Does Hawaii Allow Emotional Support Animals?
Yes, the state of Hawaii allows emotional support animals (ESA).
The emotional support animal Hawaii regulations follow federal laws regarding service animals and ESAs, including the Fair Housing Act (FHA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
These laws provide protections to emotional support animals in public, work, and travel scenarios.
What are the Emotional Support Animal Hawaii Laws?
Emotional support animal Hawaii state laws are scarce. However, the state of Hawaii has specific laws protecting people with disabilities.
In the case of emotional support animals, federal laws and limited state laws that offer protection to those with ESAs in housing, employment, and public places require public accommodations and housing accommodations to be made to allow assistance animals to accompany a person whose disability is managed by the presence of the animal.
For this reason, ESAs are considered comfort animals in the state of Hawaii and are not given the same protections and freedoms as trained service animals. Falsely representing an ESA as a service dog is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a $250 fine.
What are Hawaii ESA Housing Laws?
There is no specific emotional support animal Hawaii state laws addressing the housing regulations of ESAs. However, there are laws regarding the housing of ESA owners with disabilities.
The Federal Fair Housing Act requires housing providers to make housing accommodations to fit the needs of a person with a disability regardless of the person’s disability if the accommodation is deemed reasonable.
This applies to ESAs in that allowing the ESA to live in the home with the disabled person is considered a reasonable accommodation as defined under federal law.
What are Hawaii ESA Employment Laws?
Hawaiian disability laws and the ADA stipulate that a person with a disability is allowed to bring a trained service animal to work. Still, emotional support animals are not protected to this extent.
Instead, when it comes to emotional support animal Hawaii regulations in the workplace, it is up to the employer to determine on a case-by-case basis whether or not an ESA is allowed.
What are Hawaii ESA Travel Laws?
There is no emotional support animal Hawaii laws.
Instead, Hawaii abides by the Air Carrier Acces Act (ACAA), a federal law prohibiting discrimination in air travel. The ACAA protects service dogs trained to perform specific tasks, such as a guide dog or signal dog, that help people with disabilities navigate life.
These laws state service animals are to be allowed on planes with certain restrictions on where they can and cannot sit or behave. However, the law was amended in 2020 to allow airlines the ability to choose whether or not to enable ESAs on their planes. Sadly, most airlines in the United States have changed their animal policy to no longer allow ESAs.
People with emotional support animals can now make reservations and pay the fees associated with bringing a regular pet on board a plane.
What are Hawaii ESA Public Transportation Laws?
Hawaii does not permit ESAs on public transportation.
Hawaii law only protects service animals on public transit and classifies ESAs as comfort animals, so they are required to follow laws in place for pets rather than laws in place for service animals.
How do You Get an Emotional Support Animal in Hawaii?
In order to get an ESA in Hawaii, you must be diagnosed with a qualifying mental disability. But, if you are still wondering how to get an emotional support animal in Hawaii, the answer is to start by visiting a medical professional.
To get in touch with an LMHP, you can go through a medical doctor who can refer you to an LMHP or use an online source like certapet.com that will match you with a therapist who can write you an emotional support animal letter.
The ESA letter must be written by a licensed mental health professional (LMHP), and the letter must be written on professional letterhead with the LMHP’s contact information.
Keep in mind there are a lot of scam sites out there looking to make money by selling fake ESA letters. These sites often use words like “certify” and “register.”
There is no such thing as an emotional support animal certification as they do not receive specific training, and there is no registration for ESAs, so do not fall for a scam letter as it will not hold up in court as an official document.
Do I Have to Tell My Landlord I Have an Emotional Support Animal in Hawaii?
Yes, you need to inform your landlord of your emotional support animal. The landlord can require the ESA letter your LMHP had written for you beforehand as proof the animal is an ESA.
Without this, ESA owners may have legal ramifications who failing to inform their landlords of the emotional support animals.
Can a Landlord Deny an Emotional Support Animal in Hawaii?
Yes, a landlord can deny an ESA but only in specific scenarios.
For example, if the animal poses a direct threat to the safety of others, a landlord is permitted to no longer allow the ESA in the building. Also, if the reasonable accommodations would present a significant financial burden or the accommodations would be too altering to the building, the landlord is permitted not to allow ESAs.
To ensure this does not happen to you, it is essential to file an accommodation request in advance to allow time to determine if accommodations can be made.
Can a Landlord Charge a Pet Deposit for an Emotional Support Animal in Hawaii?
No, according to the FHA, ESAs are exempt from pet fees, pet deposits, and animal fees. However, a landlord may charge a higher security deposit and hold the tenant responsible for damages the animal causes in the building.
Can You Have Multiple Emotional Support Animals in Hawaii?
Yes, a person can have multiple ESAs. There are no emotional support animal Hawaii regulations limiting the number of ESAs. However, each emotional support animal must serve a specific purpose and have its own ESA letter.
There are also no restrictions to the type of animal an ESA can be, but it must provide a therapeutic purpose and help with a disability-related need.