Do ESA Letter Expire? What To Do Next?

Do ESA Letter Expire? What To Do Next?

ESA - This is what we commonly refer to as emotional support animals. These animals are extremely helpful and considered ideal for people who are facing mental health issues. The animal provides comfort and emotional support to the patient. The individual might suffer from a wide range of mental illnesses such as autism, anxiety, stress, depression, bipolar disorder, and many other issues. Most of the domestic animals can qualify for being an ESA such as dogs, cats, pigs, fish, or sometimes even horses.  

But the most important point to consider here is that to keep the animals with you while flying or traveling to completely different places or renting a house would require permission. This permission is granted to the patients in the form of a letter, called ESA letter.

What Is An ESA Letter?

An ESA letter is a very important document, especially a prescription provided by an authorized healthcare professional, which states that you have been suffering from a mental or emotional illness and would need the animal (ESA). The letter also confirms that the patient derives therapeutic benefits from ESA.  

There are various points provided in the ESA letter. Check out the following important points that are mentioned below:

  • It confirms that you are a patient with mental or emotional disabilities. 
  • The letter has been prescribed by the certified/ licensed mental health care professional and it is completely authentic. 

  • The patients would be under the care of the specific healthcare professional according to the health care plan. 

  • Unless and until the illness is cured you would be prevented from participating or performing in any particular sort of daily activity. 

  • You would be provided with an emotional support animal, as a part of the treatment and it will help you to cope up with the disabilities.

Do ESA Letters Expire?

Yes, certainly!

Emotional support letters have validity of just about 12 months and after that, they need to get renewed. If you are not renewing the letter regularly, it won’t be considered valid.

You can get the letter renewed from the same healthcare professional who provided you the letter in the first place. Being a mental illness or emotional illness patient, you must ensure that you are not falling into the trap of fake doctors who claim that they can provide lifetime validity ESA letters. This is not at all possible. There are many websites that display such fake claims and if you fall into such scams, then you could get caught in an embarrassing situation in front of government officials. According to expert doctors, it is stated that no prescription from even highly qualified doctors lasts forever. It has to be renewed after the validity gets expired. 

Why Renewing The ESA Letter Is  A Priority?

If you are staying in a rented apartment with your ESA or planning to fly to a different place, you would have to show your letter of permission - ESA Letter. If you have the letter, then you would be allowed to rent an apartment even with pet restrictions or fly with your ESA. Even the rented place authorities would have the right to ask for ESA letters and take action if you fail to provide them with renewed ESA letters.

The ESA letter is important, but always having a valid or legitimate ESA letter is of utmost importance. If your ESA letter has expired and you have decided to fly to a different place, then either you have to leave your pet behind or decide not to travel at all. The flight authorities would not allow you to take the pet on the plane. Sometimes they might allow, but then you would have to pay a pet fee and it would be kept in the luggage section. So having a renewed and valid ESA letter is quite essential. In certain instances, if you fail to provide the letter, then your pet animal would not be considered as an ESA. The property managers would also deny access to the animal in the rented properties.


Most often the patients overlook the importance of carrying an ESA letter along with them or getting it regularly renewed. In such scenarios, they have to face embarrassment or other difficulties. So always ensure that you are not one of those people. 



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