The Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Act P. L. 1975 C105 as amended on July 20, 2001, requires a ride manufacturer and the ride owner to submit to the Department of Community Affairs documentation for review and release regarding all carnival and amusement rides, which are to be operated in New Jersey. The released documents result in an annual inspection and permit to operate the ride in New Jersey.

The act has established a process by which the industry can, with assurance, know the requirements by which the Department of Community Affairs will review, inspect and release rides for operation in New Jersey whether at permanent parks or moving carnivals. The process requires the full participation and understanding of all concerned so that the process is efficient, effective, predictable and meets its objectives. This document is designed to address the responsibilities of the parties and what they may expect as they work within the Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Program.

Further, the Department supports this program through a web site, log on to and it will give you access to the New Jersey Home Page. Once you have logged onto the site, select the Department of Community Affairs from the Departments/Agency list, then at the DCA home page pick Division of Codes and Standards; under Programs , pick Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety. Once logged onto the site, bookmark the web page for future reference. The unit site currently has both a PDF file of the full regulations for download and printing and also a HTML version that you can index to the area of the rules you wish to review. Listed below with each heading is an appropriate reference to the rules to assist you in finding the specific rule and a more detailed description of the requirements. You can also refer to current permitted rides and type certified rides by accessing the lists noted at the bottom of the unit web page.

Last Updated: 11/03

  • What is an Amusement Ride?
    An amusement ride is a mechanical device, which carries or conveys passengers along, around or over a fixed or restricted course for the purpose of giving the passenger amusement, pleasure, thrills and excitement. Also, when a gravity or passenger propelled ride is with other rides covered by the rules; they too will be considered amusement rides and are under the jurisdiction of the program. All water rides are also covered by these rules except that if a water slide of under 15 feet is located at a site by itself; this exception is intended to be applied to pools opened to the general public.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]
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  • Who are the participants?
    Amusement Ride Manufacturer (manufacturer) is a person that is responsible for the design and manufacture of a carnival-amusement ride. The ride manufacturer is the organization which designs the ride and directs its manufacture. They may subcontract some or all of the necessary work to reach the final product, however, every entity controlled by contract or direct organizational relationships shall be considered the ride manufacturer.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]

    Owner is a person who owns, leases, controls or manages the operation of a carnival-amusement ride.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]

    Ride Operator is a person who is actually engaged in or directly controlling the operation of a ride.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]

    Carnival and Amusement Ride Safety Board is made up of manufacturers, ride owners, park owners, insurance representative, engineer, and public members. The Board advises the Commissioner on program issues and regulations.
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  • What are the types of ride reviews and certifications?
    Type Certification is a certificate granted to a manufacturer for a new ride. The review is a complete review of the design of the ride including all structural, mechanical, electrical, hydraulic drive and control features and restraint and other protective features. The review covers the load calculations including dynamic and static loading, drawings including structural, mechanical, electrical and hydraulic details. A safety analysis is required which will identify reasonably foreseeable safety hazards and how these hazards will be mitigated by the design of the ride, including required redundant safety equipment. All manuals and nondestructive testing (NDT) requirements shall be available for review.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.3]

    Individual approval is an approval that is granted to an individual owner or operator of an individual ride which has not been granted a type certification. This type of approval allows a ride owner and operator the ability to purchase, site and operate a particular ride in New Jersey without the manufacturer’s application for a type certification or continued support of a type certification. The information required for review before such an approval is granted is the same as that for a type certification. The individual approval is only applicable to a particular ride and does not grant a class of rides an approval to be sited in New Jersey.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.5]

    Supplemental modification certification is a certification granted to a person other than the manufacturer after a complete review of an application for modification of a type certified ride no longer supported by the manufacturer or for a modification to an individual approved ride. The information required for such a certification is similar to that required for a type certification.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.7]
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  • What are the types of rides?
    Service proven rides are rides that have been operating for at least five years and have a known record of performance and safety.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]

    New rides are rides which have never been operated in New Jersey. They may be time tested but have never operated in the state or they may be unique one of a kind super rides. The common thread is that they have not operated in the state.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]

    Existing rides are rides which have been granted, during a prior season, a New Jersey serial number. The serial number is a unique identifier and stays with the ride for the life of the ride. If sold or transported out of state the serial number and ride are maintained in the files of the Department. Upon its subsequent operation, it is inspected and permitted as a current active ride.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.10]

    Inflatable rides are designed to allow riders to bounce, slide or be supported on them and are inflated by a mechanical device. Inflatable rides that support riders with sealed air devices are considered amusement rides when they are located with other rides covered by these rules.  [NJAC 5:14A-13.2]

    Water Amusement Rides are rides where water is used as an integral part of the ride and where riders expect to get wet.
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  • How does a manufacturer acquire a type certification?
    The manufacturer must apply for a type certification on the forms provided by the Department (Appendix A). The manufacturer should apply at least 60 days prior to the sale of the ride to an owner in New Jersey or prior to the ride operating in the state. The application has several parts that must be completed in order to have a review undertaken by the department. As mentioned above, the level of the review is based on the type of ride, service proven, new ride or existing. Only new rides require a full engineering review and as such the ride manufacturer must then comply with detail drawings and design calculations. Inflatable rides require type certification but one design type may cover many themed models of the same design as long as the engineering is addresses the largest model.  [Appendix B, NJAC 5:14A-2.4 and 13.4]
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  • How does an owner or operator acquire an individual approval?
    In 2003, the owner of a ride that has a New Jersey serial number and has had a permit in at least one of the prior two seasons received without cost an individual approval. If the owner purchases a ride that does not meet this criteria, then they must apply for an individual approval by filing an application (Appendix C) with the same information as required of the manufacturer for a type certification. The owner would apply for the ride under the same criteria as the manufacturer, however, the individual approval only covers the owner’s ride and does not apply to other rides owned by another owner or sold by a manufacturer.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.5 and 2.8(b)1]
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  • How does one obtain a supplemental modification certification?
    When a ride with an individual approval is modified, the owner must apply for a supplemental modification certification. The application will cover both the modified and unmodified portions of the ride. Full engineering review may be necessary and the owner of the ride will have to submit documentation to support the modification and to compare the modified ride to the design of the ride as unmodified. The intent of the review is to determine that the modified portion of the ride does not negatively impact on the structural integrity, safety or normal operation of the ride. Once the ride has received the supplemental modification certification, the owner is responsible for the continued maintenance and proper operation of the ride.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.7]
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  • How does an owner acquire a permit to operate a ride in New Jersey?
    Each year an owner must submit an application for a permit for each ride at least 30 days prior to the first day of operation. The application includes documentation of insurance for $1,000,000 per occurrence, documentation to support the non-destructive testing, if required for the ride, and payment of the fee. If the ride has a New Jersey serial number and there are no outstanding orders or other requirements from a prior season, the Department shall issue a permit and mail it to the owner.

    If the ride does not have a New Jersey serial number, then the owner must submit in addition to the information above, a type certification or individual approval number for the ride. When the application is complete and approved, the Department will mail to the owner both a data plate and an annual permit.  [Appendix D, NJAC 5:14A-2.9 and 2.10]
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  • Who can modify a ride?
    A modification is a material change of loads to the ride structure, change to a mechanical, electrical, hydraulic or pneumatic drive or control feature or a change to a restraint or other protective feature of the ride.  [NJAC 5:14A-1.2]

    A manufacturer can modify their ride. The modification shall be submitted to the Department as an application for an amended type certification. The application shall include a copy of the original type certification, the drawings, design and specifications for the modification. The modification shall meet the current design rules while the remaining portion of the ride shall continue to meet the design rules at the time of its original approval.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.6]

    If an owner modifies a type certified ride and the manufacturer does not apply for an amended type certification, then the owner must apply for an individual approval and follow the procedures for such an approval. The owner will then take full responsibility for the ride and its future maintenance and operation. [NJAC 5:14A-2.7]
    No individual may modify a ride without an amended type certification or a supplemental modification certification.
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  • What records must a manufacturer keep in order to maintain a type certification active in New Jersey?
    A type or amended type certification is valid for three years. During that time the manufacture must support the ride in the full meaning of the program. The manufacturer is required to notify the Department and all owners of the ride of any problems with the operation of the ride and shall issue bulletins or safety notifications, which they have developed to respond to such problems. The manufacturer shall keep all records required under the Quality Assurance manual including material certifications, test reports, inspection reports, drawings and calculations for the design life of the ride or for 20 years after the last manufacture. The manufacturer shall keep lists of all owners of their rides that operate in New Jersey.  [NJAC 5:14A-5.5, 5.6 and 5.7]
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  • What records must an owner or operator keep in order to operate a ride in New Jersey?
    The owner has many areas of responsibility when it comes to proper record keeping under the ride safety program. The records include maintenance, operators and incidents.

    Maintenance: the owner must keep a record of all non-destructive tests, all required daily, monthly and annual inspections and maintenance operations, and all required tests of safety equipment. These records shall be retained for at least three years and shall be with the ride for review by the Department.  [NJAC 5:14A-4.7]

    Operators: the owner must maintain records of all operator training and ride-specific certifications and shall keep these records for at least three years.  [NJAC 5:14A-4.8 and 9.9(c)]

    Incidents: not withstanding any other reporting requirements, the owner shall maintain a record of all ride related incidents involving ride related injury or complaints. The incident log shall be available for review by the Department during normal business hours and shall include basic information such as name, address, age and sex of rider, description of the incident, name of ride involved, conditions at the time of the incident. The log should be kept, along with other records of training and operational inspection reports, for three years.  [NJAC 5:14A-4.13(c)]
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  • What records are considered proprietary?
    The law allows for the protection of proprietary information of both the manufacturer and owner. Proprietary information is designated by the manufacturer or owner and must meet the test of reasonableness. If the information were to be included as a public record, it would cause the manufacturer or owner financial loss. Proprietary information usually covers such things as drawings, designs and material specifications or a type or method of manufacturer, which is unique to the ride.  [NJAC 5:14A-2.1(d)]
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  • What incidents must be reported to the state by a manufacturer?
    When the manufacturer is notified by an owner of an incident any where in the world involving serious injury or a critical structural or mechanical component of the ride, they must evaluate the information and if necessary they must issue a safety bulletin. In any case they must notify the Department of the incident and shall report their findings regarding any recommendations to eliminate or prevent future similar incidents.  [NJAC 5:14A-5.7]
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  • What incidents must be reported to the state by an owner or operator?
    The owner must report accidents, incidents or mechanical breakdowns. There are two types of incident reporting requirements, shut down and report and report within 24 hours.  [Appendix E]

    Shut down and report: incidents involving death or serious injury, ejection from the ride or failure of a critical structural or mechanical component, the owner must shut down the ride and report it immediately to the Department by phone and prepare a written report and fax it to the Department within 24 hours of the incident. The ride shall stay shut down until opened by the Department.  [NJAC 5:14A-4.13(a)]

    Report within 24 hours: incidents involving a ride-related injury requiring first aid or any mechanical malfunction or emergency evacuation the owner shall report the incident to the Department within 24 hours either by fax or phone. They then have five days to submit a written report to the Department.  [NJAC 5:14A-4.13(b)]

    The owner shall also keep a log of all incidents not reported to the Department that involve any ride-related injury or complaint.  [NJAC 5:14A-4.13(c)]
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