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Elevation Certificates

Residents can use the City's GIS Viewer to determine if your property has any existing elevation data.

Provided here are instructions on how to find the elevation information on GIS.


Homeowner's Guide to Elevation Certificates Fact Sheet

Elevation Certificate and Instructions

Elevation Certificates for 102 Barrett, 207 West Second, 601 Mechanic, 301, 303, 305, 307, 309, 311 Beale Court


An Elevation Certificate is an important tool that documents your building's elevation

If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, you should provide an Elevation Certificate to your insurance agent to obtain flood insurance and ensure that your premium accurately reflects your risk. An Elevation Certificate can also help you make decisions about rebuilding and mitigation after a disaster. For more information about Elevation Certificates, visit the City of Franklin Community Development Office located at 207 West Second Avenue Franklin, Virginia 23851, call us at 757-562-8580, or email

How to obtain an Elevation Certificate

Elevation Certificates are required to accurately rate a home's flood risk. To obtain an elevation certificate, contact a licensed surveyor. Typically, an elevation certificate costs several hundred dollars, and can be requested as part of the survey that is done when you build or purchase a house. By having your flood insurance policy rated using an elevation certificate, you could save money on your flood insurance premium.

Comparing your building's elevation to a potential flood level

Your insurance agent will use the Elevation Certificate to compare your building's elevation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). The base flood is a flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. Any land below the level of the BFE is considered to be a part of the Special Flood Hazard Area, floodplain, or high-risk zone. Flood insurance rates in a Special Flood Hazard Area are based on a building's elevation in relation to the BFE.

Elevation and Flood Insurance Rates

Generally, in Special Flood Hazard Areas, the higher above the BFE a building is located, the lower the insurance premium will be for that property. The Elevation Certificate provides the documentation necessary to make that determination. Currently in Franklin, all new construction and substantial improvements to existing construction is required to be built 2 feet above the BFE.

In moderate-to low-risk zones (X) flood insurance rates are not based on elevation; therefore an Elevation Certificate may not be necessary to determine the premium