ESLetterDoctor.com is committed to the full protection and confidentiality of all patient information in compliance with Federal Laws. Your privacy is our first concern. There are only certain circumstances under which we may be contacted regarding your letter. Pursuant to C.F.R. § 164.506 airlines are permitted to verify the authenticity of your prescription if they choose (in reality, this rarely happens). In addition, The Fair Housing Amendment Act does allows a property manager to confirm the tenant's mental/emotional/psychiatric disability by requesting a prescription letter verification form be completed by the issuing professional. However, in either circumstance, we are not permitted to nor will any other personal information be revealed without your express written consent. We will NOT release treatment information including dates of service, symptoms or diagnosis(es). We require any such forms to be scanned and emailed to the email address of the doctor you receive your letter from. This is to protect your privacy rights under HIPAA. Additionally, we do NOT ask for or collect personal credit information such as social security numbers or driver's license numbers.
ESA's are afforded Protected Status under federal law as codified below
From the Code of Federal Regulations:
C.F.R. § 382.117
(e) If a passenger seeks to travel with an animal that is used as an emotional support or psychiatric service animal, you are not required to accept the animal for transportation in the cabin unless the passenger provides you current documentation (i.e., no older than one year from the date of the passengers scheduled initial flight) on the letterhead of a licensed mental health professional including a medical doctor specifically treating the passenger’s mental or emotional disability (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed clinical social worker) stating the following:
(1) The passenger has a mental or emotional disability recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - Fifth Edition (DSM-5);
2) The passenger needs the emotional support or psychiatric service animal as an accommodation for air travel and/or for activity at the passenger’s destination;
(3) The individual providing the assessment is a licensed mental health professional, and the passenger is under his or her professional care; and
(4) The date and type of the mental health professional’s license and the state or other jurisdiction in which it was issued.
(f) You are never required to accommodate certain unusual service animals (e.g., snakes, other reptiles, ferrets, rodents, and spiders) as service animals in the cabin. With respect to all other animals, including unusual or exotic animals that are presented as service animals (e.g., miniature horses, pigs, monkeys), as a carrier you must determine whether any factors preclude their traveling in the cabin as service animals (e.g., whether the animal is too large or heavy to be accommodated in the cabin, whether the animal would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others, whether it would cause a significant disruption of cabin service, whether it would be prohibited from entering a foreign country that is the flight’s destination). If no such factors preclude the animal from traveling in the cabin, you must permit it to do so. However, as a foreign carrier, you are not required to carry service animals other than dogs.
(g) Whenever you decide not to accept an animal as a service animal, you must explain the reason for your decision to the passenger and document it in writing. A copy of the explanation must be provided to the passenger either at the airport, or within 10 calendar days of the incident.
48 Hour Advance Notice
C.F.R. § 382.27(c) You may require a passenger with a disability to provide up to 48 hours' advance notice and check in one hour before the check-in time for the general public to receive the following services and accommodations. The services listed in paragraphs (c)(1) through (c)(3) of this section are optional; you are not required to provide them, but you may choose to do so.
(#8) Transportation of an emotional support or psychiatric service animal in the cabin;
C.F.R. § 382.27(g) If a passenger does not meet advance notice or check-in requirements you establish consistent with this section, you must still provide the service or accommodation if you can do so by making reasonable efforts, without delaying the flight.
Confirming A Prescription
Airlines are permitted to retain a copy of the prescription for validation purposes pursuant to C.F.R. §164.50
Public Access Test for Emotional Support Animals
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Air Carrier Access Act, and Fair Housing Act, your emotional support animal (ESA) does not need any specific training. However, it must be sufficiently trained as to be manageable in public and controlled by you, its handler. Your ESA should be clean, in good health and up-to-date with all vaccinations at all times. If your ESA is unsanitary, unmangeable, disruptive to other's well-being or a danger to another's health or safety, it can be denied access or removed from a flight or housing accommodation. Your Emotional Support Animal should be reliably able to:
For health and safety reasons, it is recommended that you have your Emotional Support Animal evaluated for fitness to serve by a professional trainer. Some animals may find the role of emotional support animal to be too stressful, and in such cases the emotional and/or physical health of the animal can be negatively impacted. When considering whether an animal can provide emotional support for individuals with emotional and psychiatric disabilities, the welfare of the animal must be the first priority. In addition, to avoid unneccesary complications, you should always be prepared to show documentation of your animal's vaccination or other records, and any required registration(s).
PLEASE NOTE: ESALetterDoctor.com makes no designation as to the specific animal an individual can or should use as their ESA, no representation of that animal's fitness to serve, and assumes no liability for any actions of the ESA AND/or their handler UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. ESALETTERDOCTOR.COM also accepts no responsibility for the approval or denial of privileges or access for any emotional service animal. Submission of payment and your evaluation constitutes acceptance of these terms.