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ePlans Frequently Asked Questions

Blog Post
Frequently Asked Questions by ePlans users.
In this article

What is PDX ePlans?

PDX ePlans is the Bureau of Development Services’ (BDS) Electronic Plan Review and document management system. Using a web-based tool called ‘ProjectDox’, ePlans provides a convenient central hub for development project groups, including applicants and City reviewers, to communicate and complete the entire plan review process online. Staff at BDS and our partner bureaus can review the plans simultaneously on their computers. If customers need to make a correction to their plans, they can submit those corrections online for review, saving a trip to the Development Services Center.

Will PDX ePlans save me time?

Yes! Uploading plans, submitting revisions and downloading approved plans, using PDX ePlans saves time; you no longer have to drive to our permit center and stand in line to submit your plans or revisions.

When is PDX ePlans available?

Access to PDX ePlans are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How do I get started with PDX ePlans?

The Bureau of Development Services has rolled out PDX ePlans (Electronic Plan Review) as an option for all Process Managed projects as of January 2019. If you are interested in submitting your Process Managed project through ePlans:

  1. Contact your BDS Process Manager directly
  2. Email BDSProcessManagement@portlandor…

Not submitting a Process Managed project?

Stay tuned! PDX ePlans is working to be rolled out to all commercial new construction permits. With questions, please contact the ePlans Training Team at

Do I need special software to use PDX ePlans?

No, additional software is not needed. ePlans can be used across many internet browsers including Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. 

Logging into ProjectDox Guide 

What file types are allowed?

Our preferred file type is a searchable, vector PDF file, but you can upload over 150 file formats (including DWG, DGN and PDF). Please refer to our Applicant User Guide to learn more.

Applicant User Guide

Are there any additional fees for using PDX ePlans?

There are no additional fees for submitting plans electronically through PDX ePlans. You pay the exact same permit fees that you would pay if you visited the Development Services Center to obtain your permits.

Is PDX ePlans 100% paperless? Do I still need to print paper copies?

During the submittal and review process, ePlans is entirely paperless. When your plans are approved, you will receive an email indicating that your plans are approved and after payment, they will be ready for download. You will be responsible for printing one set of plans for your job site for inspections.

Are my plans and files secure?

Yes, your plans and files are held on a secure server. Only you and the review staff have access to the plans, and all plans are read only and cannot be altered. Plan and document files that are uploaded into ePlans are published immediately into a "read-only" screen format that is used throughout the review and approval process. The plan files themselves, once published, are archived in order to ensure they are never altered or modified in any way. All markups and annotations applied to the plan file renditions occur on virtual layers in ePlans.

What is the difference between Applicant Upload and Applicant Corrections tasks?

Applicants can only upload documents when they are assigned and have accepted either the Applicant Upload or Applicant Correction task.

  1. Applicant Upload – This is the initial task assigned to applicants to upload their documents and drawings.
  2. Applicant Corrections – This task is assigned to applicants during review cycles when corrections are required.

Can I submit corrections and upload files at any time using PDX ePlans?

Submitting changes will depend on where your project is within the Review process. The city has implemented a plan review process, called ‘Review Windows’, which limits the ability to make changes to the plans during the Review process. Plan Review Windows are windows of time for when applicants can respond to corrections and/or make updates to building plan sets. In ProjectDox, the ‘Review Window’ process is managed by ‘Tasks’ and your assignment of ‘Tasks’; if you have a task, your ‘Review Window’ is open, and access to make changes and upload files will be available. If the City has an open ‘Task’, the Review Window for the applicant is closed, and access make changes & updates to plans in ProjectDox cannot be made. For more information on the City’s process for ‘Review Windows’, please view a short video from our YouTube Channel:

Applicant Training Video series – Module 3: Review Windows

Can I see the comments while my plans are being reviewed?

In ePlans, you can view correction items (Markups) on your submittal at any time. A Markup means that a change is required on your plans and/or documents. You will have access to project reports containing the corrections and review comments within ePlans at any time. In addition, you can use the reports to track the status of your project 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When all the reviews are finished, we will send you an email, so you access the comprehensive list of your correction items. Being able to see the correction items early allows you to start working on making these changes while we continue to review your submittal which will save you time.

Please be aware that more correction items may be added if your application is still in review.

Who is currently working on a task?

The Plan Review – Workflow Routing Slip report displays the sequential routing and times for completed or current plan review tasks. There are two ways to access the report from a Project:

  • Option 1: On the Reports tab, in the Contains… field below REPORT NAME field, type “workflow” and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
  • Option 2: On the Status tab, click the View Report button at the bottom of the page. Click the up-arrow next to the COMPLETED column to display the most recent tasks at the top of the list. The USER column displays who owns the task.

Will I still receive Checksheets?

No, in ePlans, you receive all the correction items in 2 formats, Markups and Comments:

  1. Markups – Also known as Changemarks, are used for corrections related to a specific drawing sheet. 
  2. Comments – Also known as Library Comments and Inquiries, are used for communicating general corrections, and for corrections not related to a specific drawing sheet.