The Board of Housing and Community Development adopts the Virginia Amusement Device Regulations (VADR) to regulate “amusement devices” defined as:

  • Devices or structures open to the public by which persons are conveyed or moved in an unusual manner for diversion; and
  • Passenger tramways.

The VADR prescribes uniform statewide regulations to be complied with for the construction, maintenance, inspection, and operation of amusement devices, whether mobile or affixed to a site. Enforcement of the VADR is the responsibility of each local government’s building inspection department. The local government may charge fees to defray the costs of enforcement and appeals arising from the application of the VADR.

The board bases the technical requirements of the VADR on nationally accepted standards and makes as few amendments as possible. Local government has not been granted the authority to amend the provisions of the VADR. The purpose is to benefit the citizens of Virginia by promoting efficiency and safety in the amusement device industry, many aspects of which are interstate in nature.

The VADR supplements the provisions of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) for the purpose of protecting the health, safety and welfare of amusement device users. Provisions are included in the regulations for:

  • the inspection of amusement devices;
  • the reporting and investigation of accidents;
  • the certification of amusement device inspectors;
  • the qualifications and conduct of operators; and
  • an administrative appeals system for resolution of disagreements between code officials and amusement device owners or operators.

For assistance regarding the application and enforcement of the VADR, please contact the local building inspection department in your locality.


  • Every amusement ride or attraction is required to be registered with the State and inspected prior to its first use in the State.  Each county in Virginia has its own rules and forms, so you must contact your local jurisdiction.
  • There is a fee for registering amusement attractions with the County.


  • Certified amusement device inspectors must perform the inspections of amusement devices. Certified inspectors may be employees of the local government or may be independent inspectors that are paid for by the amusement device owners or operators.
  • After the amusement device is inspected and determined to comply with the standards under the VADR, the device is affixed with an Inspection Seal (look for white sticker with picture of Virgina State).
  • There is a fee for an inspection;  fee amount depending upon whether the inspection is performed by a State Inspector or Private Inspector.

For more information about the VADR, contact:

State Building Code Office
Commonwealth of Virginia
501 North Second Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: (804) 371-7160


For more information on Amusement Device Permit and Applications for these counties, contact:

Fairfax County:

Department of Environmental Management
12055 Government Center Parkway
2nd Floor
Fairfax, VA  22035
Phone: (703) 222-0801

Prince William County

Prince William County Government
1 County Complex Court
Prince William, VA 22192
Phone: (703) 792-6000

Loudoun County

Loudoun County Government
P.O. Box 7000
Leesburg VA 20177
Phone: (703) 777-0100

Arlington County

Special Events Permit and Plan for Indoor or Outdoor Assemblages, Carnivals, Fairs and Festivals are required under the Fire Prevention Code.
Arlington County Fire Prevention Division
Phone: (703) 228-4644.

Alexandria County

Code Administration Main Office
301 King Street Room 4200 (City Hall)
Alexandria, VA 22314
Permit Center Phone: (703) 746-4200
Fax: (703) 838-3880