Learn about the permit review process from start to finish including submitting your plans, submitting your corrections and paying for your permits.
To find more information, search Portland.gov for a project type. For example, "ADU" or "Decks."
Submitting your plans
Click here for step-by-step instructions to submit a permit application request online or in-person.
The City accepts many different types of permit and plan review applications. Click here to find out the right route to submit your permit application request 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.
Your plans are then sent to different groups of experts. These reviewers will look at your plans to make sure they meet specific code or regulation. 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 find out who is reviewing your project and how to reach them.
Checksheet response - submitting corrections
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 plan sets. All required review lines must be complete before you can pick up your plans. Permits with reviews in progress cannot be checked out. Check your permit review status on www.Portlandmaps.com to ensure 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 plan sets. Prepare corrected paper plans for submittal has complete information on how to make the corrections and get an appointment.
Submitting corrections via 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. Quick steps for corrections for Single PDF process has complete information on how to make and submit corrections.
Checksheet response review
If the changes meet code, the reviewer will approve their review. If they need more information or changes, they might issue another checksheet. You will need to make the changes and submit. Often reviewers charge extra for the time it takes to review again.
After the reviewers approve your plans, your permit goes into "Preissuance." During "preissuance," 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 to issue and how to pay the fees. After you pay the fees, your permit is issued.
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 pick up your approved set of paper plans. You will need to make an appointment to come to the Development Services Center.
Please call Permitting General Information and leave a message with your permit number or IVR number, the first and last name of the person picking up the plans and their phone number.
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
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 Payments by Phone number.
Payments for other development permits, such as Zoning Permits, Site Development Permits, and Development Review Permits, can be made online via a private link that will be sent to customers by Permitting Services staff when the permit is ready to be issued. When accessing this link, please make sure you have the permit IVR number, and the total fees due, both of which are provided by BDS staff.
Once you pay your fees, your permit is issued and you can begin working on your project.