Permit Review Process

Get basic information about the City of Portland permit review process from start to finish including submitting your plans, submitting your corrections and paying for your permits.

On this page

Applying for a permit

If staff needs more time to review your plans, you will need to give them to Development Services. Staff will enter your permit information in our system and bill the fee you need to pay up front (intake fee). When you pay the fee, your project moves from "Application" Status to "Under Review." Then staff will assign your project to specific reviewers.

Submitting your plans

Book a BDS Intake Appointment Online to schedule an appointment to submit your plans electronically (one permit submission per appointment).  

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.

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.  

Plan review 

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."

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.

Pre-issuance

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 or IVR number, the first and last name of the person picking up the plans and their phone number.

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 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.

Inspections

You will get an inspection card with your issued permit. The inspection card has information on the inspections your project needs. The inspection card also has the IVR number needed to schedule inspections. After the inspectors approve all the work done, your permit status is final.

Revision process

If you did the work differently than what was on the plans, the inspector may ask for a revision. You will need to submit the plans with the changes for review again. The reviewers will check that the changes also meet the code. Revisions go through the same permit review and inspection process.

Contact

Permitting General Information

Development Services

Schedule a Building Permit Application Appointment

Development Services

phone number503-823-4092

Call this number to leave a message. If you would like to schedule an intake appointment for a building permit, development review permit or zoning permit, click on the link below.