Emotional support animals are in the public spotlight more than ever before. So it’s now crucial that you do all of your ESA business by the book, and more essential than ever that you can guarantee your ESA letter is legitimate.
The consequences of being duped into using a fake ESA letter can range from highly inconvenient to truly tragic. It could result in your emotional support pet not being allowed onto a plane or, in the worst-case scenario, your pet losing its ESA status and its ability to live in your home with you.
It is important that you are able to spot a fake ESA letter. Luckily, it isn’t too hard to tell a real ESA letter from a counterfeit one. There are a number of important details that are likely to be incorrect or missing on a fake ESA letter.
So, you’re probably wondering… “How can I tell if my ESA letter is fake?”. Below, we’ll discuss the elements that a real ESA letter will always have. Any deviation in these crucial details will quite likely mean that you are dealing with a fake ESA letter.
It’s Essential That You Have A Real ESA Letter From A Licensed Professional
We can’t stress enough that it’s crucial to get a genuine ESA letter. A fake ESA letter will mean that your pet does not actually have emotional support animal status. The only person who is legally able to validate your ESA application is a licensed mental health professional. So if your ESA letter is not validated by a fully licensed pro, it is probably fake.
Do You Have A Legitimate Qualifying Mental Health Condition?
You will only be entitled to get a genuine ESA letter if you have a qualifying mental health condition. If you are given an ESA letter despite not having a relevant mental health condition, your ESA letter may well be fake.
The list of mental health conditions that can qualify a person to get an ESA is quite long and flexible. A lot is left to the discretion of the examining mental health professional, but most people who get an ESA tend to suffer from either depression, anxiety, PTSD, or a phobia.
A Real ESA Letter Will Contain Essential Details About The Medical Professional
A real ESA letter will be written or typed on the official mental health professional’s letterhead. It will detail the mental health professional’s name, specialty, and address, as well as their type of medical license, license registration number, and the license’s issue date and expiry date. It is crucial that all these details are correct. If these details are missing, then the ESA letter is probably fake.
A Real ESA Letter Must Contain Details About The ESA In Question
If you compare a real ESA letter with a fake one, you’ll often notice that a fake ESA letter does not contain details about the specific animal being recommended. A real ESA letter must detail what type of animal will be registered as an ESA, its ID number, and its name.
A Real ESA Letter Will State Dates Of Issuance And Expiry For The Pet’s ESA Status
Another detail that will often be wrong when you compare a real ESA letter with a fake one is the dates of issue/expiry for the animal’s ESA status. Fake ESA letters will often have no dates of issuance or expiry at all, or sometimes incorrect dates (nonsensical dates often imply that the letter has been copied from a stock letter). A real ESA letter must have the correct date of issuance, and an expiry date no later than one year from the issue date.
What Are The Dangers Of Getting A Fake ESA Letter?
It is crucial that you can spot a fake ESA letter. Getting a fake ESA letter can be a big waste of time and money. It can mean your ESA is not allowed to fly with you in the cabin of a commercial airline (and this can be a big problem for people with high anxiety or a phobia of flying). A fake ESA letter can even lead to your pet being evicted from your property.
Now that ESAs are under public scrutiny, it is even more important to have a real ESA letter. Hopefully, we’ve shown you above how you can tell the difference between a real and a fake ESA letter.
It is not difficult to find a legitimate ESA letter provider online. So if you haven’t yet made inquiries, now is the time to do so. An emotional support animal can bring immeasurable joy, happiness, and connection to your life!