In order to prove that an animal is an emotional support animal, you may be asked to provide documentation from a licensed professional (doctor, psychiatrist, or other mental health professional) stating that the animal is an essential part of treatment for a disability. A landlord or business may ask you to provide a doctor’s note or they could deny you and your emotional support animal. All airlines require the letter.
Regardless of whether you are asked to show a doctor’s letter, it is very helpful to have one on file just in case.
Landlords are required to make a reasonable accommodation for a person who requires an emotional support animal that allows that person to live with the animal, even if the landlord has a no-pet policy. However, the landlord may require written documentation that the animal is truly a prescribed emotional support animal.
In early 2021 the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced new rules that no longer require airlines to recognize emotional support animals (ESAs). As of today, every major airline has banned emotional support animals, treating them as regular pets. However, Psychiatric Service Animals fly for free.