Service Dog Laws in North Carolina
North Carolina has one of the more progressive set of laws on behalf of their disabled residents. The service dog laws in North Carolina are among these. While being very accommodating to disabled people using service dogs, they do require assistance animals to be specially licensed by the state, which we will discuss in more detail later. The surest way to obtain this accreditation is to have your pet attend a service dog certification program.
ASSISTED LIVING LAWS
The rules and regulations concerning the disabled, including the service dog laws in North Carolina were established by the North Carolina Attorney General and the North Carolina Human Relations Commission. Its introduction reads as follows: “The state shall enable and encourage persons with disabilities to participate fully in the social and economic life of the state and to engage in remunerative employment.” Along with all workplaces, other public areas where service dogs must be allowed to accompany their handler are all streets, highways, sidewalks, walkways, all public buildings, public facilities and all other buildings and facilities both publicly and privately owned which serve the public.
PERMITS and ACCREDITATION
As mentioned earlier in this article, acquiring service dog certification in North Carolina is the best method to obtaining the special service dog license as required by state law. Once professional accreditation can be shown, the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Resources will issue a tag with a specific tag number authorizing you to use your canine as a service dog within the state. Section 168-4.5 (Penalty for Fakers) provides for a Class 3 misdemeanor being assessed to anyone falsifying the identity of a service dog.
MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS
As an operator of a motor vehicle, the service dog laws in North Carolina commands you to come to a full stop when you observe a disabled individual with a guide dog attempting to cross any street, highway or roadway of any kind. Once again, service dog certification should be obtained, not only for licensing purposes, but as a safety measure and to improve on the quality of the disabled individual’s life.