The building permit approval process involves a series of steps, including application submittal, plan check review, comments and corrections, and permit approval. At each step, your permit is given a status.
While the terminology may change slightly, the statuses are consistent across all city and county jurisdictions. Knowing the definition of each status and what’s expected of you and your team can help manage timelines and avoid delays or extra fees.
We’ve compiled a list of the most common building permit statuses and the definitions of each. Also included are details on who owns each step and their responsibilities.
Permit Status Definitions
- Definition: Your application is submitted to the jurisdiction, which includes completing all paperwork (e.g., documents and forms) and paying plan check fees.
- Next Steps: The Jurisdiction—The jurisdiction will assign your application to a plan checker. Unfortunately, the plan checker may take weeks or months to get to your project.
- Definition: The jurisdiction’s plan checkers review your project application and documents to ensure all requirements are up to code.
- Next Steps: The Jurisdiction—At this stage, you need to wait until you receive next-step instructions. Depending on the jurisdiction’s posted review time estimates, you may consider following up on the status of your reviews if they have exceeded the anticipated due date. But, generally speaking, you can do little to speed up their processes.
Corrections Issued / Red-Lines:
- Definition: The jurisdiction has sent back corrections and comments regarding your plans. Often, these comments request additional information to help them clarify the design method and ensure it aligns with building codes.
- Next Steps: Your Team—Your team must address every comment or correction and then resubmit the documents to the jurisdiction for another review.
- Definition: Your design team has made the requested revisions, and the updated documents were sent to the jurisdiction for review.
- Next Steps: The Jurisdiction—The plan checkers now review your updated documents to ensure everything aligns with the established codes. The correction-and-resubmittal process may repeat several times before approval.
Approved with Conditions:
- Definition: The jurisdiction plan checkers have reviewed and approved your plans, but they’ve outlined conditions that need addressing. This type of approval allows your team to begin or continue with construction, but requested updates must be completed before the inspection.
- Next Steps: Your Team—The jurisdiction has permitted you to start or continue construction, but your team must address the conditions. Not doing so may lead to fines or being asked to redo construction work, costing time and money.
Ready to Issue:
- Definition: All relevant jurisdiction departments have approved your plans. At this point, your final permit fees must be paid. The permit cannot be “Issued” until fees are paid.
- Next Steps: Your Team—Your team must pay all fees before you can pull the official permit.
- Definition: Permit fees have been paid and the contractor has physically pulled the permit.
- Next Steps: Your Team—With permit in hand, your contractors can now begin construction.
- Definition: All inspections for the permit have been completed, and you passed the final building inspection.
- Next Steps: Your Team—It’s time to open your doors.