Accessibility and Website Information Skip Site Wide Navigation Skip to Content City Seal | HomeCity of San Diego | Home
Search City of San Diego

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Online Permits FAQs

What is a plumbing and gas permit?

A plumbing and gas permit is an authorization to repair or construct a complete or portion of a plumbing and/or gas system. Permitted work must be in compliance with the 2001 California Plumbing Code (2000 Uniform Plumbing Code with state amendments) as adopted by the City of San Diego, and the plumbing regulations published in the City of San Diego Municipal Code (PDF). An inspection is required for each permit.

Examples of work requiring a plumbing and gas permit includes addition, installation or replacement of any plumbing or gas fixture, such as: water heaters, sewer systems, grease traps, lavatories, roof drains, shower drains, sinks, gas meters, gas outlets, water softeners, water service and drinking fountains.

What is an electrical permit?

An electrical permit is an authorization to repair or construct a complete or portion of an electrical system. Permitted work must be in compliance with the 2004 California Electrical Code (2002 National Electrical Code with state amendments) and adopted by the City of San Diego, and the electrical regulations published in the City of San Diego Municipal Code (PDF). An inspection is required for each permit.

Examples of work requiring an electrical permit include: Installation of new electrical outlets, moving electrical outlets or switches, adding or replacing circuits, adding or replacing phase services, installing a temporary power pole, or adding new "hard wired" electrical appliances or fixtures.

What is a mechanical permit?

A mechanical permit is an authorization to repair or construct a complete or partial mechanical system. Permitted work must be in compliance with the 2001 California Mechanical Code (2000 Uniform Mechanical Code with state amendments) as adopted by the City of San Diego, and the mechanical regulations published in the City of San Diego Municipal Code (PDF). An inspection is required for each permit.

Examples of work requiring a mechanical permit include adding or replacing any of the following: a furnace (wall or floor), heaters, air conditioners, appliance vents for chimneys, refrigerator compressors, boilers, chillers, fan coil units, heat pumps, air handlers, duct work, vent fans and systems, and exhaust hoods and ducts.

Who can use SimplEpermits?

The property owner or contractor performing the work can use SimplEpermits.

Can I apply for a permit for my mother, aunt or a friend via SimplEpermit?

No. To obtain a permit for someone else, you will be acting as their agent and an authorization letter is needed. To register as their agent, visit our downtown office or use the PermitFax service.

What if I live outside of the City of San Diego?

We only issue permits for property located in the City of San Diego.

How long does it take to process a SimpleEpermit?

SimpleEpermits are processed daily. During high-volume periods, processing requests may take up to three business days, but the turn-around time is generally faster. Invalid or incorrect information on the request will cause delay.

What credit cards can I use?

MasterCard and Visa only.

How many permits can I apply for using SimplEpermits?

At the same project address, an application can be made for a maximum of three permits. Contractors can use the SimplEpermits to apply for multiple permits for multiple project addresses. After paying for each project address, contractors will be given the option to apply for another permit for a different project address.

When does my permit expire?

Work must begin and an inspection made within 180 days, otherwise the permit expires.

Does a licensed contractor have to do the work?

No. The property owner can complete the job. A licensed contractor can be hired to do all or some of the work.

How do I check to see if a contractor is in good standing?

The Contractors State License Board, which issues the licenses, has a Web site where you can check the information.

When am I required to show proof of Workers Compensation Insurance?

Proof of Worker's Compensation Insurance is required at the time of permit issuance for all work that is being done by employees.

Am I required to have an inspection?

Yes. All no-plan permits require an inspection. The project is not legally complete until it passes the final inspection.

How do I schedule an inspection?

Request an inspection when submitting your SimplEpermit, or, call our InspectionLine at (858) 581-7111 at your convenience. For inspection questions, call (858) 492-5070.

Can I use this process to correct a code violation?

No, first please contact the City's Code Enforcement Division at (619) 236-5500 to clear the violation(s).

Are there other ways to submit a permit request?

Yes. Permits can be requested:

What if I don't get a permit?

If a required permit is not obtained before construction, city codes and regulations have been violated. The property owner and/or tenant is subject to fines and penalties. You will be required to obtain permits for the work and it must pass inspection, or you will have to return the structure or site to its original condition. Most importantly, without the inspection, your work may not be safe, endangering you and anyone using the structure.

What if I have a permit but never called for inspection?

Generally, permits expire after 180 days if no inspection has been made. In order for the project to be complete, it must pass final inspection. If a permit expires before final inspection, the project is in violation of City codes. To reactivate the old permit or apply for a new one, call (619) 446-5000.

What if I'm not adding anything, I'm just changing existing electrical?

When electrical work doesn't include adding any circuits, you are charged for the current service at the site, usually 50-175 amps or more than 200 amps.

What codes does the City use?

Construction codes enforced by the City of San Diego are set by the State of California and are contained in Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations. The 2001 edition of the California Construction Codes will include amended versions of the 1997 edition of the Uniform Building Code published by ICBO, the 2000 edition of the Uniform Fire Code published by the Western Fire Chiefs Association as well as the 2000 editions of the Uniform Plumbing Code and Uniform Mechanical Codes published by IAPMO. The 2004 California Electrical Code became effective July 1, 2005, and is based on the 2002 National Electrical Code published by NFPA, with state amendments.