In accordance with the NYC Building Codes, elevators must be inspected and tested twice annually. Annual Inspections are performed by a contracted inspection agency on behalf of the Department. These inspections are usually unannounced, and owners must provide inspectors access so they can complete the required inspections/tests. If an inspector is unable to gain access, he/she will post a notice in a visible location with instructions for rescheduling the inspection.

Category Testing is performed and witnessed by approved independent third-party agencies licensed by the Department. Owners are responsible for hiring an approved inspection agency.

  • Category One (Cat-1). No load safety test performed between January 1st and December 31st each year 
  • Category Three (Cat-3). Performed on water hydraulic elevators only every three years from date of installation 
  • Category Five (Cat-5). Performed with rated load and speed every five years from date of installation 

NYC BC 14, Appendix K, Chapter K1, Table N1 lists all required Inspection/Test Intervals and corresponding Reference Codes.


Building owners are required to have a current maintenance contract with an approved elevator agency Building owners are required to have a current maintenance contract with an approved elevator agency available to perform elevator repair work, maintenance and replacement as defined by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The name, address and telephone number of the contracted agency must be readily accessible to building custodians and the Department.

The NYC Construction Code states maintenance contracts should include a Maintenance Control Program (MCP) that adheres to the maintenance protocol specified by the elevator manufacturer, or an MCP can be established by a design professional hired by the building owner. Additionally, a maintenance log detailing dates and description of maintenance performed on the device is required and must be kept on site along with the MCP.

In multiple dwelling units, owners are mandated to notify residents if an elevator will be out of service during planned construction or if the elevators are expected to be out of service for two or more hours. When an application for modernization has been filed, notices must be posted at least ten business days before work begins. Notices should specify the type of work being done and indicate the start and end dates of the elevator maintenance. Once the work permit is obtained, the permit must be posted in public until the work has been completed and signed-off.

Permits must be obtained for all elevator work. To obtain an elevator permit, a NYC licensed Elevator Director or registered design professional must submit a permit application in DOB NOW: Build. Previously submitted ELV1 job filings with a current BIS job number will continue to be processed through DOB’s Elevator Unit.

Inspection and test reports for Category Inspections must be submitted within 60 calendar days of the date of inspection. If defects are noted in the report, the defect is to be corrected within 120 days of the date of inspection and an Affirmation of Correction filed within 60 days from the date the defect is corrected.

The most common elevator violations are typically the result of the Failure to Maintain a building device. These violations are typically issued when defects are discovered during testing. Failure to Maintain violations may be issued by a Department inspector (DOB violations) or by a private agency contracted to perform inspections on behalf of the Department (PVT/DOB violations).

If you receive a DOB violation, you must correct the violating condition within ten (10) calendar days. For the DOB Violation to be dismissed you must correct the violating conditions and notify the Department. Owners who fail to comply with this requirement may be subject to a criminal court.

PVT/DOB Violations issued by a contracted agency inspector must be corrected within thirty (30) days from the date of the violation. To dismiss these violations, an Affirmation of Correction report must be submitted to the Department.

All Class 1: Failure to Maintain violating conditions must be corrected immediately and the device must be re-inspected by the Department of Buildings upon correction of the hazardous condition before the device is restored to service for public use. Building occupants may view the inspection certificate posted in the elevator cab or in the management office.