Elevator Unit - Index of Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the purpose of a State inspection?

    A State safety inspection is a multi-purpose activity. For a new device, the inspection serves to ensure that the device meets the Elevator Safety Orders that are being enforced at that time. It also verifies that the equipment installed complies with the design parameters.

    If modernization work is performed on a device, an inspection will validate that the work performed is in compliance with whatever edition of the Elevator Safety Orders that is applicable at that time.

    As a reinspection it allows the Safety Engineer the opportunity to review the activity and maintenance of the device and to see that the applicable Safety Orders, including whatever periodic tests that may be required, are complied with.

    The safety of the general public as well as the conveyance maintenance/repair personnel is paramount.

  2. When is an inspection required?

    An inspection is to be made whenever the California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Division 1, Chapter 4, Subchapter 6, Elevator Safety Orders (ESO) require it. Currently, an inspection is required when a device in first installed as new before it can be released for public use; when any alteration/modernization work is performed as outlined in the ESO; annually and when a device has been reactivated after being taken out of service for an extended period of time.

    Elevators in a multiunit residential building serving no more than two dwelling units that are not accessible to the public shall be inspected by the Division upon completion of installation prior to being placed in service, or after alterations prior to being returned to service.

  3. Who is authorized to perform inspections?

    Only Safety Engineers employed by the State of California and Certified Competent Conveyance Inspectors (CCCI) are authorized to perform inspections in California. A CCCI is someone who has been determined by the Division to have the qualifications and ability of a competent conveyance inspector and is certified as a CCCI by the Division.


  1. What is the difference between an owner and a responsible party?

    Most of the time, the owner and the responsible party are the same. The owner is the owner of the building/elevator. The owner can designate another person such as a building manager to act as the responsible party (agent for service) to receive correspondence and invoices, and maintain service related to the operation of the elevator. Ultimately though, the owner is responsible for compliance and payment of all elevator related fees and penalties.

  2. Who is responsible for maintaining a current Safety permit for a conveyance?

    The owner/responsible party for any location are responsible for maintaining a current Safety permit for a conveyance.

  3. How do I request a copy of the conveyance records?

    Send a written request for a copy of the conveyance records to the effected district office. Be sure to include a contact telephone number so you can be notified regarding the amount of payment for those records. Once payment has been received and processed, the records will be sent to the address provided.

  4. How do I get a job as a Safety Engineer?

    Visit Employment Opportunities with DIR for information regarding positions with the Department of Industrial Relations.

  5. Is maintenance required for conveyances?

    Yes. Maintenance requirements are currently based on installation date.

    In general, Group II and Group III installations require the following:

    Maintenance of devices listed in section 3000(c) shall comply with Part XII of ASME A17.1-1996; except for Rule 1200.1, Rule 1206.10, section 1214, section 1215, section 1216, and section 1217; which is hereby incorporated by reference.

    Group IV installation require:

    Maintenance of conveyances covered by ASME A17.1-2004 shall comply with ASME A17.1-2004, section 8.6.

    The correct Group designation for your installation should be posted on the cover for either the disconnect switch or controller.

  6. The conveyance in my building acts erratically and/or makes strange noise(s). What should I do?

    If you are the owner or manager of the building, you should contact the company that has the contract for conveyance maintenance at that building.

Elevator Companies

  1. How do I request an inspection of a new or modified conveyance?

    If the conveyance is new or altered, the request must be generated by the certified installing company.

  2. When do I request inspection of a new or modified conveyance?

    The CQCC who installs the conveyance will be asked to verify certain data to confirm that the conveyance is ready to pass inspection. All requirements, whether elevator or building related, must be complete for the inspection date to be granted. This will include verification that all Life/Safety, Emergency Signaling Devices and associated testing requirements per applicable code have been performed and verified to be operating as intended before the Division will come to witness such tests. If you have any issues you feel are in conflict with your installing company, these should be resolved prior to the request for an appointment to inspect. You can contact the Senior Safety Engineer in the effected District office to request assistance in the resolution of any conflicts in order to resolve them prior to the inspection date.


Go to our Certifications page to learn how to become a certified conveyance professional.

Elevator/Building Owners

  1. When should I request an inspection of a conveyance already in use?

    You can request an inspection 30 days prior to the expiration of the current permit.

  2. I received a Preliminary Order. What do I do?

    On the document you received from the Division there should be an address, phone and fax number. You can call that office to verify correctness and send the required written notice of corrections to the specified district office. If your elevator service company has stated that they will contact the Division with this written documentation, please note that the responsibility for this written notification of compliance of all requirements is yours and do not rely on any other agreement. Some of the requirements are building related and the elevator company does not clear them.

  3. What conditions can cause the State to shut down my elevator?

    If your conveyance has been secured by the State it is due to one or more circumstances.

    The most common reason is noncompliance with the ESO write-up(s) identified in your Preliminary Order from a prior inspection. If you fail to submit verification from a Certified Qualified Conveyance Company that the requirements have been corrected within the allotted time frame, the conveyance can be shut down.

    If the inspector finds a code violation that is considered an imminent hazard, rather than run the risk of a possible injury or accident, they will secure the device.

    If you have failed to pay the inspection fees and/or penalties resulting from an inspection, an Order Prohibiting Use will be issued and the conveyance will be secured.

  4. My conveyance has been shut off by the State. Now what do I do?

    After shutting off an elevator, DOSH inspectors leave an Order Prohibiting Use (OPU) at the site with a responsible party. If you cannot find the OPU, call the Elevator Unit district office for your area and explain the situation. Be sure to have the State ID number for the device in question as well as the street address where the device is located.

    If work is required to bring the conveyance into code compliance, ensure that it is done by a Certified Qualified Conveyance Company (CQCC).

    If your conveyance has been shut off for lack of payment, go to the Elevator Payments page to find out how to remit payment.

  5. I have shut off the conveyance(s) in my building. Now what do I do?

    If you have the authority to secure the conveyance(s) in your building, your actions should conform to the applicable suggested procedures for removing an installation from service. Any Certified Qualified Conveyance Company (CQCC) may be able to perform this duty.

    After securing your conveyance(s) you should send a written notice to the District office for your area. It should state what was done, who did it, length of time for the device to be shut down and who to contact for any other information that may be required.

  6. If an owner/responsible party changes, what should be done?

    The new owner and/or the responsible party should notify the pertinent Elevator Unit district office
    to report any changes to the ownership/administration of any conveyance. It is recommended that a review for any outstanding code violations or unpaid invoices be made as soon as possible.

  7. Who is authorized to perform work on my conveyance?

    In accordance with the California Labor Code, only a Certified Competent Conveyance Mechanic working for a Certified Qualified Conveyance Company is authorized to perform any maintenance, repairs, alterations, or replacements on any conveyance subject to those orders.


  1. I keep getting a one year permit for my conveyance. Is there a permit for a longer period of time?

    At this time a two-year permit is available. The details of eligibility are in the Elevator Safety Orders (ESO).

    If you are not the owner or manager, you should contact those individuals to take corrective action. If after contact, nothing appears to be done to address the issue, you can contact the ESO District office for your area. You will need to provide the name and contact telephone number of the owner or responsible party that has been contacted.

  2. How can I get a replacement copy of my permit?

    Request a copy of your permit from the appropriate office. Currently the cost for replacing a permit is $15. A copy of a permit can only be issued if the permit is current.


  1. What is the cost for issuing a copy of the conveyance records?

    The cost for copies of conveyance records is subject to change without prior notice. Currently record copies cost $0.50 per page plus postage.

  2. Why is the invoice payment required to be sent to one location and all other correspondence to somewhere else?

    Each District office handles the technical and administrative duties for their respective territories. Invoicing is centralized for the entire State in our San Francisco office.

  3. What will happen if the required payment is not received by the State and recorded within the 60 day timeframe as stipulated?

    Invoices must be paid within the 60 days allotted. All invoices have a completion date shown on the document. The necessary time to process the payment is included in that 60 day window.

    Invoices not paid within 60 days are charged a 100% penalty payment. A second invoice is generated for the penalty and payment of that invoice is also required. Seventy-five days (75) after non-payment, accounting notifies the responsible party.

    Failure to pay either the original fee and/or the penalty can result in an Order Prohibiting Use (OPU) and the State may shut down the conveyance.

  4. Can a penalty fee be cancelled? If so, what is the procedure?

    There may be extenuating circumstances that would cause cancellation of a penalty payment. That determination would have to be made at Headquarters. Headquarters is currently located in San Diego, CA and can be reached at (619) 767-2050.

  5. What is the fee schedule?

    Fees vary based on the type of equipment and the inspection. Visit our Elevator Payments page for details on fees and payments methods.

October 2020