New Jersey State Service Dog Laws
New Jersey law can be found here. Please expand the sections below to explore the laws regarding service animals.
Summary – A Service Dog trainer employed by a recognized organization, while training, has the same rights as a person with a disability.
Detailed – Civil Rights 10 § 5-29.3 A service or guide dog trainer, while engaged in the actual training process and activities of service dogs or guide dogs, shall have the same rights and privileges with respect to access to public facilities, and the same responsibilities as are applicable to a person with a disability.
Civil Rights 10 § 5-5 t.“Guide or service dog trainer” means any person who is employed by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide dogs with training, and who is actually involved in the training process.
b. Any person who recklessly injures a service animal or guide dog, or recklessly permits a dog that the person owns or over which the person has immediate control, to injure a service animal or guide dog, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.
c. Any person who recklessly interferes with the use of a service animal or guide dog, or who recklessly permits a dog that the person owns or over which that person has immediate control, to interfere with a service animal or guide dog, by obstructing, intimidating, or otherwise jeopardizing the safety of that service animal or guide dog or its handler, is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense.
d. A person who is convicted of a violation of this section, in addition to any other penalty, shall make full restitution for all damages that arise out of or are related to the offense, including incidental and consequential damages incurred by the handler of the service animal or guide dog. Restitution under this section shall include, but not be limited to:
(1) the value of the service animal or guide dog;
(2) replacement and training or retraining expenses for the service animal or guide dog and the handler;
(3) veterinary and other medical and boarding expenses for the service animal or guide dog;
(4) medical expenses for the handler; and
(5) lost wages or income incurred by the handler during any period that the handler is without the services of the service animal or guide dog.
e. As used in this section:
“Guide dog” shall mean a dog which has been or is being raised or trained to provide assistance to a blind or deaf person, including but not limited to a dog that has been or is being raised or trained by a volunteer puppy raiser or staff member of an organization generally recognized as being involved in the rehabilitation of the blind or deaf and reputable and competent to provide dogs with specialized training.
“Service animal” shall have the same meaning as set forth in the federal “Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990” (42 U.S.C. s.12101 et seq.) and any regulations under the act.
Only one license and registration tag shall be required in any licensing year for any dog owned in New Jersey, and such license and tag shall be accepted by all municipalities as evidence of compliance with this section.
Dogs used as guide dogs or service dogs shall be licensed and registered as other dogs hereinabove provided for, except that the owner or keeper of a guide dog or service dog shall not be required to pay any fee therefor. A dog temporarily placed in a foster home as part of a formalized training to be a guide dog or service dog shall not be required to be licensed and registered while the dog remains in the foster home for such training.
For the purposes of this section, “guide dog” and “service dog” mean a guide dog or service dog as defined in section 5 of P.L.1945, c. 169 (C.10:5-5).
License forms and uniform official metal registration tags designed by the Department of Health shall be furnished by the municipality and shall be numbered serially and shall bear the year of issuance and the name of the municipality.
a. “Person” includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, labor organizations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, trustees in bankruptcy, receivers, and fiduciaries.
b. “Employment agency” includes any person undertaking to procure employees or opportunities for others to work.
c. “Labor organization” includes any organization which exists and is constituted for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining, or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or of other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.
d. “Unlawful employment practice” and “unlawful discrimination” include only those unlawful practices and acts specified in section 11 of P.L.1945, c. 169 (C.10:5-12).
e. “Employer” includes all persons as defined in subsection a. of this section unless otherwise specifically exempt under another section of P.L.1945, c. 169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.), and includes the State, any political or civil subdivision thereof, and all public officers, agencies, boards or bodies.
f. “Employee” does not include any individual employed in the domestic service of any person.
g. “Liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States” means subject to being ordered as an individual or member of an organized unit into active service in the Armed Forces of the United States by reason of membership in the National Guard, naval militia or a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States, or subject to being inducted into such armed forces through a system of national selective service.
h. “Division” means the “Division on Civil Rights” created by P.L.1945, c. 169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.).
i. “Attorney General” means the Attorney General of the State of New Jersey or his representative or designee.
j. “Commission” means the Commission on Civil Rights created by P.L.1945, c. 169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.).
k. “Director” means the Director of the Division on Civil Rights.
l. “A place of public accommodation” shall include, but not be limited to: any tavern, roadhouse, hotel, motel, trailer camp, summer camp, day camp, or resort camp, whether for entertainment of transient guests or accommodation of those seeking health, recreation or rest; any producer, manufacturer, wholesaler, distributor, retail shop, store, establishment, or concession dealing with goods or services of any kind; any restaurant, eating house, or place where food is sold for consumption on the premises; any place maintained for the sale of ice cream, ice and fruit preparations or their derivatives, soda water or confections, or where any beverages of any kind are retailed for consumption on the premises; any garage, any public conveyance operated on land or water, or in the air, any stations and terminals thereof; any bathhouse, boardwalk, or seashore accommodation; any auditorium, meeting place, or hall; any theatre, motion-picture house, music hall, roof garden, skating rink, swimming pool, amusement and recreation park, fair, bowling alley, gymnasium, shooting gallery, billiard and pool parlor, or other place of amusement; any comfort station; any dispensary, clinic or hospital; any public library; any kindergarten, primary and secondary school, trade or business school, high school, academy, college and university, or any educational institution under the supervision of the State Board of Education, or the Commissioner of Education of the State of New Jersey. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to include or to apply to any institution, bona fide club, or place of accommodation, which is in its nature distinctly private; nor shall anything herein contained apply to any educational facility operated or maintained by a bona fide religious or sectarian institution, and the right of a natural parent or one in loco parentis to direct the education and upbringing of a child under his control is hereby affirmed; nor shall anything herein contained be construed to bar any private secondary or post secondary school from using in good faith criteria other than race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, gender identity or expression or affectional or sexual orientation in the admission of students.
m. “A publicly assisted housing accommodation” shall include all housing built with public funds or public assistance pursuant to P.L.1949, c. 300, [FN1] P.L.1941, c. 213, [FN2] P.L.1944, c. 169, [FN3] P.L.1949, c. 303, [FN4] P.L.1938, c. 19, [FN5] P.L.1938, c. 20, [FN6] P.L.1946, c. 52, [FN7] and P.L.1949, c. 184, [FN8] and all housing financed in whole or in part by a loan, whether or not secured by a mortgage, the repayment of which is guaranteed or insured by the federal government or any agency thereof.
n. The term “real property” includes real estate, lands, tenements and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, and leaseholds, provided, however, that, except as to publicly assisted housing accommodations, the provisions of this act shall not apply to the rental: (1) of a single apartment or flat in a two-family dwelling, the other occupancy unit of which is occupied by the owner as a residence; or (2) of a room or rooms to another person or persons by the owner or occupant of a one-family dwelling occupied by the owner or occupant as a residence at the time of such rental. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to bar any religious or denominational institution or organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, in the sale, lease or rental of real property, from limiting admission to or giving preference to persons of the same religion or denomination or from making such selection as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained. Nor does any provision under this act regarding discrimination on the basis of familial status apply with respect to housing for older persons.
o. “Real estate broker” includes a person, firm or corporation who, for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, or by reason of promise or reasonable expectation thereof, lists for sale, sells, exchanges, buys or rents, or offers or attempts to negotiate a sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of real estate or an interest therein, or collects or offers or attempts to collect rent for the use of real estate, or solicits for prospective purchasers or assists or directs in the procuring of prospects or the negotiation or closing of any transaction which does or is contemplated to result in the sale, exchange, leasing, renting or auctioning of any real estate, or negotiates, or offers or attempts or agrees to negotiate a loan secured or to be secured by mortgage or other encumbrance upon or transfer of any real estate for others; or any person who, for pecuniary gain or expectation of pecuniary gain conducts a public or private competitive sale of lands or any interest in lands. In the sale of lots, the term “real estate broker” shall also include any person, partnership, association or corporation employed by or on behalf of the owner or owners of lots or other parcels of real estate, at a stated salary, or upon a commission, or upon a salary and commission or otherwise, to sell such real estate, or any parts thereof, in lots or other parcels, and who shall sell or exchange, or offer or attempt or agree to negotiate the sale or exchange, of any such lot or parcel of real estate.
p. “Real estate salesperson” includes any person who, for compensation, valuable consideration or commission, or other thing of value, or by reason of a promise or reasonable expectation thereof, is employed by and operates under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker to sell or offer to sell, buy or offer to buy or negotiate the purchase, sale or exchange of real estate, or offers or attempts to negotiate a loan secured or to be secured by a mortgage or other encumbrance upon or transfer of real estate, or to lease or rent, or offer to lease or rent any real estate for others, or to collect rents for the use of real estate, or to solicit for prospective purchasers or lessees of real estate, or who is employed by a licensed real estate broker to sell or offer to sell lots or other parcels of real estate, at a stated salary, or upon a commission, or upon a salary and commission, or otherwise to sell real estate, or any parts thereof, in lots or other parcels.
q. “Disability” means physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement which is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness including epilepsy and other seizure disorders, and which shall include, but not be limited to, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical coordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment or physical reliance on a service or guide dog, wheelchair, or other remedial appliance or device, or any mental, psychological or developmental disability, including autism spectrum disorders, resulting from anatomical, psychological, physiological or neurological conditions which prevents the normal exercise of any bodily or mental functions or is demonstrable, medically or psychologically, by accepted clinical or laboratory diagnostic techniques. Disability shall also mean AIDS or HIV infection.
r. “Blind person” means any individual whose central visual acuity does not exceed 20/200 in the better eye with correcting lens or whose visual acuity is better than 20/200 if accompanied by a limit to the field of vision in the better eye to such a degree that its widest diameter subtends an angle of no greater than 20 degrees.
s. “Guide dog” means a dog used to assist deaf persons or which is fitted with a special harness so as to be suitable as an aid to the mobility of a blind person, and is used by a blind person who has satisfactorily completed a specific course of training in the use of such a dog, and has been trained by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of the blind or deaf as reputable and competent to provide dogs with training of this type.
t. “Guide or service dog trainer” means any person who is employed by an organization generally recognized by agencies involved in the rehabilitation of persons with disabilities as reputable and competent to provide dogs with training, and who is actually involved in the training process.
u. “Housing accommodation” means any publicly assisted housing accommodation or any real property, or portion thereof, which is used or occupied, or is intended, arranged, or designed to be used or occupied, as the home, residence or sleeping place of one or more persons, but shall not include any single family residence the occupants of which rent, lease, or furnish for compensation not more than one room therein.
v. “Public facility” means any place of public accommodation and any street, highway, sidewalk, walkway, public building, and any other place or structure to which the general public is regularly, normally or customarily permitted or invited.
w. “Deaf person” means any person whose hearing is so severely impaired that the person is unable to hear and understand normal conversational speech through the unaided ear alone, and who must depend primarily on a supportive device or visual communication such as writing, lip reading, sign language, and gestures.
x. “Atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait” means sickle cell trait, hemoglobin C trait, thalassemia trait, Tay-Sachs trait, or cystic fibrosis trait.
y. “Sickle cell trait” means the condition wherein the major natural hemoglobin components present in the blood of the individual are hemoglobin A (normal) and hemoglobin S (sickle hemoglobin) as defined by standard chemical and physical analytic techniques, including electrophoresis; and the proportion of hemoglobin A is greater than the proportion of hemoglobin S or one natural parent of the individual is shown to have only normal hemoglobin components (hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin F) in the normal proportions by standard chemical and physical analytic tests.
z. “Hemoglobin C trait” means the condition wherein the major natural hemoglobin components present in the blood of the individual are hemoglobin A (normal) and hemoglobin C as defined by standard chemical and physical analytic techniques, including electrophoresis; and the proportion of hemoglobin A is greater than the proportion of hemoglobin C or one natural parent of the individual is shown to have only normal hemoglobin components (hemoglobin A, hemoglobin A2, hemoglobin F) in normal proportions by standard chemical and physical analytic tests.
aa. “Thalassemia trait” means the presence of the thalassemia gene which in combination with another similar gene results in the chronic hereditary disease Cooley’s anemia.
bb. “Tay-Sachs trait” means the presence of the Tay-Sachs gene which in combination with another similar gene results in the chronic hereditary disease Tay-Sachs.
cc. “Cystic fibrosis trait” means the presence of the cystic fibrosis gene which in combination with another similar gene results in the chronic hereditary disease cystic fibrosis.
dd. “Service dog” means any dog individually trained to the requirements of a person with a disability including, but not limited to minimal protection work, rescue work, pulling a wheelchair or retrieving dropped items. This term shall include a “seizure dog” trained to alert or otherwise assist persons subject to epilepsy or other seizure disorders.
ee. “Qualified Medicaid applicant” means an individual who is a qualified applicant pursuant to P.L.1968, c. 413 (C.30:4D-1 et seq.).
ff. “AIDS” means acquired immune deficiency syndrome as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States Public Health Service.
gg. “HIV infection” means infection with the human immunodeficiency virus or any other related virus identified as a probable causative agent of AIDS.
hh. “Affectional or sexual orientation” means male or female heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality by inclination, practice, identity or expression, having a history thereof or being perceived, presumed or identified by others as having such an orientation.
ii. “Heterosexuality” means affectional, emotional or physical attraction or behavior which is primarily directed towards persons of the other gender.
jj. “Homosexuality” means affectional, emotional or physical attraction or behavior which is primarily directed towards persons of the same gender.
kk. “Bisexuality” means affectional, emotional or physical attraction or behavior which is directed towards persons of either gender.
ll. “Familial status” means being the natural parent of a child, the adoptive parent of a child, the resource family parent of a child, having a “parent and child relationship” with a child as defined by State law, or having sole or joint legal or physical custody, care, guardianship, or visitation with a child, or any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.
mm. “Housing for older persons” means housing:
(1) provided under any State program that the Attorney General determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the State program); or provided under any federal program that the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development determines is specifically designed and operated to assist elderly persons (as defined in the federal program); or
(2) intended for, and solely occupied by persons 62 years of age or older; or
(3) intended and operated for occupancy by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit. In determining whether housing qualifies as housing for older persons under this subsection, the Attorney General shall adopt regulations which require at least the following factors:
(a) the existence of significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons, or if the provision of such facilities and services is not practicable, that such housing is necessary to provide important housing opportunities for older persons; and
(b) that at least 80 percent of the units are occupied by at least one person 55 years of age or older per unit; and
(c) the publication of, and adherence to, policies and procedures which demonstrate an intent by the owner or manager to provide housing for persons 55 years of age or older.
Housing shall not fail to meet the requirements for housing for older persons by reason of: persons residing in such housing as of September 13, 1988 not meeting the age requirements of this subsection, provided that new occupants of such housing meet the age requirements of this subsection; or unoccupied units, provided that such units are reserved for occupancy by persons who meet the age requirements of this subsection.
nn. “Genetic characteristic” means any inherited gene or chromosome, or alteration thereof, that is scientifically or medically believed to predispose an individual to a disease, disorder or syndrome, or to be associated with a statistically significant increased risk of development of a disease, disorder or syndrome.
oo. “Genetic information” means the information about genes, gene products or inherited characteristics that may derive from an individual or family member.
pp. “Genetic test” means a test for determining the presence or absence of an inherited genetic characteristic in an individual, including tests of nucleic acids such as DNA, RNA and mitochondrial DNA, chromosomes or proteins in order to identify a predisposing genetic characteristic.
qq. “Domestic partnership” means a domestic partnership established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.2003, c. 246 (C.26:8A-4).
rr. “Gender identity or expression” means having or being perceived as having a gender related identity or expression whether or not stereotypically associated with a person’s assigned sex at birth.
ss. “Civil Union” means a legally recognized union of two eligible individuals established pursuant to R.S.37:1-1 et seq. and P.L.2006, c. 103 (C.37:1-28 et al.).
tt. “Premium wages” means additional remuneration for night, weekend or holiday work, or for standby or irregular duty.
uu. “Premium benefit” means an employment benefit, such as seniority, group life insurance, health insurance, disability insurance, sick leave, annual leave, or an educational or pension benefit that is greater than the employment benefit due the employee for an equivalent period of work performed during the regular work schedule of the employee.
a. A person with a disability, if accompanied by a service or guide dog, shall keep such dog in his immediate custody at all times;
b. A person with a disability accompanied by a service or guide dog shall not be charged any extra fee or payment for admission to or use of any public facility;
c. A person with a disability who has a service or guide dog in his possession shall be liable for any damages done to the premises of a public facility by such dog.
d. (Deleted by amendment; P.L.1981, c. 391.)
b. A school official may inquire as to whether the service animal is required due to a disability and what task or work the service animal has been trained to perform, unless the student’s disability and the work or task that the service animal will perform are readily apparent. A school official may require: (1) certification from a veterinarian that the service animal is properly vaccinated and does not have a contagious disease that may harm students or staff; and (2) documentation that any license required by the municipality in which the student resides has been obtained for the service animal.
c. The service animal shall be under a handler’s control at all times by use of a leash, tether, voice control, signal, or other suitable means. The school shall not be responsible or liable for the care or supervision of the service animal. The school shall provide reasonable accommodations to allow the handler to provide for the care and feeding of the service animal while on school grounds or at a school function.