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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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How do I get the permit?

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Permit Review - How do I get the permit? 

Permit Review

After the Development Services Center staff has determined that your application is complete, reviews for conformance with applicable codes can begin. Depending on the complexity of the work, a permit may be processed in different ways:

  • Over the Counter Review – Simple permits can often be ‘walked through’ the Development Service Center. Review staff are available to check for conformance with applicable codes while you wait. If a project is simple and all information is provided, you may be able to walk through a permit in a single visit. If information is either missing or incorrect, you may be asked to return with those changes. Once all reviews are completed, the permit can be issued. See step 5.

  • Intake for Review – More complex projects require more in depth reviews and cannot be completed over the counter. These permits will be scanned for completeness, then taken in for review. The following flowchart step includes information on what to expect when an application has been taken in for review.

Permit Review Process

(4A) Plans are turned in for Review

Plans that are not simple enough to be issued ‘over the counter’ are taken in for routing and review. The portion of the overall permit fee which covers the review is paid at this time. When review fees are paid, your project application status is changed to “Under Review,” and within 1-2 working days your plans are assigned to individual reviewers from various groups. See our brochure on Tracking your Building Permit Application for additional detail on Status Reports, Timelines, and Issuance.

(4B) Plan Review

Reviewers will be assigned based on the scope of work. These reviewers check to see that your proposal is in compliance with a specific code or regulation. If the proposal is in compliance, the reviewer will sign off their review. If the reviewer needs additional information or has identified corrections to the proposal, the will request this information from you in writing in the form of a “Checksheet” (see step 4c)

  • Depending on the scope of work, there may be reviewers representing several different City Bureaus or Code specialties. See a description of different review groups.
(4C) Corrections Needed

A checksheet is sent when a reviewer needs additional information or a correction needs to be made to the plans. Once the reviewer sends a checksheet, they take no further action until you provide a response to the checksheet.

(4D) Revised Plans

Once you receive a checksheet and have gathered the additional information or made the corrections, bring the information to the Permitting Services Counter on the second floor.

If the revised plans comply with Code, the reviewer will sign off. If the reviewer needs additional information or has identified corrections needed, they will request this information from you in writing in another checksheet (repeat steps 4C and 4D).

(4E) Reviews Approved

Once all reviews have been approved, the permit is ready to be issued. See Step 5.

Status Reports

Status reports are available after your project has been assigned to reviewers. Status reports show all the reviews scheduled for your project, the reviewer’s name and phone number and which reviews have been completed.

To obtain a status report call (503) 823-7000 and select option four (4) to have a status report faxed to you or call (503) 823-7357 to have one mailed to you.

Make sure you have your IVR number with you.

Permit Issued

When the last technical review is approved, your permit will be pre-issued. You will be contacted when your permit is ready and notified of your final fee total. For hours and location, please visit the Permitting Services located on the 2nd floor of 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland OR. For more information call (503) 823-7537.

Inspections - Once I get the permit, then what?