Here it is! The ultimate service dog guide (it's long, you've been warned hehe). The result of years of education and training on the ADA (with a focus on service dogs for obvious reasons), and the culmination of many, many posts here on the subject. Title III of the ADA: Public Accommodations is what requires us to take service animals. So, what is a service animal? A service animal is a dog and in some rare cases, a mini horse, that has been "task trained" to assist with a disability. Mini horses do have size restrictions including in their granting of public access that will render them effectively not accessible for most ride share drivers (unless you're driving something pretty big). So for the purposes of this thread, I'm going to focus only on the dogs. Just know that it's really not Uber/Lyft doing this, it's Federal Law (in the US), and they are only following, and ensuring you follow, the law. This is actually a 28 year old law, and drivers themselves were liable to follow it from the beginning. Uber tends to have bigger pockets than individual drivers, so ultimately they are the ones who the lawsuits started coming after. To protect themselves, they have to also protect the drivers, by forcing compliance. Hence, you violate the ADA, you get deactivated. As drivers, we have to accept that we are taking our personal property (our cars) and making them public (by going online). If you don't want to do that, then don't drive ride share. This link will be your friend throughout this post: https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. By substantially limits, we're talking about something that is a really big deal here, not just something that someone has but they muddle through. For example, I have allergies, but they don't rise to the level of a disability, while they are certainly annoying (especially since I'm allergic to dogs and have to be with one pretty much 24/7), I can take an Allegra and muddle through the day. On the other hand, as my name implies, I have Autism (Asperger's Syndrome), and it does rise to the level of a disability (without accommodations, I likely wouldn't still be employed, probably wouldn't have nearly as many degrees as I do (I barely got through my BA program without accommodations, and it took me 5 years on a 4 year program), and wouldn't be able to get by in the "everyday world". By "task trained" they mean that the service dog has to be trained in tasks (at least 2, although some states call for 3 to get their state protection too) that mitigate (lessen, counteract, etc) their disability. This task training usually comes after the Public Access training (which is why they behave so well in public). "Emotional Support" is *NOT* a task. The ADA (and currently every state law I can find) specifically prohibits ESA (Emotional Support Animals) as "Service Animals" (although FL made an attempt to add them that failed). First, ESAs don't have to be just dogs (and as we mentioned before the only service animals that most drivers are going to need to worry about are dogs). Second, the ADA specifically states that "animals that provide comfort just by being with a person" do not qualify. You hear about pigs flying and living in people's apartments because of the ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act) and the FHA (Fair Housing Act), neither of these affect public access (nor ride share drivers). They must perform an actual task (take an action) to mitigate the disabilities. For example, being Autistic, there is nothing that really keeps me from going to the fridge and grabbing a soda currently. I actually have some other issue that will one day make that a problem, but right now, it's not one of my "disabilities". So while to someone who has no legs for example, a dog getting something from the fridge would count as a task that mitigates one of their disabilities, my dog getting a soda from the fridge for me (I wish hehe), doesn't count as a task that mitigates my disabilities. My dogs tasks are medical alert, body blocking, and deep pressure therapy (she actually has a few more, but this post is long enough as it is hehe). Service dogs are used for a wide variety of disabilities and haven't been "just for the blind" for at least 20 years now. In the last 10 years or so, their use has started really accelerating. There are guide dogs, hearing dogs, mobility dogs, autism dogs, ptsd dogs, etc. I expect that list to only get longer as more and more studies are being performed as to what service dogs can actually help with. Maybe one day, technology will come along that will replace the service dog. I know things are already being worked on, but until that day, this is where we're at. Personally, I look forward to my personal robot that can take care of my tasks, but alas, I still have a dog. Service dogs and in most states, Service Dogs in Training (check your state or if you really can't find it for your state let me know and I'll locate it for you, Service Dogs in Training are typically dogs who have completed their Public Access training, but are still working on their "tasks"), must be taken (no if's, and's, or but's). People have tried to get around this for almost 30 years now, no one who has gone up against a legitimate service dog has succeeded. If you can think of it, they've tired it. Allergies, phobias, religion, it's all failed. Ignorance of the law is never a defense for it. Sure you can explain away intent, but discrimination claims don't need intent, they only need to show that the effect of discrimination happened. The bottom line is simple. If you are SO allergic to or so afraid of dogs that you literally can't function around them, they get you so sick or afraid that they substantially limit your ability to drive (which is a daily activity) then you also have a disability, and unfortunately that disability prevents you from being able to be a ride share driver (as you're unable to complete the basic duties, which including taking service dogs). Now, if you were an employee, the ADA would have you covered and they'd have to give you another position that you were able to do instead. But alas, we aren't employees, we're independent contractors, and as such, we can't complete our contracts so we're just deactivated. It's not pleasant, but there is the cold, hard truth. As for religion, well we have a strict separation of church and state in this country. Thus, that is automatically a fail argument, the law can't consider religion (pro or con) when it's considering service dogs (yes, it's been tested in case law, yes, it's failed, many of the cases are up in Minnesota, you're welcome to google it).