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Apply for an Assistance Animal Permit

Transport for NSW Assistance Animal Permit

If you'd like your assistance animal to travel with you on public transport, you must have an accepted type of valid accreditation. This accreditation will allow your animal to ride with you, free of charge on all NSW metro, train, bus, ferry, light rail, taxi, private bus and private ferry services.

The accepted types of valid accreditation are:

You must carry your accreditation with you at all times as proof of entitlement.You may be refused access to public transport if you cannot produce your valid accreditation when requested.

You can apply for an Assistance Animal Permit on this page. Interstate visitors can apply for an interstate permit, but it is not required if you currently hold accreditation accepted by Transport for NSW.

To obtain an Assistance Animal Permit from Transport for NSW you will need:

  • A medical certificate confirming that you have a disability disability within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth);
  • Documentation showing that the assistance animal (where relevant) has been registered with the handler’s local Council;
  • An assessment letter or report dated within the last six months from an organisation registered with TfNSW identifying:
    • The skills and actions that the assistance animal exhibits to alleviate the effects of the handler’s disability;
    • The assistance animal meeting the appropriate behaviour and hygiene standards for a public place; and
    • The handler having control of the assistance animal; and
  • A colour photograph of the assistance animal

Your Transport for NSW Assistance Animal Permit has a photo of the approved assistance animal on it and cannot be used for another animal.

If you or your animal do not meet the requirements to be eligible for an Assistance Animal Permit, please refer to the advice on travelling with pets and companion animals.

To renew your permit, please fill in the appropriate section in the applicable form.

Important information before applying:

  • You will be required to provide documentation to support the conditions of use, so be sure to prepare a photocopy or scan of your supporting documents
  • Ensure your assistance animal has been approved by a registered organisation
  • Permits are issued for free and are valid for 24 months. After this time you will need to renew your accreditation and provide evidence that both you and your animal have completed refresher training within the last 6 months.

For a replacement Transport for NSW Assistance Animal permit, either call 131 500 or download either the Application for an Assistance Animal Permit form or the Interstate Application for an Assistance Animal Permit form.

Submit the completed form and supporting documents online via the Concessions application form. A replacement fee may apply.

Ensure that you provide an assessment letter or report from a Registered Organisation:

Assistance Dogs Australia
Phone: 1800 668 364

Centre for Service and Therapy Dogs of Australia Pty Ltd
Phone: 0458 458 541
Email: info@cstda.com.au

Hans van Heesbeen t/a Service Dog Training
Phone: (03) 8362 3091
Email: hans@vanheesbeen.com

Integra Service Dogs Australia
Phone: 0412 547 889
Email: benjohnson@isda.com.au

K9 Tales Pty Ltd
Phone: 0478 600 379
Website: https://k9-tales.business.site/

Miracle Assistance Dogs Inc
Phone: (02) 4934 3051
Email: info@miracleassistancedogs.org.au

Personal Assistance Dog Solutions
Phone: 0458755757
Email: adele@pads-australia.org

Smart Pups Assistance Dogs for Special Needs Children Inc
Phone: (07) 5485 0031

If you would like your organisation to be registered with TfNSW, you must provide the following evidence for review:

  1. Details of your organisation – this includes corporate information, charity status if applicable and extent of operations.
  2. All policies relevant to the delivery and/or review of training programs and testing regimes for assistance animals and their handlers, as well as policies covering the qualifications of trainers and assessors.
  3. Training materials – These materials should detail the training that is provided to both the animal and handler. Training materials must indicate that all assistance animals on completion of the training:
    1. Are trained to perform skills or actions that alleviate a disability; and
    2. Meet standards of behaviour and hygiene that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.
  4. Assessment/Testing – This information should detail the testing criteria used to assess both handlers and their animals.  This information should also include information on re-accreditation processes for the handler and their animal to maintain their accreditation and how often this re-accreditation is conducted.

Please send this information online via the Concessions Application form. If your organisation provides satisfactory evidence, then you can be registered with TfNSW.

Further information

Your assistance animal is not required to be trained by a registered organisation, and you are welcome to train your own animal if you wish. However, you are not able to assess your own animal, which is why an assessment letter or report from a registered organisation is required.

You can renew your Assistance Animal Permit using the appropriate application form. You will need to provide evidence that both you and your animal have completed refresher training within the last 6 months.

If you live interstate, you are welcome to apply for an Assistance Animal Permit using the appropriate application form. However, if you already hold an alternative form of accepted accreditation (pdf 973KB), you do not need to apply for an Assistance Animal Permit.

An application for an Assistance Animal Permit may be refused on a number of grounds. These grounds include:

  • Providing false or misleading information
  • Failing to provide the evidence requested on the Application Form>
  • Providing a letter or report from an organisation that is NOT registered with TfNSW
  • Providing evidence from a registered organisation that does not align with the information declared by the organisation

Animals that do not have an accepted type of valid accreditation are classified as pets and companion animals.  Pets and companion animals may not be permitted on all NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services. Find out more about travelling with animals and pets.

In accordance with industry recognition, therapy animals, facility animals and emotional support animals are considered to be companion animals under this Policy. Find out more about this distinction on the RSPCA website.

Full public access rights do not apply to therapy, facility and emotional support animals as these animals are generally companion animals providing physical or mental support in the home setting and may not have been specifically trained and/or certified. Further information is available on the A.W.A.R.E. Dogs Australia website

An emotional support animal is a companion animal that may not have been task-trained and is used in the home. The distinction between an assistance animal and an emotional support animal is that the latter does not have public access rights and may not gain access to no-pets-allowed places.

If you would like your organisation to be registered with TfNSW, you must provide the following evidence for review:

  1. Details of your organisation – this includes corporate information, charity status if applicable and extent of operations.
  2. All policies relevant to the delivery and/or review of training programs and testing regimes for assistance animals and their handlers, as well as policies covering the qualifications of trainers and assessors.
  3. Training materials – These materials should detail the training that is provided to both the animal and handler. Training materials must indicate that all assistance animals on completion of the training:
    1. Are trained to perform skills or actions that alleviate a disability; and
    2. Meet standards of behaviour and hygiene that are appropriate for an animal in a public place.
  4. Assessment/Testing – This information should detail the testing criteria used to assess both handlers and their animals.  This information should also include information on re-accreditation processes for the handler and their animal to maintain their accreditation and how often this re-accreditation is conducted.

Please send this information online via the Concessions application form. If your organisation provides satisfactory evidence, then you can be registered with TfNSW.

Assistance animals with an accepted type of valid accreditation are permitted to travel on NSW public transport services. This includes:

  • train services operated by Sydney Trains, NSW TrainLink and Sydney Metro;
  • coach services operated by NSW TrainLink;
  • Sydney Light Rail and Newcastle Light Rail services;
  • Sydney Ferries and Newcastle Ferries services;
  • metropolitan, outer metropolitan and regional regular route bus services; and
  • taxi, private bus and private ferry services throughout NSW.

Assistance animals with an accepted type of valid accreditation are also permitted to access NSW public transport premises. This includes the paid and unpaid public areas of:

  • Sydney Trains;
  • Sydney Metro;
  • NSW TrainLink;
  • Sydney Light Rail;
  • Newcastle Light Rail;
  • Sydney Ferries; and
  • Newcastle Ferries.

When travelling on booked services, the handler must notify NSW TrainLink at the time of booking their travel that their assistance animal will be travelling with them.

  1. A handler and their assistance animal must carry or display an accepted type of valid accreditation at all times when accessing on NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services.
  2. An accepted type of valid accreditation must be produced if requested by an authorised officer (including Transport Officers and Police Officers).
  3. A handler and their assistance animal with a valid form of accepted accreditation are entitled to access NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services.
  4. Only one (1) assistance animal may accompany a handler on NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services at any one time.
  5. A handler travelling on booked services with their assistance animal must notify NSW TrainLink at the time of booking that their assistance animal will be travelling with them.
  6. An assistance animal must be kept under the handler’s direct physical control at all times on NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services. On booked services, it may be permissible in consultation with NSW TrainLink staff for the assistance animal to be temporarily left alone and not under the direct physical control of the handler (for example, in order for the handler to obtain food from the buffet car or visit the toilet).
  7. When accessing NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services, an assistance animal must not:
    1. cause any distress or inconvenience to customers or staff;
    2. cause any risk to the health, safety and welfare of any employee or any other person;
    3. disrupt the operations;
    4. sit on seats provided; or
    5. block doorways or aisles.
  8. An assistance animal can consume food and/or water on NSW public transport premises. On booked services, an assistance animal can consume food and/or water following consultation with and approval from NSW TrainLink staff.
  9. An assistance animal must be clean and properly groomed at all times whilst on NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services.
  10. A handler is responsible for the care, conduct and hygiene of their assistance animal at all times on NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services, and must clean up any mess made by their assistance animal.
  11. A handler must comply with all reasonable directions given by any employee whilst entering, being upon, or leaving NSW public transport premises and NSW public transport services with their assistance animal.
  12. Upon review, TfNSW reserves the right to:
    1. revoke an Assistance Animal Permit;
    2. deregister an organisation; and
    3. remove an exemption

if there is sufficient evidence that a handler and/or their assistance animal do not comply with these conditions.

  1. An Assistance Animal Permit must be renewed every 24 months and it is the responsibility of the assistance animal’s handler to renew the Assistance Animal Permit prior to the expiry of the current Assistance Animal Permit.

For more information on travelling with an assistance animal, please see the Transport for NSW Assistance Animal Policy (pdf 1.3MB).