Elevation Certificate Information

Elevation Certificates Guidance


National Flood Insurance Program

Elevation Certificate and Instructions

March 5, 2017

Be advised, a revised elevation certificate has been approved by FEMA.  The link to the EC remains the same.  To read a summary of the revisions, Link to the FEMA/NFIP Bulletin w-17007 .  

The NFIP Elevation Certificate (EC) (FEMA form 086-0-33) is an administrative tool of the NFIP which is to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance wCover photo for the document: National Flood Insurance Program Elevation Certificate and Instructionsith community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, or support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Amendment based on fill (LOMR-F).

A community’s permit file must have an official record that shows new buildings and substantial improvements in all identified SFHAs are properly elevated. This elevation information is needed to show compliance with the floodplain management ordinance. FEMA encourages communities to use the Elevation Certificate developed by FEMA to fulfill this requirement since it also can be used by the property owner to obtain flood insurance. Communities participating in the Community Rating System (CRS) are required to use the FEMA Elevation Certificate.

The EC is referenced in the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual (Special Certifications Section).  The EC form is fillable and can be completed in either Adobe Acrobat Pro or Adobe Reader and saved.

Link here to the FEMA Elevation Certificate or go to FEMA’s website (https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/160) for the EC good until November 30, 2018.

For CRS purposes, the EC form should be used from now on, however, both the 2012 and 2015 Elevation Certificates can be accepted until December 31, 2016.  After December 31, 2016, only the 2015 EC form (link above) will be accepted.  Fillable PDFs allow surveyors to sign ECs without printing them. CRS encourage communities to submit the fully-digital ECs to ISO for CRS purposes.  This will increase the efficiency of the EC review process.


Elevation Certificate & Nonresidential Floodproofing Certificate Renewed

The Office of Management and Budget has cleared its review of both the revised FEMA Elevation Certificate form and the Nonresidential Floodproofing Certificate form. Both will be effective until November 30, 2018.

FEMA has indicated it will offer its usual 12-month transition period for the use of the new form. During that period, the previous form may still be used. CRS communities are encouraged to use the fillable form available on the FEMA website linked below.  Note that FEMA’s Residential Basement Floodproofing certificate is on a separate renewal cycle; that form is valid through November 2016.

FEMA is issuing a bulletin announcing the effectiveness of the new forms, and will be posting them on its website. Link to the form with instructions and diagrams FEMA Form 086-0-33Legal_plus_Photo_fields.


EC Made EZ Online Course

An Overview of the FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC). Presented by the NFIP Now EC Made EZ, one of the most popular classroom presentations, is even EZ-ier!  This online version combines video presentations with interactive learning to explain the use of a FEMA elevation certificate and much more.  This information is essential for anyone who uses an elevation certificate, including insurance agents, lenders, claims adjusters, surveyors, or community officials.  The course begins with an overview of the elevation certificate. It focuses on the EC’s purpose as well as how to find one and where to locate a professional to complete it.  Next, the course reviews terminology associated with the elevation certificate coupled with a description of its key parts and how to effectively use one. Included are discussions on:

  • Base flood elevations
  • Lowest flood elevation
  • Pre-FIRM and Post-FIRM buildings
  • How to calculate elevation differences
  • Building types and the EC’s ten building diagrams

Start at the beginning and work through each section or customize your approach, selecting just the parts that benefit you the most.  Click here to start the course No Registration Required.


Non-Engineered Opening Guide

The February 2015 Non-Engineering Opening Guide explains Compliance and Measurement Documentation of Non-Engineered Flood Openings for the Elevation Certificate in Accordance with the NFIP. The guide assists Surveyors, Floodplain Management, Construction Officials, and Insurance Professionals with identifying the net free area of Non-Engineered Openings found in the field.  Utilizing this guide to identify the net free area a Non-Engineered Opening vent provides will ensure sections A8 & A9 of the Elevation Certificate are accurately completed thus supplying the documentation to support compliance with the flood opening requirements.  Structures located in the floodplain (Zones A, AE, A1-A30, AR, AO, and AH ) with nonconforming flood openings are more susceptible to increased flood damage and increased flood insurance costs for the property owners.

Link here Non-Engineered Opening Guide.


Taking the Mystery Out of Flood Openings

There is a great article in the American Surveyor titled “Taking the Mystery Out of Flood Openings” by ASFPM’s Region 4 Regional Director, Terri L. Turner, AICP, CFM.  Surveyors and local floodplain officials will appreciate this useful resource that illustrates some important considerations when evaluating flood openings.

Click TheAmericanSurveyor_Turner-FloodOpenings_Vol10No6 for the article.


Homeowner’s Guide to Elevation CertificatesHomeowner's Guide to Elevation Certificates

An Elevation Certificate is an important tool that documents your building’s elevation. This FEMA-HFIAA_EC FActSheet_040715.pdf provides valuable information for homeowners about elevation certificates and flood insurance.



Floodplain management criteria for floodprone areas

    • 60.3 (b) (5) Requirement to Obtain Lowest Floor Elevation in Zone A






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