Elevator Inspections

Roel Garcia, Division Manager

PWE Logo


Elevator Inspection Process




In 1987 City Council adopted a ordinance designed to regulate the installation, repair and general safety of elevators, escalators, chair lifts, dumbwaiters, manlifts and similar conveyances. Conveyances located in commercial establishments are required to have an annual inspection and traction elevators are required to be periodically load tested to assure minimum safety standards are maintained. There are three basic components of this process; each involves the owner/operator of the conveyance: (1) Annual Operating Permit fee, (2) Annual inspection, (3) Periodic full-load test.


Owners and/or Operators of subject conveyances receive annually a combination Invoice and Notice of Required Inspection from the City. The Owner/Operator is responsible for scheduling the necessary firms and personnel to perform and witness required inspections and/or tests. Additionally, the Owner/Operator pays the prescribed Operating Permit Fee directly to the City.


Basic compliance process


  • The Owner/Operator engages an Approved Elevator Inspection Agency or Authorized Company.
  • Their inspector then submits his/her inspection report to the City.
  • The Owner/Operator submits payment of the annual operating permit fee directly to the City of Houston.
  • Upon receipt of the inspection reports and annual operating permit fee, the City produces an Annual Operating Permit and mails it to the owner/operator.
  • The Owner/Operator posts the Annual Operating Permit within the building which houses the conveyance(s).


This process is repeated each year as prescribed by law.


Back to Top


General information


Annual Elevator Fee and Notice of Required Inspection


Each year, Owner/Operators of subject conveyances are mailed a combination Annual Elevator Fee invoice and Notice of Required Inspection. The Invoice/Notice describes the location, type and quantity of conveyances. The fee amount is indicated along with the type of inspection or test required for each conveyance. Conveyance Owner/Operators use this invoice to pay the operating permit fee, and to initiate the inspection process.


Invoice/Notice mailing is based on a quarterly cycle. The Owner/Operator of subject conveyances will receive the Invoice/Notice during the same quarter of each subsequent year.


Inspection Types


Annual Inspection


An annual inspection is required for each conveyance. Inspection procedures are based on requirements appearing in the Elevator Code (ANSI A17.1). The City of Houston does not perform elevator inspections. Private sector businesses accepted by the City as "Approved Inspection Agencies" or "Authorized Companies" are engaged by the conveyance Owner/Operator to provide the inspection report. The Owner/Operator of the conveyance must coordinate the inspection process with their Inspection agency.


Full Load Test


Traction type elevators, and dumbwaiters equipped with safeties, require a full load test periodically. The load- test is to be performed once every (5) five years. Periodic load tests are not required for existing escalators, hydraulic elevators or conveyance types other than traction elevators and specified dumbwaiters.


Annual inspection may be performed by either an Approved Inspection Agency or an Authorized Company. However, only an Approved Agency may perform a load test. An Elevator Company or other qualified elevator maintenance personnel provide the necessary labor and material to perform the load test. The Approved Agency then submits a load-test report to the City.




If an inspector's report indicates violation of Houston's elevator safety regulations, the City will notify the conveyance owner/operator of the nature of violations and will stipulate a time by which corrections should be made. After corrections are made to the conveyance, the Owner/Operator must again engage the inspector to reinspect the conveyance and submit a reinspection report to the City. (Usually the same approved agency or authorized company that provided the original inspection report)


Back to Top


Annual Operating Permit


Upon receipt of both the Annual Operating Permit Fee and the Approved Agency's Inspection report (provided the inspection report indicates approval) the City produces and mails the Operating Permit to the Owner/Operator.


The Annual Operating Permit is to be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises.


Operating Permit Fee


Houston's building code assigns a fee value for each conveyance within the city limits. The combination invoice and inspection notice displays the fee amount for the annual operating permit. This fee is to be paid directly to the City. Other expenses involved in the inspection process involve private agreements between Approved Inspection Agencies, Elevator Maintenance Companies (or qualified elevator maintenance personnel) and the conveyance owner/operator.


Operating Permit


For questions about elevators call: (832) 394-8861.

Back to Top


Follow HPC

facebook logo. Youttube logo.

HPC twitter logo image



CitizensNet logo.

Would you like to receive periodic emails from the City of Houston on topics of interest to you and your neighborhood? If so, register with CitizensNet today!

Service Principles

HPC principles image.

Click here to download document.

© 2019. All rights reserved. City of Houston