The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States



Frequently Asked Questions

Question:  Is there a fee for a LOMA?

Answer:  No.  For a standard LOMA request there's no fee.

Yet, a LOMA application requires an Elevation Certificate. If you don't have one, then you'll need to obtain one from a surveyor. (Find a Land Surveyor)  Before you order a new Elevation Certificate, check with your flood insurance agent to see if they have one on-file. 

However, if your building was constructed atop fill that was brought in for its construction, then a different type of LOMA Application (LOMA-F) will be necessary, and there's a significant FEMA fee for these applications. 

Question: I have an old Elevation Certificate. Can I use this to obtain a LOMA?

Answer: Yes.  While the flood zone determination may be outdated, the elevation measurements should still be the same. FEMA will use the Lowest Adjacent Grade measurement to review your LOMA request.

Question: Is there an easy way to tell if my property qualifies for a LOMA?

Answer: Yes. If you have a FEMA Elevation Certificate for your building, there's an easy way to tell if your building qualifies for a LOMA.

  • In Section B, Block "B9" for "Base Flood Elevation" should say "6"
  • In Section C, the measurement on Line "C2f" for "Lowest Adjacent Grade"
    • If this measurement is 6.0 or higher, your building qualifies. 

Note: Much older and some very new Elevation Certificates may have this information in different blocks.

Question: Do Elevation Certificates expire?

Answer: No. However, if conditions at the building have changed or if a certificate is very old, some lending institutions may require you obtain a newer version. (Find a Surveyor)

While there's an expiration date on the certificate, that's an expiration date for the version of the form, not the completed certificate.

Often, a new version of this form isn't available before the old version expires, so the older version is extended.  So don't be concerned, if the date your certificate was completed was after the form's expiration date. 

Question:  There are multiple buildings on my lot, do I need an Elevation Certificate for each building?

Answer:  If you already have elevation certificates for each building (only one building can be on an Elevation Certificate) and they all qualify for a LOMA, then you can just submit a separate LOMA application for each building.

If you don't have Elevation Certificates for each building, then you can apply for a LOMA that reclassifies the entire lot as being in a different flood zone, which would include all structures on that lot.  The key to filing such an application, is that instead of the Lowest Adjacent Grade needing to be higher than the flood level, the lowest point on the entire lot must be higher.  You'll need a land surveyor to complete a special FEMA Elevation Form.

Question: If I get a LOMA, do I still need to carry flood insurance?

Answer:  No, but for several reasons we wouldn't recommend cancelling your flood insurance policy.

  • Flood insurance is often considerably cheaper with a LOMA.
  • Lenders can still require you have flood insurance (see Mandatory Flood Insurance Requirement)
  • FEMA Flood levels are "minimum" expected flood levels. Across the nation, flood waters frequently exceed these minimum expected flood heights and X-zone properties have been known to experience flood significant damage/claims.
  • If you don't have flood insurance, and your building or its contents are damaged during a flood, any FEMA disaster assistance you might be eligible for would be reduced by the amount of money you would have received from a claim if you had flood insurance coverage.
  • Presently, there's a cap on the annual rate increase for existing policies. However, if you let a policy lapse more than 30 days or reapply for coverage, the costs escalate dramatically to the full market rate. 
    • Your existing coverage might be transferrable to a new buyer, if you kept the policy in effect.  If you didn't, then the costs to the buyer could be huge, and discourage them from purchasing your property.

Question:  Can I submit my LOMA Application directly to FEMA online?

Answer: Yes. Use the following link to setup an account with FEMA to submit your application: FEMA's Online LOMA Application Submission Page

Using this method, you'll actually be completing the MT-1 form online.  Then you'll be asked to upload your supporting documents. 

If you're handy with computers and online forms then you may find this useful.  If you find this process challenging, then you might be better-off mailing in your application:

ALEXANDRIA, VA 22304-4605
Attn.: LOMA Manager

Question:  I received a notice that my building may be eligible for a LOMA, but it's already in a less-expensive flood zone, so why did I get this notice?

Answer:  Some lots straddle the boundary line between different flood zones. If the boundary line touches the building (not the property), then that building is in the higher regulated zone.

City staff doesn't know how your building is rated, or if there are multiple buildings on the lot, each of which may be in different flood zones, so you were included in the notice.  If you know your buildings are rated as being entirely within the "Shaded-X" flood zone, then you can disregard that notice. 

In the example pictured here to the right, a flood boundary line touches three buildings (with red dots). All three of these buildings are considered within the more expensive "AE-6" flood zone, rather than the less-expensive "Shaded-X" zone.


Question: How long does it take FEMA to process a LOMA application?

Answer:  As of March 2018, LOMA application processing times are averaging about 3 three weeks. Applications submitted online are processed faster.

Contact Us

Scott Fraser,
FEMA Coordinator
Building Department
1300 White St
Key West, FL 33040
Get Directions
  • Business: (305) 809-3810
  • Staff Directory
  • Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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