Service Dog Laws in New York

dog with sunflower

Following are some of the service dog laws in New York. These are state laws that apply to all jurisdictions within the states boundary including New York City  (Manhattan). While it is not mandatory in the state to carry a certificate or credentials when utilizing a service dog, it is still highly recommended that you look into service dog certification.

Housing and employment opportunities are covered in the general provisions of New York state law concerning disabled people. Basically, any person making a decision on the disabled individuals preferred place of residence or place of employment, cannot deny the disabled person a home or job solely due to the need to be accompanied by a service dog. The same holds true for them being allowed in a public accommodation of any kind. The service dog handler is, however, responsible for any actual damages caused by the animal whether it be in a place of residence, employment or a public venue. This is where obedience instruction as part of service dog certification would be beneficial. New York law states that all contract and common carriers of passengers by motor vehicles, must allow a disabled individual to be accompanied by a properly harnessed service dog with no additional charge being required.

Any person or legal entity, public or private who violates the rights of a disabled individual and/or their service dog shall be guilty of a violation. Violations of two or more within two years will result in a fine of $1,000.00.

Service dog laws in New York do not require the owners of service dogs to pay the same fee that is charged to pets not performing an assistance function. A license is required as it is for all pets residing in the state, but there is no charge for said license and it should be conspicuously marked “ Service Dog “ by the appropriate clerk or dog control officer.

In the state of New York,  anyone receiving supplemental social security or any other type of additional state payment may also be eligible for not less than an extra $35.00 per month to be used to purchase food for their service dog. For more detailed information regarding the service dog laws in New York and service dog certification, a 51 page publication is available from the NY State Attorney Generals office entitled “ Freedom on Four Legs “.

3 Responses to Service Dog Laws in New York

  1. Dustie Dubois says:

    First, let me say thank you for providing this resource: great!!!

    Spinning my wheels in New York or, is this a Catch-22?

    Above states: “…no charge for said license and it should be conspicuously marked “ Service Dog “ by the appropriate clerk or dog control officer”
    NY states “Owners of service dogs may request from the NYC Health Department, free of charge, an optional, separate Service Dog Tag. An applicant will be required to submit a written statement from a trainer, whose education, experience and training are acceptable to the Department, stating that such dog has been individually trained to perform a task or tasks for the person applying for the tag. All documentation submitted for a Service Dog Tag must be verified and approved by the Dog Licensing Unit.”
    Now try to find out just what is acceptable to the Dept! Requests to the State have been unanswered. There is no State accredited list nor any statement of acceptability.
    Also, if I trained my dog, there is no way that the State allows for this.
    I am lost with all this.

    • admin says:

      Hi Dustie,

      I agree this can confusing, and when dealing with the government it always is. The problem is that the Federal ACT says that the states cannot impose other rules that are more restricting to the disabled, only less restricting. I think in the example you bring up is one where the state is imposing a requirement that is more restricting the the ADA requires, and therefore could be challenged if someone wanted to take up the cause. Since ADA says that you can train your service animal yourself why should NY require you have a written statement from an “acceptable” trainer. That sure is vague. The bottom line is ADA does not require certification or tag. Even your NY statement says optional. I wouldn’t even worry about obtaining it, since its optional. My guess would be since its optional they can require whatever they want in order for you to obtain one. But again why bother if it is not required anyway.

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