What You Need to Apply for a Permit

Engineer writing on blueprints; more plans, a hardhat and a laptop are also on the desk
The third step to getting a permit is learning what you need when you apply for a building permit, site development permit or zoning permit that needs plan review with the City of Portland. Get minimum submittal requirements for all building permits, zoning permits and site development permits.
On this page

For permits that need plan review, what you need to submit depends on the complexity of your project. You will always need to submit an application form and plans. For information on trade permits and submittal requirements, visit the trade permit web pages.

Building permit application form for building, site development and zoning permits

Check out our step-by-step guide for completing the building permit application. 

What you need for the permit application 

The information on the application form is entered into our permit system. You will need to know: 

  • Address: what is the site location? 
  • Description of work: what work are you doing? For example: Adding a bedroom and bathroom to the first floor of a single family home. 
  • Contractor: who is doing the work? You will need the contractor's name and their "CCB" number. If you are a home owner doing your own work you can put "Owner doing work" instead.
  • Applicant: who should we contact about the permit? This person will be the contact for reviewers and staff. 
  • Valuation: what is the fair market value for the project? This means the cost of labor and materials. Even if you are doing the work yourself, you need to include what it would cost to hire someone.

General rules for permit plans 

General rules for plans: 

  • Dimensions and notes must be 12 point font minimum.
  • Line quality and contrast must be easy to read. 
  • Drawings may not contain color.
  • No Photographs. Photographs may not be part of the plan.
  • All plans must be drawn to scale.
    • 1/4 inch = 1 foot is the most common scale used for residential floor plans and section views.

Different types of plans may be required: 

  • Site plan: This shows the whole property and footprint of all structures and driveway. Often called a "plot plan."
    • 1 inch = 10 feet is the minimum scale accepted for site plans
    • The scale used must be clearly shown and the site plan must show the entire lot.
  • Floor plans: These must label the existing layout and the proposed new layout. Even if you are only working on a small part of the building, you still need to show the whole floor layout. 
  • Elevation drawings: Are you doing anything on the exterior like adding a window or door? You will need these drawings of the outside of the building. 
    • Building elevations must be to scale and show the slope of the ground adjacent to the building.
  • Structural pages: If your project needs to have an engineer, you will need these pages to show details. 
  • Electrical, mechanical, plumbing pages: For larger commercial new construction
  • Civil drawings: For larger commercial new construction

Supporting documents for a permit to include with an application 

These may be required based on your project: 

  • Structural calculations
  • Product specifications 
  • Geotechnical reports 

What you need for a complete application - minimum submittal requirement handouts

To make sure your permit application is complete, we have created checklists. These checklists are called minimal submittal requirements. The requirements list items you need for a completed permit application. 

Residential (one- and two-family home) submittal requirements handouts

Submittal Requirements - 1 and 2 Family Residential Additions

Read more about residential building permits.

Commercial (includes triplexes and multi-family dwellings) submittal requirements handouts

Visit Commercial Permit Submittal Requirements

Read more about commercial permits and inspections

Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, we recommend you book a free 15-minute appointment with us. 

This is an optional step. We're here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply. 

Next steps to getting a permit in the City of Portland

You might also want to read about Contractor License RequirementsResearch Information Needed for Your PermitFind Out What You Can Do on a SiteFind a Contractor, learn Who Can Cancel a Permit?, read about Permitting and Other Bureaus or Report a Problem before you apply for a permit in Portland. 

The City of Portland also issues building permits for the City of Maywood Park.