The Department of Transportation (DOT) Service Animal Form, also referred to as the “Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) Service Animal Form,” is a document that passengers can use to provide proof that their service animal has received appropriate training and is capable of behaving appropriately in public settings. This form is mandatory for some airlines when passengers are traveling with a service animal.
The DOT Service Animal Form is important because it can help prevent confusion or misunderstandings about the service animal’s purpose and ensures the safety and comfort of all passengers on the flight. It also ensures the compliance of airlines with the Air Carrier Access Act, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and their service animals.
Why You Need the DOT Service Animal Form for Air Travel
The primary purpose of the form is to allow the airline to verify that the service animal is qualified to fly in the cabin with the passenger and is not a pet. The form typically includes information such as the passenger’s name, contact information, and details about the animal such as its breed, weight, and name. It also includes a statement from a licensed mental health professional certifying that the passenger has a disability and that the service animal is necessary to alleviate symptoms of that disability. On the MyServiceAnimal website, you can also get a service dog certificate online.
The U.S. Department of Transportation published a final rule concerning registered service animals in the Federal Register on December 10th, 2020.
According to the Department’s Air Carrier Access Act:
a service animal handler has to provide carriers with two forms of documentation, namely a U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation Form and a U.S. Department of Transportation Service Animal Relief Attestation Form.
In case people find the process of getting all needed documents tedious or challenging, we offer them our services as professionals in the sphere of animal service. All you need to do is to provide us with all the required information and wait. The copy will be sent to your email, so you can print it out at any time you need it.
How the DOT Airline Form Looks and What Information It Includes
The DOT Airline Form is a standardized document that typically includes the passenger’s name and contact information, the animal’s breed, weight, and name, and a statement from a licensed mental health professional certifying that the passenger has a disability and that the animal is necessary to alleviate symptoms of that disability. The form may also include other details such as the date of the flight and the airline’s name and logo. You can find a U.S. Department of Transportation Dot form template and fill it out yourself. Here how it’s looked:
List of information that should be included on a DOT Airline Form:
- Passenger’s name;
- Contact information of the passenger;
- Information about the service animal, such as breed, weight, and name;
- Assurance that the animal will be under the control of the passenger at all times;
- Information about service dog training organizations and their contacts;
- Veterenairs name and contacts;
- Date and handler signature.
What I need more to fly with a service dog
In addition to the DOT Airline Form, there are a few more things you may need to fly with a service dog:
- A leash or service dog harness: Your service dog must be leashed or harnessed at all times while in the airport and onboard the plane.
- Identification tags: Your service dog should have identification tags on their collar or harness that include their name. Optional there can include your contact information and relevant medical information.
- Required vaccinations: Some airlines may require proof of your dog’s current vaccinations, so make sure to have these documents with you.
- Plan ahead: It’s always a good idea to contact the airline in advance and let them know that you will be traveling with a service dog. This will give them time to make any necessary accommodations and ensure a smooth experience for both you and your dog.
You can check more in our ultimate guide on how to fly with a service dog.
Can Airlines Decline a Person with a Service Dog?
Yes, there are a few conditions that may allow airlines to decline a service dog handler even if he has a Department of Transportation animal air travel form:
- An animal violates safety requirements (too heavy, too large, etc.);
- It can be a direct threat to the health or safety of others;
- It cannot behave well on the plane;
- A service animal owner didn’t provide DOT service animal forms to the airlines on time.
Other than that, a person with a service dog cannot be denied at the airport; if so, the help of the ADA may be used to deal with this problem.
It’s important to note that not all airlines require the DOT Service Animal Form, and the requirements may vary depending on the airline, the destination, and the type of service animal. It’s always best to check with your airline before traveling with a service animal to ensure you have all the necessary documentation.
How Can Employees at the Airport Define a Service Dog?
- Ask a person whether their animal is indeed a service animal and what tasks it typically performs for the owner;
- Look to see whether there are any service animal accessories, like harnessed, leashed, and so on;
- See whether an animal is well-trained and behaves well.
In how much time before the flight should I prepare the DOT form?
It is recommended to prepare the DOT form for your service dog as early as possible, ideally at least 48-72 hours before the flight. This will give you enough time to ensure that all information on the form is accurate and complete and to make any necessary updates or corrections before your departure.
However, the DOT form does not have an expiration date, and it is always a good idea to obtain it in advance along with other necessary accessories from MyServiceAnimal in advance.
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