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Building and Safety
General Permit Information

Instructions

Please make a selection from the list of permits above. The information on that permit type will appear here.

Announcing: Applications for plan check may now be submitted online.

Building and Safety is accepting plan check submittals in PDF format for the following unicorporated service areas:

  • Antelope Valley
  • Calabasas
  • East Los Angeles
  • Santa Clarita
  • Universal Studios
Click to submit online.

When is a building permit required? Title 26, Section 106.1, Permits Required

A building permit is required to construct, enlarge, remodel, repair, move, remove, convert, or demolish any building or structure, or portions thereof. This includes garages, patios, carports, storage sheds, pools, retaining walls, fences, the addition or removal of interior or exterior walls, etc.

A separate permit is required for each separate building or structure.

The building permit does not cover any plumbing, sewer, electrical, HVAC, fire protection system, drainage, grading or landscaping to be performed in association with the work described on the building permit. Separate permits shall be obtained for each of these items.

In addition to construction of new buildings/additions and remodeling of existing buildings, some examples of work that requires a permit are: roofing/reroofing, stucco, window and door change-outs, closing or sealing off windows and doors, drywall replacement, fire damage repairs, adding and removing partition walls, and enclosing patios.

This means most home improvement projects and commercial tenant improvements will require a building permit, unless the proposed work is specifically exempt from a permit. Please contact your local district office if you have any questions.

When is a building permit not required? Title 26, Section 106.3 Work Exempted

    A building permit is not required for the following items listed below. Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical, and mechanical permits may still be required, as well as compliance with local zoning regulations and other applicable laws or ordinances:

  1. One-story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the gross floor area does not exceed 120 square feet, the plate height does not exceed 12 feet in height above the grade plane at any point, and the maximum roof projection does not exceed 24 inches.
  2. Fences not over 6 feet in height. (Fences less than 6 feet in height may not be exempted in certain jurisdictions. Verify requirements with the local building departments.)
  3. Steel tanks supported on a foundation not more than two feet above grade when the height does not exceed 1 1/2 times the diameter.
  4. Gantry cranes and similar equipment.
  5. Retaining walls that retain not over 4 feet in height measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting a surcharge or impounding a Class I, II, or III-A liquids.
  6. Motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery, except when used as a building.
  7. Radio and television antennae towers which do not exceed 45 feet in height and ground support dish antennas not exceeding 15 feet in height above finished grade in any position.
  8. Light standards which do not exceed 30 feet in height.
  9. Flagpoles not erected upon a building and not more than 15 feet high.
  10. A tree house provided that:
    1. It does not exceed 64 square feet in area not 8 feet in height from floor to roof.
    2. The ceiling height as established by door height or plate line does not exceed 6 feet.
  11. Canopies or awnings attached to a Group R-3 or U Occupancy and extending not more than 54 inches from the exterior wall of the building.
  12. Sheds, office or storage buildings, and other structures incidental to and work authorized by a valid grading or building permit. Such structures must be removed upon expiration of the permit or completion of the work covered by the permit.
  13. A portable metal hanger located on County-owned airports, provided that:
    1. It is less than 2,000 square feet in area,
    2. It is used exclusively for the parking of aircraft,
    3. It bears the Department of Motor Vehicles, State of California insignia of approval for movement on any highway,
    4. It incorporates as an integral part of its basic construction a hitch or coupling device for towing,
    5. It can accommodate, without further structural change, wheel and axle assemblies to provide a safe means of portability,
    6. It is equipped with permanent ventilation to prevent the accumulation of combustible gases, and
    7. It is not provided with water or sanitary facilities.
  14. Oil derricks.
  15. Platforms, walks and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below, and which are not part of an accessible route.
  16. Prefabricated swimming pools accessory to a Group R-3 Occupancy in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons. Fences, gates, door alarms, and other protection devices that are accessory to the prefabricated swimming pool are not exempt from permit requirements.
  17. Playground equipment.

Where do I obtain a building permit?

Building permits need to be obtained from the local Building and Safety district office that serves the proposed project address. Use the visit our Field Offices page to find a district office in the area of the site requiring the permit.

When is plan review required?

Depending on the scope of work, plan review by a Building plan check engineer may be required prior to issuing a permit. Permits for work requiring plan check are issued after the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Building Section. To see if your scope of work needs to be reviewed by the Building Section, please use the “Plan Submission and Review” link on this page, or contact your local district office.

Each of the items below provides a link to various sections of the Grading Guidelines document. Click here to go to a PDF version of the entire document.

Permits Required

No person shall do any grading without first having obtained a grading permit from the Building Official. Building permits will not be issued until rough grading has been completed and approved by the Building Official. Contact the local Building and Safety District Office to determine if a grading permit is required.

Grading Permit Application

To obtain a grading permit on any property not currently in the subdivision process, an application form must be completed and submitted to the local Building and Safety District Office. To obtain a grading permit for a proposed subdivision (Parcel Map or Tract Map), an application application form must be completed and submitted directly to Land Development Division.

Agency Approvals/ Clearances Required/NPDES Compliance

In addition to verifying compliance with the Los Angeles County Building Code (LACBC), other County departments and agencies may also review plans and/or reports to verify compliance with laws and ordinances under their jurisdiction.

Permit Fees

The grading plan check fee must be collected at the time the plans and supporting documents are submitted for review. The permit (inspection) fee will be collected at the time the grading permit is issued.

Grading Permit Security

For grading projects involving more than 1,000 cubic yards, the owner must post with the Building Official a grading permit security.

Grading Permit - Field Engineer's Reporting Requirements

As of January 1, 2008, the Field Engineer is required to submit routine inspection reports, known as Report of Grading Activities, during all grading activity. The reports are to be submitted as follows:

  1. Bi-weekly during all times when grading of 400 cubic yards or more per week is occurring on the site
  2. Monthly, at all other times
  3. At any time when requested in writing by the Building Official

Permit Expiration

The plan check shall expire twelve (12) months after the permit application date if a permit has not been secured within that time. The issued permit shall expire if the work is not commenced within 180 days from the date of issuance, or if the work is suspended or abandoned for a period of 180 days at any time after the start of work.

When is an electrical permit required? Title 27, Article 82, Permits and Inspections

An electrical permit is required to install, alter, reconstruct or repair any electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus, or equipment.

A separate permit is required for electrical wiring installed in each separate building or structure.

When is an electrical permit not required? Title 27, Article 82, Permits and Inspections

An electrical permit is not required for the following:

  1. Minor repair work, such as the replacement of lamps, switches, receptacle devices, sockets, taping bare joints and the like, or the connection of portable motor and appliances to suitable receptacles which have been permanently installed.
  2. The wiring for temporary theater, motion picture or television stage sets.
  3. The repair or replacement of fixed motors, transformers, apparatus, or appliances of the same type and rating in the same location.
  4. Electrical wiring, devices, appliances, apparatus, or equipment operating at less than 25 volts and not capable of supplying more than 50 watts of energy.
  5. Low-energy power, control, and signal circuits that are not an integral part of an appliance and in which the power is limited from a source having a rated output of not more than 30 volts and 1,000 volt-amperes.
  6. Temporary Christmas decorative lighting.
  7. The installation of temporary wiring for testing or experimental purposes within suitable facilities.
  8. Replacement of over-current devices of the same type and the same rating.
  9. Portable generators, motors, appliances, tools, power outlets, and other portable equipment connected by means of a cord or cable having an attachment plug.
  10. Private telephone, intercom, sound and communication systems; provided, however, that a permit shall be obtained for the power supplies required by the above systems.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, all electrical wiring and equipment shall comply with Section 83-2 of this Code.

Who can obtain an electrical permit?

Electrical Permits may be issued to the following:

A General Building Contractor possessing a Class “B” license if, in addition to an electrical permit, the General Building Contractor also does work at the same time in at least one other unrelated specialty trade or craft that is not incidental to the work authorized under the electrical permit. A Class C-10 licensed Electrical Contractor. Specialty Contractor doing electrical work that is related and subordinate to work in his/her particular specialty (i.e., HVAC, electrical sign, etc.). A Homeowner for his/her principal place of residence and appurtenances thereto, provided further that the work is done by the person to whom the permit is issued or by a member of his/her immediate family. A County-registered Maintenance Electrician for work being done at the premises of a firm to which a certificate is issued.

Where do I obtain an electrical permit?

Electrical permits shall be obtained from the local Building and Safety district office having jurisdiction. Use the “Contact Info” link of visit the Field Offices page to determine which district office has jurisdiction.

When is a plan check required?

Depending on the scope of work, plan review by an Electrical Section plan check engineer may be required prior to issuing a permit. Permits for work requiring plan check are issued after the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Electrical Section. To see if your scope of work needs to be reviewed by the Electrical Section, please use the “Plan Review” link on this page, or call the Electrical Section at (626) 458-3180.

When is a mechanical permit required? Title 29, Section 111.1, Permits Required

A mechanical permit is required to install, alter, replace, relocate, reconstruct or repair any heating, ventilating, cooling, or refrigeration equipment.

A permit is also required for all heating, ventilating, cooling, or refrigeration equipment, moved with, or installed in, any relocated building.

A separate permit is required for equipment installed in each separate building or structure.

When is a mechanical permit not required?Title 29, Section 111.1, Permits Required

A mechanical permit is not required for the following:

  1. Any portable heating appliance.
  2. Any portable ventilating equipment.
  3. Any portable comfort cooling unit.
  4. Any steam, hot, or chilled water piping within any comfort heating or cooling equipment regulated by this Code.
  5. Replacement of any component part or assembly of an appliance which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of this Code.
  6. Any portable evaporative cooler.
  7. Any refrigerating equipment which is a part of the equipment for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the requirements of this Code.
  8. Any unit refrigerating system.

Who can obtain a mechanical permit?

Mechanical permits may be issued to the following:

  1. A General Building Contractor possessing a Class “B” license if, in addition to a mechanical permit, the General Building Contractor also does work at the same time in at least one other unrelated specialty trade or craft at the same time.
  2. A Class C-20 licensed Warm Air Heating, Ventilating and Air-conditioning Contractor.
  3. Specialty Contractors doing mechanical work that is related and subordinate to work in his/her particular specialty (i.e., refrigeration, HVAC, etc.).
  4. A Homeowner for his/her principal place of residence and appurtenances thereto, provided that he/she meets the conditions of the owner-builder declaration on the permit application.

Where do I obtain a mechanical permit?

Mechanical permits need to be obtained from the local Building and Safety district office having jurisdiction. Use the “Contact Info” link to determine which district office has jurisdiction.

When is plan review required?

Depending on the scope of work, plan review by a Mechanical Section plan check engineer may be required prior to issuing a permit. Permits for work requiring plan check are issued after the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Mechanical/Plumbing Section. To see if your scope of work needs to be reviewed by the Mechanical/Plumbing Section, please use the “Plan Review” link on this page, or call the Mechanical/Plumbing Section at (626) 458-3182.

When is a plumbing permit required? Title 28, Section 103.1, Permits Required

A plumbing permit is required to add, alter, install, move, remove, repair, or replace any gas piping, drainage piping, water piping, roof drainage piping, reclaimed water piping, or graywater piping.

A separate permit is required for plumbing installed in each separate building or structure.

When is a plumbing permit not required? Title 28, Section 103.1, Work Not Requiring Permit

A plumbing permit is not required for the following:

  • Repairing leaks in drainage systems provided such repairs do not require the removal and replacement of plumbing fixtures or any trap or any portion of the drainage system.
  • Clearing stoppages.
  • Repairing leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures provided such repairs do not involve or require the replacement or rearrangement of valves, pipes or fixtures.
  • No permit, test or inspection shall be required where a plumbing system or part thereof is set up for exhibition purposes and has no connection with a water or drainage system.

Who can obtain a plumbing permit?

Plumbing permits may be issued to the following:

  1. A General Building Contractor possessing a Class “B” license if, in addition to a plumbing permit, the General Building Contractor also does work at the same time in at least one other unrelated specialty trade or craft that is not incidental to the work authorized under the plumbing permit.
  2. A Class C-36 licensed Plumbing Contractor for any work regulated by the Plumbing Code.
  3. A General Engineering Contractor possessing a Class “A” license or Class C-42 licensed Sanitation System Contractor for any house sewer or private sewage disposal system regulated by the Plumbing Code.
  4. Specialty Contractor doing plumbing work that is related and subordinate to work in his/her particular specialty (i.e., swimming pool, fire protection, etc.).
  5. A Homeowner for his/her principal place of residence and appurtenances thereto, provided that he/she meets the conditions of the owner-builder declaration on the permit application.
  6. A person holding valid Los Angeles County Contractor’s Certificate as a “Plumbing,” “Gas Fitting” or “Sewage” contractor for only such work that is covered by that certificate. (Note: less than ten such licenses exist.)
  7. An Owner-Builder may be issued a fire protection system permit, excluding an electrical alarm system, for a single-family dwelling (or two single-family dwellings on the same parcel within one year), provided further that such dwelling is his/her principal place of residence.

Where do I obtain a permit?

Plumbing permits need to be obtained from the local Building and Safety district office having jurisdiction. Use the “Contact Info” link to determine which district office has jurisdiction.

When is a plan check required?

Depending on the scope of work, plan review by a Plumbing Section plan check engineer may be required prior to issuing a permit. Permits for work requiring plan check are issued after the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Mechanical/Plumbing Section. To see if your scope of work needs to be reviewed by the Mechanical/Plumbing Section, please use the “Plan Review” link on this page, or call the Mechanical/Plumbing Section at (626) 458-3182.

When is a sewer permit required? Title 28, Section 103.4, Other Permits

A sewer permit is required to connect a building sewer to the public sewer or to a private sewage disposal system.

A permit is required to install, alter, repair, replace, disconnect or abandon any building sewer, private sewage disposal system, or portion thereof.

A permit is required to connect additional work or buildings to the sewage system.

When is a sewer permit not required? Title 28, Section 103.4, Work Not Requiring Permit

A sewer permit is not required for the following:

Repairing leaks in sewage systems provided such repairs do not require the removal and replacement of any portion of the sewage piping.

Clearing stoppages.

No permit, test or inspection shall be required where a plumbing system or part thereof is set up for exhibition purposes and has no connection with a water or drainage system.

Who can obtain a sewer permit?

Plumbing permits may be issued to the following:

  1. A General Building Contractor possessing a Class “B” license if, in addition to a plumbing permit, the General Building Contractor also does work at the same time in at least one other unrelated specialty trade or craft that is not incidental to the work authorized under the plumbing permit.
  2. A Class C-36 licensed Plumbing Contractor for any work regulated by the Plumbing Code.
  3. A General Engineering Contractor possessing a Class “A” license or Class C-42 licensed Sanitation System Contractor for any house sewer or private sewage disposal system regulated by the Plumbing Code.
  4. Specialty Contractor doing plumbing work that is related and subordinate to work in his/her particular specialty (i.e., swimming pool, fire protection, etc.).
  5. A Homeowner for his/her principal place of residence and appurtenances thereto, provided that he/she meets the conditions of the owner-builder declaration on the permit application.
  6. A person holding valid Los Angeles County Contractor’s Certificate as a “Plumbing”, “Gas” or “Sewage” contractor for only such work that is covered by that certificate. (Note: less than ten such licenses exist.)
  7. An Owner-Builder may be issued a fire protection system permit, excluding an electrical alarm system, for a single-family dwelling (or two single-family dwellings on the same parcel within one year), provided further that such dwelling is his/her principal place of residence.

Where do I obtain a permit?

Sewer permits shall be obtained from the local district office having jurisdiction. Use the “Contact Info” link to determine which district office has jurisdiction.

When is a plan check required?

Depending on the scope of work, plan review by a Plumbing Section plan check engineer may be required prior to issuing a permit. Permits for work requiring plan check are issued after the plans have been reviewed and approved by the Mechanical/Plumbing Section. To see if your scope of work needs to be reviewed by the Mechanical/Plumbing Section, please use the “Plan Review” link on this page, or call the Mechanical/Plumbing Section at (626) 458-3182.

Notes regarding permits issued to the owner

With regard to electrical permits, if you as the homeowner take out an Electrical Permit then please take notice of section 84.4(c) of the Los Angeles County Electrical Code, which reads: “Homeowner. A homeowner is the owner of a single-family residence, including common accessory and minor poultry, animal or agricultural buildings. A permit may be issued to such homeowner for his principal place of residence and appurtenances thereto, provided that work authorized under any such permit shall be done by the person to whom the permit is issued, or by a member of his immediate family. Should any provision of subsections (a), (b) or (c) be violated, the permit shall be subject to immediate cancellation. This permit cancellation is in addition to any other enforcement provisions or penalties provided for in this Code.”

With regard to Plumbing permits, if you as a homeowner take out a Plumbing permit then please take note of section 103.8.2 of the Los Angeles County Plumbing Code, which reads:

“A permit may be issued to the bona fide owner of any single-family dwelling, including common accessory and minor poultry or agricultural buildings, occupied and used exclusively by of designed to be occupied and used exclusively by, said owner, to do any plumbing or drainage work regulated by this Code in said dwelling or accessory buildings.”

Our permit Declarations and Certifications

On our permit forms there are several different declarations that may require your signature prior to the issuance of the permit. These declarations are reproduced here for your information.

LICENSED CONTRACTOR'S DECLARATION

I hereby affirm under penalty of perjury that I am licensed under provisions of Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code, and my license is in full force and effect.

OWNER-BUILDER DECLARATION

I hereby affirm under penalty of perjury that I am exempt from the Contractors License Law for the following reason (Sec. 7031.5, Business and Professions Code: Any city or county which requires a permit to construct, alter, improve, demolish, or repair any structure, prior to its issuance, also requires the applicant for such permit to file a signed statement that he or she is licensed pursuant to the provisions of the Contractors License Law (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 7000) of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code) or that he or she is exempt therefrom and the basis for the alleged exemption. Any violation of Section 7031.5 by any applicant for a permit subjects the applicant to a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars ($500).):

Electrical, Plumbing & Sewer Permits Only

I, as owner of the property, will do the work, and the structure is not intended or offered for sale (Sec. 7044, Business and Professions Code:

The Contractors License Law does not apply to an owner of property who builds or improves thereon, and who does such work himself or herself, provided that such improvements are not intended or offered for sale. If, however, the building or improvement is sold within one year of completion, the owner-builder will have the burden of proving that he or she did not build or improve for the purpose of sale.).

All Other Permits

I, as owner of the property, or my employees with wages as their sale compensation, will do the work, and the structure is not intended or offered for sale (Sec 7044, Business and Professions Code: The Contractors License Law does not apply to an owner of property who builds or improves thereon, and who does such work himself or herself or through his or her own employees, provided that such improvements are not intended or offered for sale. If, however, the building or improvement is sold within one year of completion, the owner-builder will have the burden of proving that he or she did not build or improve for the purpose of sale.).

I, as owner of the property, am exclusively contracting with licensed contractors to construct the project (Sec. 7044, Business and Professions Code: The Contractors License Law does not apply to an owner of property who builds or improves thereon, and who contracts for such projects with a contractor(s) licensed pursuant to the Contractors License Law.).

For more information, open General Information