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Discontinuation of Fax-Back Simple Trade Permit Service


City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

Service Level Update Document:

Discontinuation of Fax-Back Simple Trade Permit Service

July 22, 2010. In order to maintain the highest level of service possible with limited resources and to ensure that the valuable services we provide to our customers and community are timely and financially sustainable, we are moving to process simple trade permits only through our Portland OnLine permitting system and mail in service. Trade permits include simple electrical, plumbing or mechanical permits that do not require plan review.

Effective July 30, 2010, we will be discontinuing the Fax Back method of applying for and receiving simple trade permits. We are focusing the submittal and issuance of these simple trade permits through the following methods to improve the timeliness and ease of applying for and receiving trade permits, as well as scheduling inspections:

  • The City of Portland's Online Permitting System. Simple trade permits can be applied for and issued immediately through the City of Portland's online permitting system. Please visit the BDS website at and under the "Quick Links" section on the left-hand side of the Bureau of Development Services home page click "Apply for an Online Permit". An easy to use online permitting user's manual is posted on the same page for customers new to online permitting.

NOTE: Some types of trade permits cannot be applied for online, see the table below.

  • Postal Service. Trade Permit applications with payment made out to the City of Portland can be mailed to the Bureau of Development Services c/o Trade Permits Counter at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Ste 5000, Portland, OR, 97201. Trade permit application can be downloaded online at
  • Development Services Center. Trade permits can be applied for and issued by visiting the Trade Permit Counter at 1900 SW 4th Ave, 1st Floor. The Trade Permit counter is open Tuesday thru Friday from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
  • UPDATE (8/26/10): Subcontractor Permit Information Process. Subcontractors continue to be able to add themselves as a "subcontractor of record" on Residential (One and Two Dwelling) Combination Permits via fax. The new fax number is (503) 823-7693. The Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Applications forms, as well as the Subcontractor Permit Information Process Brochure, have been updated to reflect this change and can be accessed online at

NOTE: Fax number (503) 823-7693 is only for establishing "subcontractor of record" on Residential Combination Permits. NO trade permit revisions, fees or any other type of transaction can be submitted via fax.

Some permits are not available through the City's online permitting system, such as permits requiring plan review. If you wish to submit for a permit listed in the table below, please visit the Development Services Center or mail in the application and payment.

Table of Trade Permits Not Available Thru Online Permitting System


Electrical Permits Mechanical Permits Plumbing Permits
Service or feeder, 400 amps or more Commercial Mechanical Permits Plumbing permits that require more than 5 fixtures
Fire pump Residential Gas/Diesel generator Food service
Emergency system Residential Air conditioner* Medical gas systems
Addition of new motor load of 100 HP or more Residential Heat pump* Bathroom/Kitchen packages that are part of a Residential New Single Family Dwelling
Six or more residential units

* Effective July 30, 2010 Residential Air Conditioners

 and Heat Pump Trade Permits will be available through Portland Online Permitting System.

Fire Sprinklers
Health care facilities  
Hazardous locations
Service or feeder over 601 amps
Building over three stories
Marinas and boatyards
Floating buildings
Commercial use agricultural buildings
Installation of 75 KVA or larger separately derived system
A, E, 1-2, 1-3 occupancy recreational vehicle parks
Note that none of the above are applicable to temporary construction service


State-Mandated Licensing Standards. State-mandated licensing standards apply to permits submitted online, in person or via mail. A Construction Contractors Board number (CCB#) is required of all contractors using the City's online permitting system. A Building Codes Division number (BCD#) is required if you are an Electrician or Plumber which include the letter(s) C or PB in it. Supervising BCD #'s are required if you are an Electrician (include the letter S in it). Mandatory licenses required for Low Voltage include a Construction Contractors Board number (CCB#) and one of the Limited Licenses (include the letter(s) LME, J, LR, PS, SIG, PJ, ST, LEA, BME, LEB, LRT, or LMM)

We understand that these changes will have impacts on our customers and appreciate your understanding and cooperation while we work through these financial and operation challenges. If you have questions or concerns about this Service Level Update, please contact Ross Caron at (503) 823-4268 or Thank you.

A complete list of the Bureau's Service Level Updates are available at by clicking on "Services Level Updates".



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Keith Fleschner

July 23, 2010 at 5:13 PM

So if I need to modify a "simple" permit I will have to come down to the counter.

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