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Permit Review Process

Information
Learn how you get a building permit in Portland. Learn about the permit review process from start to finish including submitting your plans, making corrections and paying for permits. Get the permit revision application, permit revision guidelines or find out how to apply for a permit fee waiver.
On this page

Search Portland.gov for a project type to find out what to include with your application to make sure it's complete. For example, "Commercial Alteration" or "Residential Decks." You might also want to read What You Need to Apply for a Permit- Minimum Submittal Requirements. The City of Portland also issues building permits for the City of Maywood Park. 

Learn more before applying for a building permit, trade permit or zoning permit

Start by searching for building permits applicationstrade permits applications or zoning permit applications. The webpages include applications, brochures and other forms. You can find all Development Services forms in Documents. You can also read more on the residential building permits webpage

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.

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. 

Apply for a building permit, trade permit or zoning permit online or in person

You can apply for many permits online using Development Hub PDX. Where to apply depends on the permit type. Learn where to send a specific type of permit application request and where to purchase a permit. 

Check out our step-by-step guide for completing the building permit application. Then, get step-by-step instructions to apply for a permit online or in-person. 

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."

The bureaus and groups that might review a project include:

  • Planning and Zoning
  • Life Safety Review
  • Structural Review
  • Addressing
  • Site Development Review
  • Plumbing
  • Fire and Rescue 
  • Residential Subsurface Site Evaluation - Site Development
  • Environmental Services Review
  • Transportation Review
  • Parks and Recreation review
  • Water Review
  • Urban Forestry Review

Responding to a checksheet and updating your plans- making 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.

Please add portlandoregon.gov to your safe senders list to make sure you don't miss any emails about your application. 

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 Portland Maps 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 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.How to Prepare and Submit Corrections Electronically has complete information on corrections process.

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.

Next steps after plan approval - preissuance 

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. 

List of all permit requests- updated daily 

Review the most recent list of permits requested in the daily permit request list

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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. Read more about commercial permit inspectionsresidential permit inspections and today's residential inspections

Permit revision process

If you did the work differently than what was on the plans, the inspector may ask for a permit 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. Permit revisions go through the same permit review and inspection process.

Permit extensions requests and permit reactivation requests 

You can request a permit extension or request a permit reactivation from the City of Portland.

File an appeal 

You can file building code, electrical, mechanical and plumbing code appeals online. And, read more about how to write an appeal.

Contact

Make Payments by Phone

Development Services

phone number503-823-5161

Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Oregon Relay Service711 Oregon Relay Service

Permitting General Information

Development Services

Oregon Relay Service711 Oregon Relay Service