Access Laws Map
Pawsible's access laws map is an interactive map of the United States detailing access laws pertaining to service dogs and their handlers in each state!
While knowledge of assistance dogs is becoming more common in the US, you may still run in to issues with your pup or even places that are exempt from the ADA and state laws. Use our Access Laws Map and this resource to ensure you are educated and prepared when going out in public.
What are Public Access Laws?
Access laws provide legal rights to service dog handlers and service dogs in training to go in public places such as restaurants, stores, movie theaters, etc.
Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public locations generally must allow service dogs and their handlers to have access
Service Dogs in Training (SDiTs) are not covered by the ADA
States individually decide whether SDiTs are allowed Public Access
Only four US states do not include SDiTs in their public access laws
Hawaii, Michigan, Washington, and Wyoming
How to Advocate for your Pup
Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself, public access for service dog handlers is guaranteed by law
If you are faced with a situation where someone attempts to restrict public access because of your service dog or service dog in training, use the map below to show them the letter of the law
For SDiTs, talk to your volunteer leader about how to handle these situations. Most organizations do not want you causing a scene and would prefer you leave and call the company later to educate them
If you believe that you or another person has been discriminated against by an entity covered by the ADA, you may file a complaint with the Disability Rights Section (DRS) in the Department of Justice
Just remember SDiTs are not covered by the ADA
Be polite, not everyone knows about service dogs and public access laws
Explain that this dog is either in training or is performing specific, necessary tasks
Explain that the law in your state protects you from discrimination and that you and your dog are entitled to full access of public areas
If possible, use the interaction as an educational experience to prevent future discrimination for others
If you've had an issue with a place before, call prior to going to ensure they are educated
Exceptions to the ADA
Religious organizations and religious entities controlled by religious organizations are not required to follow ADA laws
Private membership clubs and non-profit, private clubs, except for labor organizations, are also exempt
According to the National Park Service, service dogs are legally permitted anywhere that visitors can go
However, there is no official mention of in training dogs, so we suggest calling ahead to be sure your dog is permitted
National Parks are under federal jurisdiction, not state, so public access coverage may vary