Do I need a permit?
Visit our FAQ site to find the answer to this and many other frequently asked permit questions.
The General Permitting Process
The permitting process is different for each type of permit, but the following steps usually apply.
- Research. Investigate your property and/or building’s permit history using DPD’s online tools. Check out a step-by-step breakdown of the Research process.
- Pre-Application Process. Fill out forms and read about the process for your specific permit type. Next, draft code-compliant plans (or hire a professional to do it) that clearly show what you want to build. The plans must meet DPD's requirements.
Make sure you bring all of your drafted plans to DPD for coaching or intake, so DPD staff have a full understanding of your project and can answer your questions accurately. Complete and well drafted plans result in a quicker plan review. Small projects can typically go through a shortened permitting process, but longer, complex projects must go through a thorough, plan review process.
- Screening. Come in to the Applicant Services Center and meet with a DPD staff member to make sure you have everything you need for a successful application.
- Submittal. Call DPD's Applicant Services Center to schedule an appointment to submit your application. (Some smaller projects may be submitted over-the-counter, through our drop-off process, or through our subject-to-field inspection process.)
- Plan Review. DPD reviewers examine your plans and application. See more details about plan reviews and corrections.
- Corrections. DPD reviewers ask for corrections to any errors they find. Note: keep corrections to a minimum by completing the research and pre-application processes thoroughly. Most "corrections" required are actually requests for additional information.
- Permit Issuance. Applicant picks up final, approved plans and permit. DPD notifies the applicant when the permit is ready. Begin construction.
- Inspections. Applicant schedules mandatory inspections.
You can find a list of information and forms to fill out for each permit type at our Packets website. To view the steps involved in your specific permit type (for example, "Single Family"), click on its name and picture on our portal page.
Emergency Repair Permits
Emergency repairs to the systems covered by DPD trade permits, due to landslides, earthquakes or other disasters that cause structural damage, typically receive priority handling in the permit process. For more specific information and application instructions, see emergency permit requests.
Fees are collected at the time of application and are based on application type and varying factors. Fees are subject to update on a yearly basis. For the most complete and up-to-date fee listing, see the DPD Fee Subtitle.
Check our Frequently Asked Questions website.
Jan. 25, 2011