As an administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Elevation Certificate is used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F).

The Federal Emergency Management Agency's recently published Elevation Certificate is to certify building elevations. According to guidelines, a separate certificate is required for floodproofing. 

Only a LOMA or LOMR-F from the FEMA can amend the FIRM and remove the Federal mandate for a lending institution to require the purchase of flood insurance. However, the lending institution has the option of requiring flood insurance even if a LOMA/LOMR-F has been issued by FEMA.

From the FEMA Elevation Certificate guidelines:

The Elevation Certificate may be used to support a LOMA or LOMR-F request. Lowest floor and lowest adjacent grade elevations certified by a surveyor or engineer will be required if the certificate is used to support a LOMA or LOMR-F request. A LOMA or LOMR-F request must be submitted with either a completed FEMA MT-EZ or MT-1 package, whichever is appropriate.

Under the NFIP, nonresidential buildings can be floodproofed up to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A floodproofed building is a building that has been designed and constructed to be watertight (substantially impermeable to floodwaters) below the BFE. Floodproofing of residential buildings is not permitted under the NFIP unless FEMA has granted the community an exception for residential floodproofed basements.

The community must adopt standards for design and construction of floodproofed basements before FEMA will grant a basement exception. For both floodproofed non-residential buildings and residential floodproofed basements in communities that have been granted an exception by FEMA, a floodproofing certificate is required. Additional guidance can be found in FEMA Publication 467-1, Floodplain Management Bu

Per FEMA, the Elevation Certificate is to be completed by a land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is authorized by law to certify elevation information when elevation information is required for Zones A1–A30, AE, AH, A (with BFE), VE, V1–V30, V (with BFE), AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1–A30, AR/AH, or AR/AO. Community officials who are authorized by law or ordinance to provide floodplain management information may also complete this form