Want to enroll in our comprehensive and complete Assistance Animal Laws online course?


Here is a list of frequently asked questions:

Q: What happens after payment of the $38.87 registration fee?

A: Once PayPal processes your payment, PayPal will show you a payment confirmation page. Be sure to click the “Return to Merchant” button on the PayPal page and PayPal will forward you to the next step in the process, which is the page where you will enter the name of the registrant, the animal’s name, and the animal’s breed. If you lost your internet connection, closed out of your browser before completing your registration, or had trouble with using your computer, please contact us and someone will respond within 48 hours to personally assist you.

Q: Will my name be publicly listed on an open online registry?

A: No. To preserve the privacy of registry members, there is no public listing or directory of registrants. However, if a landlord, business owner, or other person submits a Registration Confirmation Request, and supplies the registrant name, animal name, and animal breed, and a copy of that animal’s SARC certificate, that requester will receive confirmation of whether such certificate is authentic, and whether that registration exists and is valid. Therefore, only people who have this information may confirm a registration. Typically, only parties to whom you have shown a copy of your registration certificate or parties close to you would have this information. This is how the validity of a certificate may be verified by third parties, to prevent fraud and abuse.

Q: May my Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal live with me even if I live in “no-pet” rental housing?

A: Yes. Disabled owners are entitled to have their Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals live with them even if the landlord has a “no pet” policy. Visit these two pages on the SARC website for more information about a landlord’s obligations and a disabled person’s rights under federal law: (1) A Landlord’s Legal Guide to Service Animal and Emotional Support and Assistance Animal Laws, and (2) HUD Notice April 2013.

Q: Does my Service Animal or Emotional Support Animal need to wear any special tag, vest, or other accessory to designate status?

A: No. Under law, there is no requirement for any such gear. All such gear is optional. If you wish to purchase such accessories, you may do so by clicking here, but it is purely optional.

Q: Will my registration certificate allow my animal to fly with me on airline travel?

A: If your animal is a Service Animal, then the registration certificate is sufficient for the airline to grant you access. In fact, all the airline can require is your verbal assurance and explanation about your animal’s status. However, most passengers prefer showing a registration certificate as a short-cut, rather than making a verbal statement where other passengers at the check-in or terminal counter might overhear the exchange between you and airline personnel. So having a registration certificate is a good way to potentially preserve more privacy, by giving you a way to be more discreet with respect to your need for your animal’s service. The above applies for Service Animals. If your animal is an Emotional Support Animal rather than a Service Animal, the rules are different. You would also need to submit a letter from your mental health doctor to document your emotional or mental health issue. See the article posted here for more information.

Q: Do I need to renew my registration?

A: Unlike many other registries, the Service Animal Registry of California issues lifetime registration, valid for the life of the registered animal. There is no renewal action required. if your animal passes away, you will need a new registration if you obtain a new animal.

Q: I was asked to leave a location or was denied access to housing. What next?

A: A service animal and an emotional support animal can be asked to leave a location if their behavior endangers others or is a nuisance, such as barking at other restaurant guests or biting people. One of the requirements is that the animal be well trained and behaved. This is a grey area because an animal’s behavior is open to interpretation depending on each person’s perception. You also have the issue of “he said, she said.” When you order your registration certificate, you will also receive a general letter you can give to a landlord or business. If you are still denied access, you might have to resort to legal help. See if there is a Legal Aid office in your city. Legal Aid often hosts free legal clinics for tenants where you might be able to find a no-cost attorney to advise you on your options if the landlord or business owner continues to be difficult.

Q: Is this only valid in California?

A: The registration is valid in all 50 states, and the registration certificate will state so at the bottom. It states that your animal is registered as a service animal and/or emotional support animal as defined under nationwide Federal and/or California state law. For example, service dogs are defined the same way nationwide, so that a service dog in California would have the same treatment under federal law in Florida or any other state, because federal law is above any individual state’s laws.

However, keep in mind that most landlords and business owners want to support access and uphold the law. They may not be experts in the exact differences between state laws, so most will defer to you when you present a registration certificate, no matter which state you are in, especially if you are polite, firm, and explain what you need as far as access or accommodation.

Registration is NOT a federal or state requirement. It is optional. As an owner of a service animal, no one can demand documentation in order to accommodate you in housing or business access. An optional registration is simply a handy way of short-cutting the process and shortening the potential conversations you might have with landlords and business owners. Many do not know they cannot demand documentation, so rather than argue with the landlord or business owner about the law, it is easiest to hand over a copy of a registration certificate. For many, it will not matter which registry you are registered with, or which state you registered in, as long as you have something the landlord or business owner can add to their file to explain why they granted you access or housing despite a no-animal general policy.


The Service Animal Registry of California aims to promote education, access, and equality by providing owners of service animals and/or emotional support animals with a low-cost way of registering your animal’s status. 

Want to enroll in our comprehensive and complete Assistance Animal Laws online course?



4 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. Sherri Wall shared a link on her FaceBook Timeline page…48 minutes ago

    This is the “best” website with regard to Registrations for Service and Support Animals. If you or somebody that you know; have an animal that qualifies as being an Emotional Support to you for a disability you may be suffering with; then read this informative site and save the hundreds of dollars that all others want to cheat you out of… For less than $40 you can register up to two animals at the same time provided they are the support animal for the same owner/handler. And you get your certificate at the same moment your payment is sent over the internet!! I am a believer because I am a very pleased customer in the professionalism and the ease of use. On scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Super Duper… I rate this firm and their website as number 11… Off the top of the scales is what I experienced in how fast, easy, and Sit was for me to make certain my Special “Sancho” never has to worry about being left alone or out in the cold; for now he can travel and follow wherever it Is that we go… Thank you Service Animal Registry of California (SARC).

  2. “Only service dogs trained in accordance with the ADA are allowed on the patio” this was posted at a restaurant we want to bring our service dog too. Does your certificate meet this criterion?

Leave a Reply to Merle A. Alban Cancel reply