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Singapore's Lift PTO Requirements: Application, Renewal & FAQs

Adrian ChiewMay 14, 2024
Singapore's Lift PTO Requirements: Application, Renewal & FAQs
Photo by Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/photos/a-close-up-of-a-metal-elevator-with-buttons-BoQ3FmPQgZI

Owning a lift in Singapore comes with responsibilities, one of which includes obtaining a Permit-to-Operate (PTO).

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into how lift owners can apply for and renew their PTO, as well as frequently asked lift PTO questions.

Let's get started!

What is the process of applying for a lift PTO in Singapore?

For new lifts / first PTO application:

  1. Once the lift installation is complete, it's a requirement to engage a BCA registered lift contractor. Your contractor will be responsible for regular lift maintenance and testing of lift equipment.

  2. You will also need to engage a Specialist Professional Engineer (SPE) focused on lift and escalator engineering, or SPE (L&E) for short.

  3. The BCA registered lift contractor will perform the examination and testing of your lift in the presence of the SPE (L&E).The SPE (L&E)'s job is to ensure that the lift is installed in accordance with the approved plans. The lift must also be tested and is in compliance with the prevailing regulatory standards. The SPE (L&E) will provide test reports and certify compliance on Form CSC04 during PTO application. If you're wondering, CSC04 refers to the Certificate of Supervision of Installation of Escalator(s)/Lift(s).

  4. PTO applications are made by the lift owner or owner’s representative via the Lifts and Escalators Application Portal (LEAP). From 21 November 2022, all applications for lift PTOs must be made through LEAP, which has replaced the previous Online Permit to Operate (OPTO) system. 

For existing lifts / PTO renewal

The process is similar to the above if the lift has not undergone major alteration or replacement (A/R) works.

In such cases, your BCA registered lift contractor will perform annual testing of the lift equipment under the supervision of a SPE (L&E). The SPE (L&E) will have to certify that lift examination, inspection and testing results comply with the regulatory standards.

To start the PTO renewal process, the lift owner has to:

  1. Login to LEAP using his/her SingPass or CorpPass account

  2. Initiate the Lift Renewal process, and

  3. Make a license fee payment of $20 per lift to BCA

Only when the owner has initiated and completed the fee payment can the lift contractor and SPE (L&E) continue with the renewal process.

If however, the lift has undergone major A/R works, the lift owner will need to notify BCA via LEAP and suspend the operation of the lift. Once the A/R works are completed, the owner will initiate a Lift Recommissioning process. 


Who is responsible for the PTO application?

The primary responsibility lies with the lift owner. It could be the building owner, developer or management corporation in the case of strata-titled properties. 

When must I renew the lift PTO?

You must renew the PTO before the expiry date. You can start the lift PTO renewal process three months before the expiry date of the current PTO. The lift must be examined, inspected, tested and approved by the SPE (L&E) before the current PTO expiry.

How much does it cost to apply for or renew a lift PTO?

The PTO license fee payable directly to BCA via LEAP is $20 per lift. If your PTO application is for more than 10 lifts, it will cost $200 for the first 10 lifts plus an additional $10 per lift for the 11th lift onwards. This is only for the BCA PTO license fee and does not include the Lift Contractor’s / SPE (L&E) fees.

What are the payment methods for PTO applications?

The lift owner or owner’s representative may make payment via debit card, credit card, Paynow, bank transfer or GIRO.

Will BCA conduct inspections before issuing the PTO for new lifts?

BCA may conduct inspections before or after the lift PTO is issued. This is to ensure the new lift is in compliance with regulatory requirements. When there are non-compliances found, rectifications will be required.

What is the validity period of a lift PTO in Singapore?

A lift PTO is valid for 12 months in Singapore.

How do I check on my lift's PTO status?

You may check on the PTO status here.

I have a valid lift PTO that has yet to expire. Are there any other cases where it will cease to be valid?

A valid lift PTO will cease to be valid when any of these happen:

  • The Commissioner provides a written directive for the cessation of the lift's operation

  • Major lift alteration or replacement (A/R) works commence

  • The lift owner informs the Commissioner that lift operations are permanently stopped

  • If the temporary occupation permit, relevant to the building (or section of the building) where the lift is at, has been revoked

What is the penalty if a lift owner does not prominently display a valid PTO in the lift?

The lift owner shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $5,000.

Are there any types of lifts that do not require a PTO?

Even though most lifts in Singapore need a PTO, there are some exceptions: 

  • Lifts located in a factory (regulated under MOM) and are exclusively used for transporting goods and materials. These lifts are called Material Hoists

  • Automated vehicle parking systems used solely for transporting vehicles

  • Hoists that are exclusively used for raising or feeding material into a machine

  • If a lift is a stage or orchestra lift

  • Lifts or hoists for a building under construction, if the lifts are exclusively used by workers involved in the construction or for transporting construction materials

  • Lifts functioning as part of amusement rides

  • Stairlifts or vertical platform lifts that: 

    • Travel for a maximum vertical distance of less than 1,000 mm;

    • Apply a maximum force of less than 150 N when operating; and

    • Serve only a single residential unit

Can a PTO be transferred to a new lift owner?

Yes. When there is a change in Lift Ownership (when the premise is sold etc.), the new lift owner can request for the transfer of the lift ownership via the LEAP system.

What happens when my PTO expires?

Not renewing your lift's Permit-to-Operate (PTO) promptly can lead to more than just a temporary interruption—it means an IMMEDIATE SUSPENSION and the lift has to be SHUT DOWN IMMEDIATELY. If this happens, a Lift Re-Commissioning process is necessary before your lift can be operational once again. 

We would like to emphasize that operating a lift without a valid Permit-to-Operate (PTO) is a serious offense in Singapore. If you fail to adhere to this regulation, as a lift owner, you could be guilty of an offense and be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $5,000. This stringent measure is in place to ensure the safety of all lift users. 

We hope this guide has helped you understand more about lift PTOs. For further queries or assistance, feel free to reach out to our team of lift experts.

Related resources

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