ESA Letters in California | The Complete Guide

Navigating California’s laws regarding Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) can be complex. Let’s break down the essentials of ESA letters and what you need to know.

What is an ESA?

An Emotional Support Animal provides comfort to individuals with emotional or psychological conditions. Unlike service animals, ESAs don’t require specialized training.

Importance of an ESA Letter

An ESA letter is a prescription from a licensed mental health professional, stating that an individual needs the animal for their well-being. This letter grants specific legal rights, such as:

  1. Housing Rights: Under the Fair Housing Act, landlords must make reasonable accommodations for ESAs, even in no-pet policies.
  2. Air Travel: Although recent changes have limited ESA rights on airlines, they were previously allowed in cabins free of charge.

California’s ESA Laws

California offers additional protections under its laws:

  • Employment: Employers must consider ESA accommodations in the workplace.
  • Housing: Landlords cannot deny housing based on breed, size, or weight restrictions for ESAs.
  • Public Spaces: While not having the same access as service animals, ESAs still enjoy some public accommodation protections.

Getting an ESA Letter

To obtain a legitimate ESA letter in California, follow these steps:

  1. Consult a Licensed Therapist: Only a licensed mental health professional can issue an ESA letter.
  2. Ensure the Letter Meets Legal Standards: It should include the therapist’s license number, date, and a clear statement of need.
  3. Avoid Scams: Be wary of online services offering instant ESA letters without proper evaluation.


ESAs play a vital role in supporting individuals with mental health needs. Understanding and utilizing California’s ESA laws can significantly enhance the quality of life for those who rely on these supportive companions. Contact the Law Offices of James Arrasmith for information on ESA letters in California.

How long to ESA letters lasts