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How to Get Your Emotional Support Animal Certification
in Michigan

Michigan ESA

Emotional Support Animals (ESA) are a necessity for many Americans battling emotional disorders. They offer immeasurable rewards to their owners and provide relief from a variety of illnesses and conditions. People recovering from depression, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even chronic pain find solace in their comfort animal, and some find doing everyday tasks next to impossible without them.

People with a certified Emotional Support Animal or Psychiatric Service Animal (PSA) in Michigan have specific rights and responsibilities granted by the law governing housing and travel. Landlords, public travel services, and municipalities must adhere to the same state and federal laws governing these animals or face penalties.

American Service Pets helps people in need get certification for their comfort animals. You’ll no longer be required to pay pet deposits, flight fees, or animal fines ever again. Learn more about how to qualify for a Michigan ESA letter, the benefits of ESAs, the laws governing Emotional Support Animals in Michigan, and your rights and responsibilities as an owner now.

Benefits of Emotional Support Animals

An Emotional Support Animal is deemed by the state as necessary for people recovering from psychological trauma and other issues. Support or comfort animals provide a safe way to live an everyday functioning life for many people. They deliver a plethora of both physical and psychological rewards, including:

Sincere Comfort

Some people find themselves worrying about new things every day. Sometimes it can get overwhelming, especially if you have issues with anxiety and depression. Add personal problems like children, finances, and romance, and you might find yourself needing a friend. Simply interacting with an animal you love lowers blood pressure and reduces stress.

Holistic Medicine

More Americans than ever are choosing a natural approach to health ailments to avoid risks associated with drugs. Certified ESAs are natural medicine for depression and stress-related symptoms. Taking care of a pet raises levels of serotonin and dopamine, the body’s natural mood boosters. Animals also encourage activities outside, another health perk.

Mood Booster

Pets and animals, in general, are some of the best mood boosters on the planet. They keep your brain and body active, ease loneliness, and provide comfort. People experiencing trauma use the outside stimulus of a pet to break the repetition of negative thoughts.

ESAs provide a service that many people struggle without. American Service Pets provides pet owners with Emotional Support Animal letters in Michigan.

Find out if you qualify for a Michigan ESA letter today.

Michigan Support Animal Laws

Emotional Support Animals in Michigan provide comfort and emotional encouragement to their owners when under duress. They don’t perform tasks through daily chores like service animals.

Service animals and Emotional Support Animals serve different purposes and are afforded differing rights by law. ESAs have protection under federal and state law, provided the owner has acquired a certification letter from a licensed medical professional. Official letters are accepted all over the country, but specific stipulations differ among states.

Housing Laws

Michigan prohibits landlords and property managers from charging an extra deposit, evicting, or levying any additional fees on a tenant for owning an Emotional Support Animal, even if there is a no pet policy in place. Landlords may ask for proof of necessity by way of a Michigan support animal certification. They are not allowed to ask for proof of emotional diagnosis resulting in the need for a support animal.


Michigan ESA Housing Laws
ESA Dog and Pet Owner at a Coffee House

Public Places

Public places in Michigan are not required to allow Emotional Support Animals by law. Stores, restaurants, movie theaters, malls, and other public places are under no obligation to let them into their establishment. The law leaves the decision to the owners of the establishment.

Workplace Laws

The Americans with Disabilities Act protects the rights of the disabled to use a service dog in their place of employment. Michigan nor federal law support the use of Emotional Support Animals under this act. Obtaining an ESA certification for your animal could be the defining factor you need. Many employers have a change of heart, especially if the animal is inconspicuous, clean, and well-behaved. Many workplaces cannot allow animals inside because of safety or health concerns.

ESA Cat Sitting on Owner's Lap at Work
Travel Laws for ESA Certified Pets in Michigan

Travel Laws

Neither federal nor Michigan law requires Emotional Support Animals to be permitted on public transportation in Michigan, including buses, trains, and ride-share cars services. The DOT has retracted the right for Emotional Support Animals in airplane cabins as of 2020. Pet owners will need to check with the airline to learn their policies.

Knowing Michigan’s stance on ESAs helps prevent you from being turned away at some locations. American Service Pets is proud to offer an easy three-step process to provide Emotional Support Animal certification letters to Michigan residents.

The Basics

Does the state have its own laws in addition to federal legislature?

Yes, Michigan has its own set of laws in addition to following the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Definition of a "Service Animal"

A service animal is trained to do work or perform tasks that are directly related to and mitigate the handler’s disability. Both Michigan law and the ADA’s definitions of service animals include guide dogs that help people with visual impairments, hearing dogs, seizure alert animals, animals that assist with pushing, pulling, holding, or retrieving items, animals that help users maintain a physical stability and balance, and psychiatric service animals.

What is considered a disability in the state?

Michigan defers to the ADA for the definition of disability. which is broadly defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

What animals qualify as a service animal?

Only dogs and miniature horses are legally recognized as service animals.

Are there penalties for falsly claiming or implying (such as with a service animal harness), that one's animal is a service animal?

As of 2016, it is a misdemeanor in Michigan to falsely represent an animal as a service animal or a service animal in training. Anyone who violates this law may be subject to imprisonment of up to 90 days, a fine of up to $500, and/or up to 30 days of community service. Complaints about service dog falsification can be reported to The Department of Civil Rights, which will then in turn refer those reports to law enforcement.

Do state laws provide coverage for service animals in training?

As of 2023, service animals in training are fully covered by Michigan law. Public acommodations can ask the animal and trainer to leave if the animal is out of control.

Do state laws provide coverage for Emotional Support Animals?

Emotional support animals are not covered by the ADA or state law due to the fact that they are untrained.

Public Accommodations & Travel with a Service Animal

What counts as a "public accommodation" in the state? Ie. Where are service dogs allowed?

Both ADA and Michigan law are very broad when it comes to the definition of public accommodation. These include hotels, public transportaion, restaurants, sales or rental establishments, service establishments, any place of public gathering, entertainment, exercise, or recreation, places were items are collected or displayed (ie. libraries and museums), educational institutions, and social service centers.

Can a public establishment question a service animal?

Establishments can only ask whether or not the animal is a service animal and what task(s) it is trained to perform.

Are there any exceptions to public accommodations allowances?

Religious establishments are exempt from ADA law (although there may be exceptions if a religious organization has facilties that are open to the public). Service animals may also be restricted from certain areas in zoos where there are animals that are predators or prey of dogs. Additionally, public health rules prohibit all dogs, including service animals, from being in swimming pools. Beyond these exceptions, service dogs should be allowed in other public accommodations provided they are nonthreatening and under appropriate control.

What are the rules regarding service animals on public transportation?

Public transportation terminals, depots, and stations all fall under public accommodations in Michigan.

Are there any special measures you must take to have a service animal assisting you in public?

No, but if you would like you can participate in the Michigan Department of Civil Rights’ Voluntary Service Animal Identification program. Registration is free and you will receive a free service animal ID card and patch.

Are there laws about service animals in the workplace?

Service animals fall into the category of reasonable accommodations that employers should give employees the opportunity to apply for in order to comply with federal ADA law. They could be rejected on the grounds of the animal being a threat to health and safety or fundamentally altering the business in some way.

Are service animals allowed access to healthcare facilities?

Yes, service dogs are generally allowed in areas of healthcare facilities where the public can go. However they may be barred from areas where their presence would be safety hazards, such as a burn unit or operating rooms.

Are there penalties for public places that refuse service animals?

Michigan’s service animal law is included in its penal code, which makes it a misdemanor to deny service animals and their handlers access to public accommodations.

Michigan follows the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), which defines a service animal as a dog (regardless of breed or size) trained to do work or perform tasks to assist a qualified individual with a diability, and may include psychiatric service dogs. Minature horses are excluded in this definition.

How do airlines determine what qualifies as a service animal?

Airlines can require a passenger to provide a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) form attesting to the animal’s health, behavior, and training and a U.S. DOT form attesting that the animal can either not relieve itself or can relieve itself in a sanitary manner (if the animal will be on a flight that is 8 or more hours).

Are service animals in-training covered by this law?

The ACAA does not address service animals in-training, so airlines are not required to carry them as they do not meet the requirements of an ACAA-defined service animal. However, airlines can make their own individual policies.

Housing Law

What are the state's laws regarding housing and service animals?

State and federal laws require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities, including allowing a service or support animal in a “pet-free” complex.

Am I liable for damage caused by my service animal?

Yes. You cannot be required to pay additional “pet rent” for a service animal upfront, but you may be liable for any damage caused to the property by a service animal.

Do housing laws extend to ESAs?

Yes, the FHA covers a person’s ability to request an emotional support animal as a reasonable accommodation for housing.

Discrimination Complaints

How can I file a complaint for not being allowed in a public accommodation with my service dog?

If you believe you have been a victim of unlawful discrimination, you should contact the Michigan Department of Civil Rights through their online intake form or by calling 1-800-482-3604. You can also speak to a Civil Rights Claims Examiner virtually through Zoom on Mondays from 8am-12pm and Wednesdays from 1pm-4pm (exluding holidays). Keep in mind that you will need to report within 180 days from the alleged discrimination incident.

How can I file a complaint for not being allowed to have my service dog in housing (or for being forced to pay a fee to a landlord)?

If your landlord requires you to obtain a service animal identification or register the animal in any way in order to obtain housing, you should file a complaint online with the Michigan Department of Civil Rights or call the MDCR at 1-800-482-3604.

How to Get A CERTIFICATION For an Emotional Support Animal in Michigan

American Service Pets has just about the quickest and easiest process to get your animal certified as you can find. It involves only three simple steps.

Fill Out the Questionnaire

Answer the American Service Pets questionnaire to find out if you’re eligible for an Emotional Support Animal letter in just a few minutes. There are just a few questions, and you’ll be on your way.

Get a Doctor’s Approval

American Service Pets lets you choose to submit your file to a licensed Michigan doctor for approval and authorization or find your own. There are doctors available 24/7. Most requests are approved within minutes and sent to your email address.

Add Your Pet to the International Directory

Adding your pet to the American Service Pets national directory is a critical part of the process. It provides an online profile that shows your pet’s status and certification letter to any authorized person who needs to see it, such as landlords and employers. 

Approximately 95% of applicants qualify for Emotional Support Animal certifications. Certify your pet today with American Service Pets.

American Service Pets Is Here to Help

ESAs bring you essential physical and psychological benefits and now is your chance to make sure no one can deny them. ESA certification can make your special relationship valid in the eyes of the law. Here’s why American Service Pets should be your go-to for ESA certification:

How to Get Your Pet Certified as an Emotional Support Animal in Michigan

Answer the five questions on our questionnaire today, and you’ll be on your way to getting certified, usually on the same day, for an Emotional Support Animal in Michigan. If you have additional questions and would like to speak with a real person before completing our Pet Owner Survey, call us at (517) 225-2791.

Disclaimer: We would like to emphasize that while the terms “certification” or “registration” may be used in relation to Emotional Support Animals, there is no official certification process for ESAs or any form of ESA registry as of this date. As such, the use of these terms should not be interpreted as legally recognized designations by government or regulatory authorities. Remember, ESAs can provide a valuable source of comfort and support, but their recognition relies on proper documentation from a healthcare professional and adherence to relevant laws and guidelines.

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