The Legal Metrology Devices Program (LMDP) promotes uniformity at the international, federal, state, and local levels in standards and practices for weighing and measuring devices to facilitate trade and protect U.S. businesses and citizens. To accomplish this task, we collaborate with and provide technical assistance to the National Conference on Weights and Measures (NCWM) and other organizations, working to develop standards for weighing and measuring devices, test procedures, and guidelines and interpretations, including those that are developed and published by NIST. Our Program provides technical support to the NCWM National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP) for the evaluation of commercial weighing and measuring equipment to determine compliance with NIST handbooks. Many members of our Group also serve as the U.S. technical points of contact or secretariats for international standards such as those issued by the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML); in this capacity, our staff are responsible for developing U.S. positions and suggesting changes to international and domestic voluntary weights and measures standards to promote harmonization and eliminate technical barriers to trade.
Additionally, our Program provides training, technical assistance, and guidance to industry and weights and measures officials and continually assesses and responds to the needs of our customers for new weights and measures standards and practices by developing, and disseminating:
What is Legal Metrology?
Legal Metrology is the practice and process of applying regulatory structure and enforcement to metrology.
What is a "Legal Metrology Device"?
In the scope of our program’s work, a “legal metrology device” refers to a weighing or measuring device that is used to determine a quantity on which a charge is based for goods or service. It also refers to devices such as those used for law enforcement purposes such as scales used for highway weight enforcement. “Legal metrology devices” are often referred to as “commercial” weighing and measuring devices. The types of devices addressed by our group are divided into the broad categories of “Weighing Devices” (which include devices such as deli scales, jewelers and prescription balances, and vehicle scales); “Measuring Devices” (which include devices such as retail motor-fuel dispensers or gas pumps, vehicle mounted meters for delivering home heating oil, and liquefied petroleum gas liquid-ing devices for delivering commercial propane to homes and businesses); and “Other Device Types” (which include devices such as grain moisture meters, taximeters, and multiple dimension measuring devices).
Who We Are
The Legal Metrology Devices Program staff members are legal metrologists with experience working as weights and measures officials, weighing and measuring device type evaluators, and/or industry service specialists. Our staff members have served and continue to serve as technical advisors to committees and work groups such as the NCWM Specifications and Tolerances Committee (the NCWM Committee charged with reviewing proposed changes to NIST Handbook 44) and the technical sectors of the National Type Evaluation Program. We have also worked with the weights and measures community to develop test procedures, field manuals, and other documents to assist field officials in applying the requirements of NIST Handbook 44. Our staff members are also experienced trainers who have conducted many classes, seminars, and presentations related to the inspection and testing of commercial weighing and measuring equipment, with the goal of improving uniformity in the application of weights and measures standards and practices.
Meet Our Staff
Members of the LMDG staff are listed below. Most of our staff members are versed in the specifications, tolerances, test procedures, and other requirements related to a wide variety of weighing and measuring devices types and weights and measures practices. For contact information on specific device and technical areas, please consult our NIST Weights and Measures Contacts Page.