Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can I Get a Legitimate ESA Letter Online? Explaining the Process

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

friend emotional support

An Emotional Animal Support letter, known as ESA letter, is not as difficult to obtain as many people think. Assistance from an Emotional Support Animal is allowed under the State Housing and Federal Laws. The assistance is meant for people suffering from health conditions such as anxiety, panic attacks, depression, and other mental issues.

The most critical thing is to ensure that you have a legit ESA letter. You can get a legitimate ESA letter online, but ensure it’s from a licensed healthcare professional. This makes the process of getting the letter easy and convenient since you obtain the letter remotely. Keep reading this article to learn more about getting an ESA letter online.

What Are Emotional Support Animals?

ESA, or Emotional Support Animals, are commonly cats and dogs, but can also be other animals that offer solace when a person has anxiety, depression, or under emotional stress. These animals don’t need any form of training. They offer the required comfort for emotional and mental stress by being there with you.

The distinction between an Emotional Support Animal and a pet is whether you have an ESA letter from a licensed provider. According to the State and Federal Laws, the only way to get an Emotional Support Animal is by obtaining an ESA letter meeting specific requirements.

Girl with emotional support dog
Image Credit: Anagarcia, Shutterstock

How Do You Obtain an ESA Letter?

You can only obtain the letter from qualified healthcare professionals, such as social workers, therapists, nurses, doctors, physician’s assistants, psychiatrists, or psychologists. If you already have a professional that takes care of your mental health, you need to consult on your Emotional Support Animal requirements to get the proper support.

Getting an ESA letter online is a perfect solution since you can do it in the comfort of your home or in the office of a licensed provider. While obtaining the letter, you need to be cautious to avoid fake ESA letters from unscrupulous individuals.

With telehealth services, it’s easy to obtain the ESA letter online. You don’t have to visit a professional in person to get the letter since you apply for the letter remotely.

How Do You Qualify To Get An ESA Online?

  • You don’t know where to get help since you may not have a therapist.
  • Your therapist doesn’t have information on ESA matters and recommends no one.
  • Your schedule can’t allow you to attend physical meetings.
  • You do not have insurance cover.
  • You are not comfortable discussing your mental issues face to face with another person.
  • You are disabled, making it hard to leave your home.

According to federal laws, tenants can get an ESA letter from an online therapist. Other state laws permit therapists to provide ESA letters. The USA Department of Housing also allows genuine online professionals to provide the letters.

However, note that all the online sources are not equal. The housing department also warns people against fraudulent online providers who don’t have the required ESA credentials.

Doctor talking to a patient
Image Credit: Sozavisimost, Pixabay

Process of Getting an ESA Online Letter

After confirming that you qualify for ESA online, here is the process to apply for the letter.

  1. Identify your requirement for an Emotional Support Animal.
  2. Get in touch with a licensed healthcare professional.
  3. Inform your needs for an ESA.
  4. Request for the ESA letter from your online professional.
  5. Fill in the questionnaire provided by your provider.
  6. The provider contacts you.
  7. Receive the ESA letter through mail or email.

Determining a Legitimate ESA Letter

It is worth noting that all ESA letters are not the same. A genuine letter should adhere to specific requirements according to the state and federal rules about Emotional Support Animals. Here are some of these requirements.

  • Ensure your provider has a valid license. Search from your state professional licensing database to confirm.
  • The ESA letter should have your professional contact information and official letterhead.

The letter should be from a fully licensed professional. You should be able to contact them if you require other additional documents that need their signature or details. Your landlord may need to contact your professional to confirm the letter is specifically written for you. An unresponsive ESA provider can embarrass you and put you into problems.

Your ESA letter should confirm that you have mental health issues according to the criteria indicated in the U.S Department of housing regulations. The letter recommends you get an Emotional Support Animal to assist in handling the symptoms of your specific condition. However, keep in mind that landlords do not need and recognize the ESA registration papers. So, only provide an ESA letter.

a woman using a laptop with a beagle dog on her lap
Image Credit: Kampus Production, Pexels

How to Avoid Fake ESA Letters

When you want to obtain an ESA letter online, you need to pay due diligence since there are many unscrupulous professionals. Here are some of the things you need to check out.

Immediate ESA Letter Approval

Be careful of professionals who claim to provide instant ESA letter approvals. Note that it will take time for a genuine professional to confirm that the ESA is correct. The instant approvals may be from scam sites that don’t have qualified therapists to sign the letters.

Low Price

If the price is too low, be wary. A licensed healthcare professional takes time to evaluate your mental health condition before writing the ESA letter for you. The price of a highly qualified professional is not cheap.

Demanding Registration

There is no government-run registry for ESAs. Therefore, you should avoid sites that guarantee ESA status by adding your pet to a particular register.

Providing Wrong Information

A genuine site should offer you correct ESA information. If you come across a provider claiming that having an I.D. card or vest will change your pet into an ESA, you should avoid them. You can only qualify by getting an ESA from a licensed health care professional.

Check Reviews

Search what other people have to say about your potential ESA provider. Avoid those with negative reviews and also check your provider’s BBB accreditation status.

What Rights Do You Have As The Owner Of An Emotional Support Animal?

dog owner with her pet
Image Credit: Piqsels

When you get your genuine ESA letter online or through any other way, you can travel and live with your pet with no extra pet fees. You can present the letter to your house provider and request accommodation for your pet.

According to Fair Housing Act, landlords are obliged to offer accommodation to tenants with ESA. The Act also protects you against any form of discrimination. Also, note that ESAs are not viewed as pets under the Fair Housing Rules, so they should be allowed in houses that forbid animals.

Your landlord should not charge extra fees or a pet deposit for your Emotional Support Animal. Besides, weight and breed restrictions are not applied to ESAs.  Even with a policy guiding the breed and size of regular pets, the policy doesn’t apply to ESAs.

If your Emotional Support Animal is trained to do some tasks related to your mental health problem, it qualifies to be a psychiatric service dog or PSD. You may be allowed to book an airplane with your animal in this case.

If you want to qualify for a psychiatric service dog, you need a PSD letter from a licensed professional, but not an ESA letter. Your ESA therapist can connect you with a professional specializing in PSD letters.

Tips To Keep Your ESA Safe

To bond and get emotional support from your pet, you should keep the animal safe. Here are some of the ways to it safe.

Create a safe space for your pet

Although you want to spend most of the time with your pet, the animals also need their own space. Provide it with a safe space to relax, retreat, and recuperate. Always allow your pets to rest when they retreat to their space. Note that the pet also gets stressed and tired, and the safe place allows them to cool down their mind and relax.

Provide treats and toys

Provide your pet with toys to entertain themselves. With the toys, the pet will also entertain you and prevent boredom. Some toys provide comfort to your pet, thus preventing it from developing unwanted behaviors.

Feed the pet a healthy and safe diet

Ensure your pet eats a healthy diet appropriate for their breed, size, and weight. Provide nutritionally balanced food full of minerals and vitamins. This helps avoid issues such as obesity, skin disorders, and other serious health issues.

Invest in your pet

A pet is a great asset in your home. You need to invest in it to improve its welfare and give you the needed support. Invest in the pet by offering the right training, buying suitable toys, feeding the right diet, and checking their health to ensure you get the right support from the pet.

Offer training according to your pet temperament, breed, and the place you are living. The training helps your pet remain calm and non-aggressive. With the training, you enjoy living with the animal for many years.

Woman dog owner in bathrobe on a bed with her dog
Image Credit: Annavibu, Shutterstock


Emotional Support Animals can help change your life by offering support with your mental health issues. As you can see, it is possible to get a legitimate ESA letter online, making it possible to live and travel with your favorite pet.

Many genuine online professionals offer the ESA letter online, so getting one shouldn’t be a big issue. However, you need to take care to avoid falling into the hands of scams. Your doctor should connect you with fully licensed online ESA letter providers.

To get the best support from your Emotional Support Animal, apply the given care tips to keep the pet healthy, safe, and happy at all times.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Seaq68, Pixabay

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database