Table of Contents

    FAQs

    ​What is the difference between public use and private use?

    Public use means an operator of an amusement ride or amusement attraction does not prohibit or restrict access to the ride or attraction by members of the community, except as permitted under Section 2-19 of the Act and Section 6000.130 of the Rules?

    What is considered a carnival or fair?​

    Carnival means an enterprise which offers amusement or entertainment to the public by means of one or more amusement attractions or amusement rides. Fair means an enterprise principally devoted to the exhibition of products of agriculture or industry in connection with which amusement rides or amusement attractions are operated.

    What is a kiddie ride?​

    Kiddie Rides are those rides, which are designed for 75 pounds or less per passenger or as specified by the manufacturer.

    What is a major ride?​

    Major Rides are rides that are designed for more than 75 pounds per passenger unit or as specified by the manufacturer.

    Is there a fee for registration of an amusement ride or amusement attraction?​

    Yes, kiddie rides and inflatable attractions are inspected and issued an annual permit for a fee of $55.00 per ride. For all other major rides, the annual fee for an inspection and issuance of an initial permit is $130.00 per ride.

    Are there any other fees required?​

    No, only your initial inspection/permit fee(s).

    Does an amusement ride need to be registered with the State of Illinois?​

    Yes, if an amusement ride or amusement attraction is going to be operated for public use at a carnival or fair in this State, the ride must first be issued a permit from the Illinois Department of Labor. To receive a permit, you must submit an application, proof of insurance, and the required fees.

    How do I get an application for a permit to operate in Illinois?​

    Applications are available on our website or by calling our office at 217-782-9347.

    How long is my permit to operate valid?​

    Permits are valid for one year from January 1st to December 31st and are non-transferable.

    Who issues the permit to operate?​

    Permits are issued by the Illinois Department of Labor at the time of inspection. Once the inspector approves the ride for operation, the inspector will issue a permit decal, which he/she will affix to the actual ride.

    What type of amusement ride or amusement attraction requires a permit to operate in IL?​

    An amusement ride is defined as

     

    1. any mechanized device or combination of devices, including electrical equipment which is an integral part of the device or devices, which carries passengers along, around, or over a fixed or restricted course for the primary purpose of giving its passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills, or excitement;
    2. any ski lift, rope tow, or other device used to transport snow skiers;
    3. any dry slide over 20 feet in height, alpine slide, or toboggan slide;
    4. any tram, open car, or combination of open cars or wagons pulled by a tractor or other motorized device which is not licensed by the Secretary of State, which may, but does not necessarily follow a fixed or restricted course, and is used primarily for the purpose of giving its passengers amusement, pleasure, thrills or excitement, and for which an individual fee is charged or a donation accepted with the exception of hayrack rides;
    5. any bungee cord or similar elastic device or
    6. inflatable rides that are used at public events.

    An amusement attraction means "an enclosed building or structure, including electrical equipment which is an integral part of the building or structure, through which people walk without the aid of any moving device, that provides amusement, thrills or excitement at a fair or carnival, except any such enclosed building or structure which is subject to the jurisdiction of a local building code."

    Some of the many rides that require a permit are traditional amusement rides, whether mobile or in fixed parks, alpine slides, aerial trams and rope tows, ball crawls (inflatable), bumper boats, bungee cords and other elastic devices, carousels, dark rides, dry slides over 20 feet in height, euro jumps/power jumps, fun houses, go-kart tracks, haunted houses/barns, homemade rides, human gyroscopes, inflatable rides, log rides, mechanical bulls, merry go rounds, moonwalks, obstacle courses, power trampolines, ride simulators, ski lifts, swinging gyms, toboggan slides, trackless trains, trains in shopping malls, trams, Velcro walls, wagons pulled by a tractor and electrical systems on all of the above.

    What type of amusement ride or amusement attraction does NOT require a permit to operate in IL?​

    Some rides and attractions that do NOT require a permit to operate in Illinois are: air boats, ball crawls (permanent), batting cages, coin operated rides, dry slides under 20 feet, games, hay rack rides, hot air balloons, indoor interactive arcade games, jet skis, jousts, laser/paint ball war games, live-animal rides/shows, mazes (corn), paddle boats, parasails, playlands (located in public buildings), playground equipment (permanent), pony rides, rider-propelled merry-go- rounds, trampolines and water slides (water slides are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health).

    Where can I get a copy of the State of Illinois Carnival Statute and Rules?​

    They are available on our website? or by calling our office at 217-782-9347.

    Are there any exemptions to the Act or Rules?​

    Yes, any amusement ride or amusement attraction which is owned or operated by a non-profit religious, educational or charitable institution or association if such amusement ride or amusement attraction is located within a building subject to inspection by the state fire marshal or by any political subdivisions of the State under its building, fire, electrical, and related public safety ordinances and the amusement ride or amusement attraction itself is subject to inspection by a political subdivision of the State in accordance with Section 2 17 of the Act.

    Do moonwalks and inflatable rides require a permit?​

    Yes, if you operate inflatable rides or attractions at an event open to the public, you are subject to the regulations under this Act.

    If my company rents inflatable rides to people, do I need a permit for each ride?​

    No, not if you rent exclusively to individuals that will be using your inflatable rides for private events. However, if you rent an inflatable and it is operated at a public event without a permit, as the owner you are guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

    If I rent an inflatable ride for a party, do I need a permit?​

    No, the person who rents the ride does not need a permit. However, if the inflatable will be used at a public event, the owner of the ride must have a current permit affixed to the ride and provide an operator/attendant to operate the ride. You may verify that a ride is registered in Illinois by checking our website or calling our office at 217-782-9347.

    Does my amusement ride or amusement attraction require an inspection?

    Yes, if the ride is going to be operated for public use at a carnival, fair or other public event in Illinois.

    How do I request an amusement ride inspection?

    To request an amusement ride inspection, you must submit an application with the required documents and fees to the Illinois Department of Labor at least 30 days prior to the first day of operation or the expiration of the previous year�s permit. After approval of all required paperwork and receipt of the appropriate fees, an Illinois Department of Labor inspector will contact you to schedule an inspection.

    How often are amusement rides required to be inspected in Illinois?

    Each amusement ride or amusement attraction must be inspected by the IL Department of Labor before it is initially placed in operation in this State, and shall thereafter be inspected at least once each year. The inspector issues the operator an inspection certificate each time a ride passes inspection.

    What amount of insurance is required?

    Ride operators are required to maintain $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance. With respect to the operation of an amusement ride or attraction for a carnival located at a permanent site which has 5 or fewer amusement rides, none of which operates at a height exceeding 8 feet, the insurance policy, bond, or cash or security deposit amount required for bodily injury to or death of 2 or more persons in any one accident shall be not less than $500,000.

    Are there any additional insurance requirements?

    The company affording coverage must have a current A. M. Best Company (www.ambest.com) rating of "B" or better and a current A. M. Best's financial class of "V" or better. The owner/operator or the company affording coverage shall certify these ratings in writing and the certification must accompany your certificate of insurance.

    What if I see a ride operating in Illinois without the required permit?

    You are encouraged to notify the appropriate local law enforcement agency, as well as the Illinois Department of Labor at 217-782-9347. Any person who owns an amusement ride or amusement attraction at a carnival or fair without having obtained a permit from the Illinois Department of Labor is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. Each day shall constitute a separate and distinct offense (Section 2-15 of the Act). Furthermore, any person who operates an amusement ride or amusement attraction without having obtained a permit from the Department is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $2,500 per violation for a first violation and not to exceed $5,000 for a second or subsequent violation.

    Can I obtain a list of carnival operators registered in Illinois?

    Yes, a complete list is located on our website which is updated periodically. You may also call our office at 217-782-9347.

    Does Illinois have operator requirements?

     

    • Yes, an amusement ride or amusement attraction shall not be operated for public use at a carnival or fair in Illinois without an attendant or assistant.
    • The attendant and/or assistant shall be an employee of the owner or a volunteer and all ride attendants or assistants must be at least 16 years of age.
    • All operators must meet the appropriate training requirements to operate an amusement ride or amusement attraction.
      Effective January 1, 2008, no person, firm, corporation, or other entity that owns or operates a carnival or fair shall employ a carnival worker who:
      • has been convicted of any offense set forth in Article 11 of the Criminal Code of 1961, 
      • is a registered sex offender, as defined in the Sex Offender Registration Act, or
      • has ever been convicted of any offense set forth in Article 9 of the Criminal Code of 1961.
    • A person, firm, corporation, or other entity that owns or operates a carnival or fair must conduct a criminal history records check and perform a check of the Sex Offender Registry for carnival workers at the time they are hired and annually thereafter except if they are in the continued employ of the entity.
    • Individuals who are under the age of 17 are exempt from the criminal history records check requirements set forth in this subsection (b).
    • Any person, firm, corporation, or other entity that owns or operates a carnival or fair must have a substance abuse policy in place for its workers, which shall include random drug testing of carnival workers.

    How should criminal history records checks be performed?

    Criminal history records checks may be conducted by the Illinois State Police, another state or federal law enforcement agency or a business belonging to the National Association of Professional Background Check Screeners.

    How do I perform a sex offender registry check on carnival workers in my employ?

    Criminal history records checks may be conducted by the Illinois State Police, another state or federal law enforcement agency or a business belonging to the National Association of Professional Background Check Screeners.

    Once you enter the website, click �I agree�, if you agree to the terms and conditions as listed. Type in the appropriate security code as it is presented. Type in the first and last names of your operators in the boxes provided. If the search results says that a particular jurisdiction is "not available" at this time, these problems are usually fixed quickly and very rarely result in a jurisdiction being unavailable for more than an hour.

    If a site is unavailable for more than an hour, please send an e-mail to the following link/address webmaster@nsopw.gov and let them know. Print out the page(s) which apply to your search as appropriate. This information must be presented to the Illinois Department of Labor inspector during the initial inspection.

    What if my operators are volunteers?​

    Volunteers that operate or assist in the operation of an amusement ride or attraction open to the public are exempt from the criminal history records checks, sex offender registry checks and substance abuse policy provisions, but must comply with the training and age requirements.

    A volunteer is defined as a person who operates or assists in the operation of an amusement ride or amusement attraction for an owner or operator without pay or lodging, but is not otherwise employed by the same owner or operator to perform the same type of service as those for which the individual proposes to volunteer.

    What is the Carnival Worker/Staff Roster?

    The Carnival Worker Roster is a form provided to the owner by the Illinois Department of Labor on which he/she should list all ride operators, attendants and assistants. This form allows the owner and the Illinois Department of Labor inspectors to keep track of which requirements have been met by the owner for their ride operators, attendants and assistants. A copy should be maintained by the owner and made available at the time of inspection for the inspector.

    What is the Volunteer Roster?​

    The Volunteer Roster is a form provided to the owner by the Illinois Department of Labor on which he/she should list all ride operators, attendants and assistants that are volunteers. A copy should be maintained by the owner and made available at the time of inspection for the inspector.

    How long must I maintain the records associated with my workers and/or volunteers?​

    These records must be maintained by the owner or operator for a period of two years unless the records relate to an ongoing investigation or enforcement action under the Act, in which case the records must be maintained until after their destruction is authorized by the Department or court order.

    How does the general public know if a ride has been inspected by the State of Illinois?​

    The State of Illinois� annual permit to operate is permanently affixed to each ride or attraction that has been inspected and approved for public use.

    What is a non-destructive test (NDT) certification?​

    An affidavit of Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) is a document that indicates the ride has undergone non-destructive testing for each part the manufacturer recommends testing and/or the Carnival & Amusement Safety Board requires testing.

    How do I know if my ride requires a non-destructive test (NDT)?​

    Non-destructive tests are a requirement of the ride manufacturer (refer to your owner�s manual) or the Carnival & Amusement Safety Rules. A list of rides in Illinois that require a non-destructive test is available on our website?. All manufacturers� NDT requirements, in addition to this list, must be met prior to operation.

    Are there any other maintenance requirements beyond NDT�s?​

    Any owner having rides requiring a scheduled change of hardware that is safety critical shall be asked to provide proof of purchase to the Illinois Department of Labor unless such hardware is either stamped with the date of replacement or the date of replacement is permanently affixed to the part.

    Where do I find a qualified technician to perform a non-destructive test?

    Persons performing non-destructive testing on amusement ride components shall be qualified to NDT Level II or NDT Level III, in accordance with the American Society for Nondestructive Testing. The Illinois Department of Labor does not license and cannot recommend particular technicians.

    What do I do if there is an accident or incident on my ride/attraction?​

    • Personal Injury Report
      • The owner or manager of an amusement ride or amusement attraction shall report a serious injury to the Department within 24 hours after occurrence of the incident by telephone or other means of immediate communication.
        A "Serious Injury" means an injury for which treatment by a licensed physician is required.
        An owner or manager shall confirm in writing to the Director all such accidents within 48 hours after occurrence of the incident. Click here for Accident Reporting Form. The report of an accident may be a duplicate copy of the report submitted to the insurance companies.
    • Fatal Accident Reports
      1. ​An owner or manager shall immediately report to the Director all fatal accidents resulting from the operation of an amusement ride or amusement attraction.​
      2. The initial report shall be made by telephone and followed within 24 hours in writing.
      3. If the fatality is related to a major breakdown the Department shall initiate an investigation within 24 hours of initial notification.
      4. The amusement ride or amusement attraction shall not be moved or repaired without written approval of the Department. This rule shall not be construed to hinder any action by emergency response personnel or to prevent the elimination of any obvious safety hazard.
      5. The owner/manager shall afford the Department access to all facilities for inspection. He/she shall provide all information/facts known as to the cause of such accidents.
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