Maryland Service Dog Laws

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Definitions

“Service animal” means a guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including:

  1. guiding individuals with impaired vision;
  2. alerting individuals with impaired hearing to an intruder or sounds;
  3. providing minimal protection or rescue work;
  4. pulling a wheelchair;
  5. fetching dropped items; or
  6. detecting the onset of a seizure.

“Service animal trainer” means a person who trains or raises service animals for individuals with disabilities, whether the person is a professional or volunteer.

MD Code, Human Services, § 7-701

“Service Dog” as used in MD Code, Local Government, § 13-104, means a dog that is professionally trained to aid individuals who are:
(1) blind or visually impaired;
(2) deaf or hard of hearing; or
(3) mobility impaired.

Accommodation Law

Individuals with disabilities and, the parents of a minor child with a disability, and service animal trainers who are accompanied by an animal being trained or raised as a service animal are entitled to full and equal rights and privileges with respect to:

  • roads, sidewalks, public buildings, public facilities, and other public places
  • common carriers and other public conveyances or modes of transportation, places of public accommodations, and other places to which the general public is invited
  • housing accommodations

MD Code, Human Services, § 7-704

An individual with a disability or a parent of a minor child with a disability who has, obtains, or may wish to obtain a service animal is entitled to full and equal access to housing accommodations.

A mobility impaired individual may be accompanied by a service animal specially trained for that purpose in any place where a blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing individual has the right to be accompanied by a service animal.

A person may not deny or interfere with the admittance of a service animal that accompanies a blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard of hearing, or mobility impaired individual in violation of this section.

A person who violates is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500 for each offense.

A person may not deny or interfere with the admittance of an animal being trained as a service animal that accompanies a service animal trainer.

A person who violates is subject to a fine not exceeding $25 for each offense.

MD Code, Human Services, § 7-705

Driving Law

The driver of a vehicle shall yield the right-of-way to a deaf or hearing impaired pedestrian accompanied by a guide dog.

MD Code, Transportation, § 21-511

Licensing Law

If an application meets certian requirements and the local licensing agency is satisfied that the dog for which a license is sought is a service dog and is actually in use as a service dog: the dog owner is not required to pay a fee for issuance of the license; and the local licensing agency shall inscribe across the face of the license in red ink the words “service dog”

MD Code, Local Government, § 13-104