Laws and Rules

The state Legislature makes elevator laws, found in the Revised Code of Washington in Chapter 70.87 RCW. You may also find laws through the RCW search tool.

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) contains rules that are written by L&I based on the law. Elevator rules are found in Chapter 296-96 WAC.

The State Office of the Code Reviser maintains and updates laws and rules.

Stay updated on our laws and rules, rule development and policies by joining our email list.

Rule Development

2021-22 Rulemaking (Code Adoption)

L&I is considering changes to the elevator rules to adopt new safety codes from the 2019 edition of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A17.1., and other related codes.

L&I is also considering updates, clarification, housekeeping, and other changes to the rules. The rule changes would affect chapter 296-96 WAC, Safety regulations and fees for all elevators, dumbwaiters, escalators and other conveyances.

This rulemaking excludes rules with fees due to a separate rulemaking in progress.

To develop the proposed rules, L&I is accepting proposals for potential rule revisions from stakeholders.  You can submit rule proposal(s) by completing the “Elevator Rule Development Form”. Proposals will be accepted from Nov. 1 – Dec. 17.

You can send the proposal form by:

Email: ElevatorSect@Lni.wa.gov; or
Mail: Elevator Program
Department of Labor & Industries
Field Services & Public Safety Division
P.O. Box 44480, Olympia, WA, 98504-4480; or
Fax: 360-902-6132.

 See the Elevator Program’s Rulemaking Process for instructions on how to complete the proposal form.

Volunteer on the TAC

L&I is appointing a general Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of experts and interested group representatives from the elevator industry to review and make recommendations on submitted proposals. Membership will include representatives from across the industry, including:

2 Elevator Committee Members (Non-Voting) 1 ASME Code Panel Member
1 Fire Marshall 1 Engineer
1 Elevator Labor Representative 1 Testing Laboratory
1 Grain Industry Representative 1 General Public Member
4 L&I Inspection (1 Supervisor, 1 Technical Specialist, & 2 Inspectors) 3 Elevator Mechanics
4 City Regulators (2 City of Seattle & 2 City of Spokane Representatives) 3 Elevator Contractors
3 Building Owners  


To be considered for appointment to the TAC, interested persons are asked to apply by sending a letter of interest highlighting the representative position to the Chief Elevator Inspector. Applications will be accepted from Nov. 1 – Dec. 17.

See the Elevator Program’s Rulemaking Process for instructions on how to apply for the TAC.

Rulemaking documents:

Here’s what happens next:

  • Oct. 19: Pre-proposal (CR-101) filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
  • Nov. 1 – Dec. 17: Submit proposals for changes to the rules and apply for the TAC.
  • Jan. 2022: A Technical Advisory Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled.
  • Feb. 2022: A Special Elevator Safety Advisory Committee meeting is tentatively scheduled.
  • Jun. 2022: The Proposed rules (CR-102) are expected to be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
  • Jul. 2022: A public hearing on the proposed rules is tentatively scheduled.
  • Oct. 2022: The final rules (CR-103) are expected to be filed with the state Office of the Code Reviser.
  • Nov. 2022: The new rules are expected to take effect.

2021-22 Fee Increase

L&I is considering a 5.79% fee increase for fiscal year 2022. The fee increase is needed to support operating expenses for inspections of conveyances and other program public safety activities.

The fee increase would affect:
WAC 296-96-00922, Licensing fees.
WAC 296-96-01005, Obtaining permits.
WAC 296-96-01010, Installation and alteration permit fees.
WAC 296-96-01025, Permit fees for personnel and material hoists.
WAC 296-96-01027, Permit fee refunds.
WAC 296-96-01030, Plan approval.
WAC 296-96-01035, Inspection fees.
WAC 296-96-01040, Construction-use inspection fee.
WAC 296-96-01045, Residential elevator inspection and fees.
WAC 296-96-01055, Technical services and consultations.
WAC 296-96-01057, Accident investigations.
WAC 296-96-01060, Inspections after normal business hours.
WAC 296-96-01065, Annual operating permit fees.

Rulemaking Documents

Draft Fee Increase Chart

CR-101 Preproposal

Here’s what happens next:
• Oct. 5: Preproposal (CR-101) filed with the state’s Office of the Code Reviser.
• Nov. 30: The proposed rules (CR-102) are expected to be filed with the state’s Office of the Code Reviser.
• Jan. 5, 2022: A public hearing on the proposed rules is tentatively scheduled.
• Feb. 15, 2022: The final rules (CR-103) are expected to be filed with the state’s Office of the Code Reviser.
• March 18, 2022: The new rules are expected to take effect.

2019-21 Rulemaking

L&I has adopted a fee increase and changes to the state’s elevator rules that took effect Oct. 1.

The changes would affect Chapter 296-96 WAC Safety Regulations and Fees for All Elevators, Dumbwaiters, Escalators and Other Conveyances.

Fee increase

The 5.08% fee increase supports operating expenses for inspections and other public safety activities. We are also moving toward planned funding of a new Conveyance Management System (CMS). The CMS is the database used to provide permitting, inspection, and other information. Our current system is aging, failing, and no longer meets the service needs required for you, our customer.

The new CMS is expected to go online in 2023. It will include:
• A secure customer portal for you to manage your account information;
• The ability to submit applications and permits online, and;
• Immediate access to inspection results.

Another significant fee increase will take place next year in connection with funding this new system. We will have more information as this project proceeds.

Rule change

Rule changes include recommendations from the L&I Elevator Program’s Technical Advisory Committee and Elevator Safety Advisory Committee. Those changes update and clarify existing rules, and make housekeeping and other changes.

In response to stakeholder concerns, a significant change was made to WAC 296-96-02552 permitting elevator equipment to be located within the hoistway subject to the requirements in ASME A17.1/CSA B44. This does include some hydraulic elevator designs and electric traction elevators.

The National Elevator Industry estimates that employing the new WAC 296-96-02552 changes can create savings of $50,000-$100,000 per unit.[1] This represents a substantial savings over elevators with a dedicated machine room.

Rulemaking documents:

Related Resources

[1] National Elevator Industry Inc, NEII “Machine Room-less Elevators: The New Standard in Elevator Design,” available at: http://www.neii.org/mrls.cfm

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