only takes a few minutes. We’ll ask a few questions on our secure server about you and your dog. You’ll even be able to upload a photo of you and your dog if you wish. When you are all done you will be assigned a 10 digit ID number that you can give out to whomever you choose so your registration can be verified. For your privacy, the only way for people to view your profile is by entering the ID number you provided them.
Registrant data is based on assertions by the dog owners. The USSDR can not confirm or certify information provided by the registrants. Service Dog certification is not required by the ADA law. Use of this website, your 10 Digit ID Code, any items from our Archival Documentation Package, cards you make up for yourself are subject to our full Terms and Conditions. Please note that misrepresenting any animal as a Service or Assistance Animal (in any way, either by simply verbally claiming an animal is a service animal, wearing a Service Animal vest or cape, using a special harness, leash, tags or by any other means—including using this Registry) is a crime and may be punishable by law. See our Terms and Conditions for details.