Steps to Register an Emotional Support Animal in NYC?

The therapeutic benefits of animals for humans’ mental health are already proven, so people in the US want to become happy ESA handlers. It’s quite easy to obtain an emotional support animal in New York, but you should know some specifics.

Is it possible to get an ESA in NYC?

You can get an emotional support animal in any state all over the US. However, each state in most legal matters refers to both federal and state laws. Therefore, before getting an ESA, it is important to read the laws of NYC, so that your emotional support dog meets all the requirements of the state.

If you are suffering from psychiatric disabilities or any mental disability like bipolar disorder or social anxiety disorder you have to contact a medical practitioner to get advice, learn about treatment options, and obtain a special recommendation letter.

It should be noted that an ESA owner has a mental illness that requires medical assistance because of the condition and that the process itself is not very difficult. The letter must be placed on a physician’s letterhead and state the disability that will allow a person to be eligible for an ESA.

ESA Registration in New York

To get an emotional support animal registered in New York state, you must first contact a licensed specialist, who will document your condition and give you a prescription. Getting an ESA letter is a lion’s share of the deal.

After contacting a therapist you can optionally register your animal in new york. The registration process usually doesn’t take much time and most websites provide their users with the necessary documents within 24 hours after registration.

Although New York state does not currently require a formal registry of emotional support dogs, still there must be steps to prove that the dog is necessary.

This is the basic information you need to know about emotional support animals in New York. If you want to learn more about the peculiarities of ESA ownership and New York laws, we recommend that you pay attention to the following article:

Letter of Certification

Regardless of the legal interpretation, it is vital that your emotional support dog is properly licensed and regulated. Without certification, you will not be able to enjoy the legal privileges of emotional support animals in any of the areas.

Of course, you can get the endorsement you need from a regular pet. But a certificate is needed so that you can live freely with your pet under one roof or, for example, take an animal to the office.

Who can write an emotional support animal letter?

Any authorized human in the state can write you an ESA letter. Since we are talking about psychic maladies, you should first consult a qualified psychologist or psychiatrist. Nevertheless, you can get a requisite document from your therapist or general medical practitioner, in some cases even a nurse and social worker can give you this certificate.

The elements of a legitimate ESA letter

A valid ESA letter in New York must indicate that the person has had several meetings with a specialist, has a confirmed fact of mental disorder, and takes medication to deal with the disturbance.

The letter must be written on state-approved letterhead with the therapist’s names and signatures. The paper also contains data on the issue without personal details and treatment successes. Information about pets can also be included in the document.

New York Rules and Protections for Emotional Support Animals

The unshakable law that applies in all states is the law on the specifics of living emotional support animals with their owners. A valid ESA can legally stay with you in a dwelling without paying any money for the animal.

New York also has a few additional protections for the pets of employees who work with ESAs. However, things get complicated here.

Workplace Accommodations

The law requires employers to provide all necessary workers with disabilities and meet their disability-related needs. If you have an emotional support animal certified by a mental health expert, you may give the document to your employer and ask the company to let you work with your furry friend. In such cases, employers should find the most appropriate solution that will be acceptable to all parties.

Employer response

Under recent New York City law, you can ask your employer to allow you to stay with ESA while working. Yet, each employer is different and may agree on whether to accept or not. Nevertheless, you can ask your employer to give you this opportunity. In most cases, companies meet the needs of their employees and allow them to be in the office with their pets, as improvement in employees’ mental health can significantly increase business productivity.

ESA and Housing in New York

According to the Fair Housing Act, landlords cannot refuse tenants who need an emotional support animal to live in a building, even though it’s no-pet housing. It is called a reasonable accommodation, which can be interpreted as certain relaxations in the volume rules to avoid discrimination against people with disabilities.

Federal law also prohibits the collection of additional fees or pet deposits for living with emotional support animals. In this case, tenants must follow certain rules and do not go beyond reasons.


Legal protections for an emotional support animal are limited, compared to the rights of service animals. Under state legislation, emotional support animals are not allowed in public areas in the manner that service animals do. Employers may also have to make the pets a safe and non-harmful environment at work because of faulty home training. Landlords may deny tenants the opportunity to have emotional support animals whose existence poses a danger to others. You can also read all about the emotional support animal laws in New York directly from ESA provider

Punishment for misrepresenting an emotional support animal

There is a specific Act, approved by the state, that criminalizes people who have false ESA letters or make forged requests for ESA documents. Due to the fact that most requests are now sent online, some people get tangled up in online scams. It considers the crime as a criminal offense and carries strict consequences against it; various penalties were taken there.