Division of Hotels and Restaurants
This page contains helpful information about elevators. To apply for an elevator-related license using a paper application, please click the APPLY FOR/UPDATE LICENSE link above. To renew or maintain your license, please click the RENEW YOUR LICENSE link above.
Applying for an Elevator Variance
When an elevator owner is unable to comply with cited violations due to hardship, a variance may be requested. The variance request must meet the requirements of Section 120.542, Florida Statutes. In order for a variance to be granted the petitioner must present the following:
The specific codes the variance is requested for (not the violation codes from the inspection sheet but the actual rules those codes represent)
- A demonstrated hardship if they are required to meet the code
- How the petitioner intends to meet the intent of those specific codes (a variance cannot be granted unless the intent of the rule is met in some other way)
A petition for variance which does not meet these requirements will be denied.
There are two types of variance requests, routine and emergency. The bureau responds to routine requests within 90 days of receipt. An emergency petition must be responded to within 30 days, but you must include justification why a response is needed within 30 days. Without justification, the petition may be deemed a non-emergency and treated as a routine petition.
Important Information for New Installations
If you are applying for a variance for a new elevator installation, you will need to apply for a permit before the division will issue an order granting the variance. The division will notify you that the variance will be approved and provide the variance number to include on the permit application. Once the permit application is submitted and an elevator license number issued, the Petition for a Variance will be completed and filed. The elevator license number assigned upon application for the permit will be included in the order granting the variance.
- Routine or Emergency – Complete the form as indicated and specify if the request is a routine or emergency. Failure to make a selection in this section will result in your petition being treated as routine request.
- Variance Duration - If you only need time beyond the statutory limit of 90 days to comply with the rule mark temporary and indicate the date which you will be in compliance. If you cannot comply with the rule at all mark permanent.
- Petitioner – Indicate your name and address in the spaces provided. A person and or company name must be indicated, do not put the name of the building as a variance cannot be granted to the building. If you are representing the owner you must also attach a letter form the owner indicating you are authorized to act on their behalf.
- Building Name/Address – Fill in the name and address of the building. Please be sure this matches the name and address on the license.
- License Numbers – Fill in the license numbers of all the elevators you wish to be covered by this variance request. If needed, attach additional sheets with the information. Only elevators listed will be covered by the variance if it is granted.
- Rule(s) – List all rules that you wish the variance to exempt you from. If you do not know the rules specifically, consult the inspector you hired and who cited you. If your inspector cannot provide you with that information you may wish to hire another inspector or an elevator consultant. Your elevator service company may also be able to help you.
- Explanation – Explain why you cannot meet the rules listed above. Variances can only be granted when a documented hardship can be demonstrated, not simply because you do not wish to upgrade your elevator or that it is working fine as is.
- Hardship – Describe the hardship in sufficient detail to allow the Department to determine it is truly a hardship.
- Emergency Justification – If you are requesting an emergency variance, provide an explanation why you cannot wait 90 days for a response.
- Signature – Sign and date your request and provide a telephone number if you wish to be contacted by phone if any additional information is needed rather than by mail. If additional information is needed, your variance request is placed on hold until that information is received which can delay your request beyond the 30 or 90 days. Failure to respond to a request for additional information will result in your petition being denied.