|Guidelines for Operating Amusement Rides|
Amusement rides regulated in the state of Florida fall into two major groups; temporary amusement rides (those that are regularly relocated with or without assembly), and permanent facility amusement rides (those that are not regularly relocated and operate as a lasting part of the premises).
Before amusement rides can operate in the state, owners/operators must have proof of appropriate insurance, an Affidavit of Compliance and Nondestructive Testing and pass an inspection conducted by state inspectors.
The permitting process starts with a request for inspection (see below). Permitting through the mail is not possible. When the inspector arrives at the event or location, he or she will verify and validate the insurance coverage and Affidavit of Compliance and Nondestructive Testing (see below). When this is completed, the inspector will inspect the ride for compliance with state standards for amusement rides.
When the ride passes the inspection, the permit application is completed and the appropriate fees are paid, the inspector will issue a United States Amusement Identification (USAID) plate and a permit decal (both plate and decal are considered the permit to operate). The plate must be affixed permanently to the amusement ride. The inspector will also issue an inspection certificate. The inspection certificate (IC) indicates the ride has been inspected at a specific location/site and is good for six months unless the ride is relocated. If it is relocated, another inspection must be requested. The inspection certificate will be posted on the ride by the inspector so that it is visible to patrons. The inspection certificate, USAID plate and permit decal are non-transferable.
If the ride fails the inspection, a Stop Operation Order (red tag) will be issued and the ride cannot operate until it is removed by an inspector. It costs $500 for a re-inspection of the ride(s) at the same location it was red tagged.
Request for Inspection (It All Starts With a Request)
To request an inspection, submit DACS Form 03429 to the Bureau of Fair Rides Inspection at least 14 calendar days in advance of inspection date. If the form is received in less than 14 calendar days, it is late, and $100 per ride, late request fee will be charged.
Please follow the instructions on the back of the DACS-03429 when completing the form. Ensure the total number rides requested for inspection match the total listed.
You will get a return fax or email confirming the inspection date. A Bureau inspector will come to the event or location to inspect the ride and issue the required permit and/or inspection certificate.
Please remember to have the required affidavits and proof of insurance available for the inspector at the event at the time of inspection and an authorized individual to pay the required fees.
The Bureau does not accept cash or credit cards. Payment must be made by check or money order at the time of inspection.
Existing permanent facilities may submit a DACS Form 03429 to renew the permit or inspection certificate. However, the Bureau monitors expiration dates for permits, affidavits, insurance and inspection certificates and will notify the facility via facsimile a few weeks in advance that an inspection is required and establish a date for inspection. If the existing facility is adding new rides, then a DACS Form 03429 must be submitted to the Bureau 15 calendar days in advance of the inspection date.
For a new permanent facility or one that is changing ownership, a DACS Form 03429 must be submitted to the Bureau 15 calendar days in advance of the inspection date and the same guidelines apply as for temporary rides, discussed above.
When a permanent facility receives notification that an inspection is scheduled for existing amusement rides, please have an authorized person available to issue a check or money order at the time of inspection.
To obtain a permit to operate an amusement ride in Florida, the owner must obtain an insurance certificate in the amount of $1 million per occurrence and $1 million aggregate. Contact an insurance agency of your choice to obtain insurance coverage, but make sure the policy is procured from an insurer that is licensed to transact business in Florida. Also ensure the insurance certificate has a policy number on it (TBD is not acceptable) and a list of rides covered by theme name and serial number. The Bureau cannot accept insurance without a list of rides and serial numbers. Make sure serial numbers on the insurance match those on the affidavits. Insurance expires at 12:01 a.m. of the expiration date, not 11:59 p.m. on the expiration date. This means at one minute after midnight on the expiration date, insurance has expired.
Each amusement ride company seeking permitting must have its own insurance certificate.
|Affidavit of Compliance and Nondestructive Testing|
In addition, the owner must submit a DACS Form 03433, Affidavit of Compliance and Nondestructive Testing , completed by a qualified inspector or professional engineer authorized by the Bureau to execute these documents. Contact the Bureau to obtain a list of qualified inspectors to arrange for their services.
The affidavits are good for 60 days after execution. Keep this in mind and request an inspection before the end of the 60 days. The payment of fees for affidavits is made directly to those individuals or agencies. The Bureau will not permit rides until the affidavits and insurance are complete and available at the time the inspector arrives at the event.
THE BUREAU WILL ACCEPT ONLY THE ORIGINAL AFFIDAVITS (NO COPIES OR FACSIMILES). MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE ORIGINALS AT THE EVENT/SITE/LOCATION AT THE TIME OF PERMITTING.
Affidavits are good for one year and expire at 11:59 p.m. on the expiration date. Affidavits are transferable but are subject to the 60-day rule.
Normally insurance or affidavits are issued for one year. Once they expire, the permit is invalid and the amusement ride may not operate. It is your responsibility to ensure insurance, affidavits and permits are current.
|Operations and Maintenance Manuals/Instructions|
Upon request, the owner shall provide, at no cost to the Bureau, a copy of the manufacturer’s current operating instructions, operating fact sheet and any written bulletins concerning the safety, operation or maintenance of the amusement ride. Make sure an amusement ride manual is always on site while open to patrons.
Amusement ride owners/operators should notify the Bureau prior to modifications taking place. Also notify the Bureau when in receipt of manufacturer’s bulletins or notices affecting ride operation or maintenance.
After an amusement ride has undergone a major modification and before the ride is placed in operation, a professional engineer, licensed by the state in which certification is performed, must certify that the amusement ride complies with s. 616.242, F.S. and all rules. A major modification is defined as, any change in structural or operational characteristics of the ride which will alter its performance from that specified in the manufacturer’s design criteria.
The owner/operator is responsible to report an accident for which a patron is transported to a hospital verbally within 4 hours of the occurrence. To report an accident call (850) 921-1530 or after hours call (800) 663-3542. A written report using DACS Form 03428 must be faxed or emailed within 24 hours after the occurrence of the accident.
The owner/operator is responsible to report any mechanical, structural, or electrical defects affecting patron safety, for which a ride is closed for patron use for more than 4 hours. This report must be made by telephone or facsimile within 8 hours and followed by a written report on DACS Form 03430 , within 24 hours after the closing of the ride.
Owner/Operator’s Daily Inspection:
The owner/operator is responsible to inspect the amusement ride prior to opening each day of operation. Record the inspections:
- Carnival-type Rides - DACS Form 03424
- Water Parks - DACS 03425
- Go-Kart Tracks/Vehicles - DACS 03426
- Bungy Jumps - DACS 03427
Any deficiencies discovered during the daily inspection must be corrected prior to opening to patrons. Inspection records must be kept on site for the last 14 daily inspections and made immediately available upon request.
The owner/operator is also responsible to train and record training for each employee authorized to operate, assemble, disassemble, transport or conduct maintenance on the ride. Use form DACS Form 03431 . Training records must be kept on site and available for review.
Note: The above summary is provided to assist you in understanding the main requirements of the Statutes and Administrative Code and it is not intended as a replacement. In all cases, the final determining authority is the Statute and Administrative Code.