For handlers

Identification for Handlers

Section 12 of the Guide, Hearing and Assistance Dogs Act 2009 (the Act) sets out an identification procedure that handlers must comply with to identify themselves as a person who is accompanied by a certified guide, hearing or assistance dog, or a trainee support dog.

The person must display their approved handler identity card, or have it is available for inspection, and ensure their dog has the blue and white cloth badge on its harness or identifying coat.

A handler of a certified guide, hearing or assistance dog means a primary handler or an alternative handler of the dog. The primary handler is a person with disability who relies on the dog to reduce the person’s need for support. The alternative handler is an adult, who supports the primary handler of the dog to physically control the dog (e.g. a family member or carer).

Completion of the Public Access Test, Certification and Handler Identity Card Form is mandatory to obtaining a handler’s identity card. The approved trainer or training institution will then issue a handler’s identity card – when they are satisfied the person has met the following eligibility requirements:

  • The person has a disability as defined by the Act
  • The person relies on a guide, hearing or assistance dog to reduce their need for support
  • The person is able to physically control their dog, or has an alternative handler to support them to control the dog
  • Their dog passes the Public Access Test and is certified by an approved trainer or training institution.

People in charge of places of accommodation, public places, and public passenger vehicles may ask to see the handler’s identity card. This is part of the identification procedure under the Act.