Request a Map Change
Effects on Flood Insurance
Tips to Expedite
FEMA uses the most accurate flood hazard information available and applies rigorous standards in developing Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). However, because of limitations of scale or topographic definition of the source maps used to prepare a FIRM, small areas may be inadvertently shown within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) even though the property is on natural ground and is at or above the elevation of the one-percent-annual-chance flood. This elevation is most commonly referred to as the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Such cases are referred to as "inadvertent inclusions."
For other small areas, earthen fill may have been placed during construction, thereby elevating a small area within the SFHA to an elevation that is at or above the BFE. This construction may have taken place during the time the engineering study was being performed or subsequent to that study. Because of the limited extent of the elevated area and the limitations of the map scale, it may not have been possible for FEMA to show this area as being outside the SFHA and so these areas have been incorrectly included in the SFHA on the FIRM.
Requesting a Change to the Flood Insurance Rate Map
Recognizing that these situations do occur, FEMA established administrative procedures to change the designation for these properties on the FIRM. These processes are referred to as the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process and the Letter of Map Revision-Based on Fill (LOMR-F) process.
Through these processes, an individual who owns, rents or leases property may submit certain mapping and survey information to FEMA and request that FEMA issue a document that officially removes a property and/or structure from the SFHA. In most cases, the applicant will need to hire a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer to prepare an Elevation Certificate for the property.
Upon receiving a complete application forms package through mailing a paper form or through the Online LOMC application, FEMA will normally complete its review and issue its determination in 60 days.
Online Letter of Map Change (LOMC) Training Tutorial
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulates the requirements for the Letter Of Map Amendment (LOMA) process and the Letter of Map Revision-Based on Fill (LOMR-F) process. See all NFIP regulations and guidance documents.
Endangered Species Act compliance is required independently of FEMA's process. The community needs to ensure that permits are obtained per requirement under Section 60.3(a)(2) of FEMA's regulations.
|Letter Of Map Amendment (LOMA)||Letter of Map Revision-Based on Fill (LOMR-F)|
|Requests Involving One or More Structures Requirements||The lowest adjacent grade (the lowest ground touching the structure) be at or above the base flood elevation (BFE).||The lowest adjacent grade of the structure be at or above the BFE. The participating community must also determine that the land and any existing or proposed structures to be removed from the SFHA are "reasonably safe from flooding."|
|Requests Involving One or More Lots||The lowest point on the lot(s) must be at or above the BFE.||Both the lowest point on the lot and the lowest floor of the structure must be at or above the one-percent-annual-chance flood elevation.|
|Review and Processing Fee||There is no review and processing fee for the FEMA review of a LOMA request.||FEMA charges a fee for the review and processing of LOMR-F requests.|
|Guidance Documents||The MT-EZ Form is to be used for LOMA requests involving a single residential lot or structure.|
The MT-1 Forms package and the Online LOMC application is to be used for LOMA requests involving multiple residential lots or structures.
|The MT-1 Forms package and the Online LOMC application is to be used for all LOMR-F requests.|
|Required Information||The requester is responsible for providing all of the information needed for FEMA's review of the request, including elevation information certified by a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer. |
For a complete listing of the information that must be submitted in support of a LOMA request, please refer to the MT-EZ (for single lot/structure requests), MT-1 application forms package, or visit the Online LOMC application.
|As with LOMA requests, the requester is responsible for providing all supporting information, including elevation information certified by a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer. |
For a complete listing of the information that must be submitted in support of a LOMR-F request, please refer to the MT-1 application forms package or visit the Online LOMC application.
Effect Of LOMA Or LOMR-F On Flood Insurance Requirements
The issuance of a LOMA or LOMR-F eliminates the federal flood insurance purchase requirement as a condition of federal or federally backed financing; however, the mortgage lender retains the prerogative to require flood insurance as a condition of providing financing, regardless of the location of a structure.
The purchase of a flood insurance policy is wise even if a structure is located outside the SFHA. More than 25 percent of flood claims are made by property owners located outside the SFHA. The issuance of a LOMA or LOMR-F does not mean the structure or lot is safe from all flooding; it means that the risk of flooding is not as high as it is in the SFHA. Events greater than the one-percent-annual-chance event can and do occur. It is also to important to note that the flood insurance premium rate for structures located outside the SFHA are lower than the premiums for structures located in the SFHA.
Tips to Minimize Delays to Your LOMA Application Process
When an application is submitted, you can expect a response time of:
- Notice of submittal completeness within 30 days
- Amendment determination issued within 60 days of receipt of all required data.
To help keep that response time on track, we have tips to help expedite a map amendment request.
For Fastest Processing, Submit Online
An applicant may submit a LOMA request online via the electronic Letter of Map Amendment (eLOMA) or the Online Letter of Map Change (LOMC) tools.
Surveyor Or Engineer Responsibilities
Indicate the lowest adjacent grade elevation (lowest ground touching the structure, including any attached decks or garage) for all structure requests.
Indicate the lowest lot elevation (lowest ground elevation on the property) for all property requests.
Confirm that elevations are given to the nearest tenth of a foot or meter and are referenced to the same datum as the official National Flood Insurance Program map for the affected community.
For Best Results
- Identify correct process/product
- Answer all questions on forms
- Use data checklists provided with the forms
- Submit data all at once