Elevator FAQs

We receive many questions concerning elevator inspections, below are some of the most commonly asked questions. If you have any additional questions, please contact your state's elevator inspection office.

Elevator installation and testing questions

What is required to install an elevator or conveyance system?
What is a variance, and who would need one?
What are the requirements for installing a used elevator or conveyance system in my state?

How to prepare an elevator for an inspection

Sometimes you will need to shut down and open up your elevator for a formal state-mandated inspection. Click here for best practices on how to do that.


What types of elevators are required to be inspected?

Generally speaking, all commercial elevators, moving stairways, dumbwaiters, moving walks, material lifts and dumbwaiters with automatic transfer devices, wheelchair lifts, automatic people movers and other associated devices are required to be inspected by your local jurisdiction. For help finding your state's Elevator Safety Division, click here.


What codes pertain to elevator safety?

Most jurisdictions have adopted the following codes for elevator safety: Safety Code for Elevators and Escalators (ASME A17.1/CSA B44) and Performance-Based Safety, Safety Code for Existing Elevators and Escalators (ASME A17.3), Safety Standard for Platform Lifts and Stairway Chairlifts (ASME A18.1), Standard for the Qualification of Elevator Inspectors (ASME QEI-1), Guide for Inspection of Elevators, Escalators, and Moving Walks (ASME A17.2), to learn the specific codes required in your state, click here.


Who is responsible for ensuring an elevator or conveyance system is inspected?

The owner or user is responsible for obtaining the required inspection and maintaining their elevators and or conveyance systems in safe working condition.


How do I arrange for an inspection of my elevators?

If the elevator or conveyance systems is required to be inspected, you will need to contact your local jurisdiction to find certified elevator inspectors. To find out how to arrange an inspection for your elevator, click here.


Who prepares the elevator for inspection?

The owner or user is ultimately responsible for preparing the elevator or conveyance system for inspection. The owner or user may perform these functions or contract it to a qualified individual or firm. To find a local certified Elevator Repair/Testing/Sales company to assist you with your elevator, click here.


Is there a fee associated with the elevator inspection?

Yes. To find out more the fees associated with your state, click here.


What is an inspection certificate?

The inspection certificate is evidence that the elevator or conveyance system has been inspected and is safe to operate. Most state laws require an inspection certificate to be displayed and avaialble to the publlic. Operation without the inspection certificate is considered a violation of the law. To find out what your state requires, click here.


What happens if an elevator in my building does not pass inspection?

If an elevator does not pass inspection, the inspector will usually issue a temporary certificate indicating that the owner of the elevator has a certain amount of days depending on the violation, to bring the elevator up to code. If the elevator has failed the inspection because it presents a life or safety hazard, the inspector will usually post on the entrance of the elevator a notice of its dangerous condition, or placard, and will disable the elevator. The use of such an elevator is typically prohibited until it has been made safe to the inspector's satisfaction. To find out what your state requires, click here.


My elevator was recently inspected and failed. The violation has been corrected. What do I do now?

Contact your state's Elevator Safety Division so an inspector can be notified that your object is ready for re-inspection. Generally, after receiving a satisfactory inspection report (noting that the violations have been corrected), your state's Elevator Safety Division will issue a permit. Every state is unique, so please check with your state if you have questions by clicking here.


What is required to install an elevator or conveyance system?

The person, firm or corporation performing the installation typically (depending on the state) must submit a "Request to Install" form or application to the state's Elevator Safety division and get approval (along with a permit number). Many of these forms are available online, if you would like to see what your state's requirements are for new installations or relocations, click here.


What is a variance, and who would need one?

A variance is ruling by the state's Elevator Authority that allows you to install or operate an elevator that does not meet current code requirements. A variance application is used for owners and users wishing to install an elevator/not meeting the statutes or codes in its entirety and must be obtained prior to operation of the unit. For more information on how to obtain a variance from your state's Elevator Safety Division, click here.


What are the requirements for installing a used elevator or conveyance system in my state?

If it is regulated, it must typically (depending on the state) meet all requirements for a new installation. In addition, a request to install used equipment must typically be approved by the state's chief inspector. For help in learning what your state requires, click here.