Why You Need An ESA Letter
Many people seem to ask the question, "Is it really required that my letter be renewed each year?" And the answer will always be YES! I cannot stress enough the importance of your letter having a valid date. According to the Fair Housing Amendment and the Air Carriers Access Act, you must have a valid letter from a licensed mental health professional that shows a need for your animal to accompany you. This letter must have a date on it, and it will be valid for one full year.
When you take your emotional support animal on a plane, the date on your letter is the first thing the airlines will typically check out. If the letter is presented and it has been more than a year since the date on your letter, you will be asked to pay a “pet fee”, and you may even have to store your animal in the luggage compartment under the plane. This is if they even allow you on the flight. It's unfortunate but it really all depends on what employee you are dealing with as we've seen 3 different employees of the same airline tell a person with an ESA 3 completely different things.
When you’re renting a residence with a landlord, your landlord has a right to request a new letter every year for your ESA. If you cannot provide that letter, your animal is no longer legally deemed an emotional support animal and your landlord can refuse access to having your ESA with you at your residence.
Once again, without a valid letter on either a plane or in a residence, your animal is not a legal ESA. Far too often we've seen somebody who thinks we are just saying this "to be mean”. They think it's really not a big deal or that it's not an enforced rule and then they end up stuck at the airport unable to get on their flight or sometimes they can't even make it back home until getting the properly dated letter. This can sometimes take a couple of days so don't let this happen to you.
The bottom line is this... just make sure to renew your letter and you'll be fine. If your letter is expired or close to expiring, renew it today by clicking the link below.