Permit Review and Getting Your Permit

This image shows a City staffperson looking at the computer screen where digital plan review is happening.
The fourth step to getting a permit in the City of Portland is to learn about the permit review process from start to finish. Find out how to send us your plans, send us your corrections or changes to your plans and how to pay for your permits.
On this page

To find more information about permits, search for a project type. For example, "ADU" or "Decks." 

Apply for a permit and submit your plans

You can submit your permit application request online via Development Hub PDX

Click here for step-by-step instructionsto submit a permit application request online or in-person. 

Watch this training and demo on how to submit a permit request on DevHub.

The City accepts many different types of permit and plan review applications. Find out how to send us your application and/or purchase a permit, depending on the type of project you are working on.

For most projects, electronic plans are submitted through the Single PDF process. Large scale projects such as commercial new construction are submitted though PDX E-plans and ProjectDox. If you are unable to create electronic plans yourself, please call us and we will work with you.

Plan review 

Your plans are sent to different groups of experts. These reviewers look at your plans to make sure they meet specific code requirements or regulations. If the plans meet the code rules, the reviewer approves them.

If something does not meet code or is unclear, the reviewer will ask for corrections. The reviewer sends you detailed notes with the problems or questions on a "Checksheet."

Track your permit review online

You can track the status of the permit review on Portland Maps. You can also find out who is reviewing your project and how to reach them.  

Making requested changes- responding to a checksheet

After you get a checksheet, you will need to respond to each item on the reviewers list. This usually means you will need to revise your plans. When you finish the changes, you will need to turn in the corrections. Your assigned reviewer will then look to see if your changes meet the code requirements.

Submitting corrections to plans on paper

To make corrections to paper plans, you need to make an appointment to pick up your plans. All required reviews must be complete before you can pick up your plans. You can't pick up plans that have open reviews.

Check your permit review status on Portland Maps to make all reviews are complete. To find out your permit status in real-time, please call Permitting General Information.  After corrections are made, you will need a second appointment to drop off the corrected plans. Prepare corrected paper plans for submittal has complete information on how to make the corrections and get an appointment. 

Submitting corrections using the Single PDF Process

The Single PDF Process is a quick and easy way to upload, access plans and submit corrections for projects that don’t require a Process Manager. The Single PDF Process is more efficient than paper plan review and is now the City’s preferred method for receiving, reviewing, correcting and issuing permits. Get complete information on how to make and submit corrections.

Reviewing your corrections- checksheet response review

If the changes meet code, the reviewer will approve the changes. If the reviewer needs more information or changes, they might send you another checksheet. You will need to make the changes and send them in again. Often reviewers charge extra for the time it takes for more reviews.

The last review of your project: pre-issuance

After the reviewers approve your plans, your permit goes into "pre-issuance." During pre-issuance, staff checks your plans for approval stamps and notes. They create two identical plan sets, one for your job site and one for records. Staff will also check that the fees are correct. When they finish, they will contact you to let you know your project is approved and how to pay the fees. After you pay the fees, we issue your permit.

The pre-issuance list shows the permits waiting to be assigned and reviewed in chronological order. 

Getting your approved plans

When your electronic plans are ready, a Permitting Services Technician will contact you with instructions for how to pay for your permit and download your approved set of plans, inspection card, and supplemental documents.

When your paper plans are ready, a Permitting Services Technician will contact you with instructions for how pay for your permit and how to download or pick up your approved set of plans. 

Permit fees

Development Services charges land use and building permit fees. If you only need a building permit, fees will be based on the total cost of the project. If you need a land use review or other planning service, additional fees will be charged for that review.

The cost of permit(s) for a project depends on the complexity of the work. Plan check fees are collected when your plans are accepted for review. Final fees, which may include related permit fees, are determined when a permit is issued.

Building permit fees

  • Every City bureau that reviews your plans charges plan check and review fees. They review your plans for conformance with the life safety, structural and the zoning code and development regulations.
  • Permit fees also cover City inspections while your project is under construction. Electrical, driveway, mechanical, plumbing, sanitation, sidewalk, site development, stormwater management, structural and utility connections permits will be included in your permit fees.

Environmental Services, Parks and Recreation, Transportation and Water charge system development charges to help offset the impact your project will have on the City's infrastructure.

The total permit fee includes different types of fees. Fees for a project depend on the scope of work. Different fees apply to every project.

You can estimate the cost for permit costs for some projects online. You can also get information about permit fees by contacting us for more information. 

Paying permit fees

Pay online

You can pay for Commercial and Residential building permits (in 'Application' and ‘Approved to Issue’ status), electrical, mechanic and plumbing permits, and a variety of temporary use and miscellaneous permits online using Development Hub PDX.

Pay by phone

You can make a payment over the phone by calling our Make Payments by Phone number. 

You can make payments for other development permits, such as Zoning Permits, Site Development Permits, and Development Review Permits, online. Permitting Services will send you a private link to use when the permit is ready to be issued. You need the permit IVR number and the total fees due (provided by BDS staff).

Once you pay your fees, your permit is issued and you can begin working on your project.

Eligibility for waived fees: Apply for a permit and land use fee waiver

You can apply to have permit and land use fees waived based on financial hardship and/or low income. Nonprofit organizations can also apply for permit and land use fee waivers. Learn more about permit fee waiver requests.

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

The last step in this guide to getting a permit with the City of Portland is Step 5: Inspections.

You might also want to Research Information Needed for Your PermitFind Out What You Can Do on a SiteFind a Contractor, learn about Contractor License Requirements, find out Who Can Cancel a Permit?, read about Permitting and Other Bureaus or Report a Problem.