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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Online Permits FAQs

Who can use SimplEpermits?

The property owner or contractor performing the work can use SimplEpermits. However: Property owners must fill out a notarized Owner-Builder Verification form DS-3042. Property owners can also apply for permits in person at 1222 First Avenue 3rd floor or at 9601 Ridgehaven Court Suite # 220.

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?

SimplEpermits are processed Monday thru Friday until 3:00 p.m. You should receive your permit in one to two business days. Invalid or incorrect information on the application will cause delays.

How many permits can I apply for using SimplEpermits?

An application is required for each building. An applicant can apply for multiple permits using SimplEpermits.

When does my permit expire?

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

Does a licensed contractor have to do the work?

The property owner can perform the work provided they comply with California Health and Safety Code Section 19825. Refer to Owner-Builder Verification form DS-3042.

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

Visit "Instant License Check" to learn whether a contractor license is in good standing with Contractors State License Board (CSLB).

Am I required to have an inspection?

All permits require an inspection to maintain validity and final inspection approval is required to complete the permit. The project is not legally complete until the permit passes final inspection.

How do I schedule an inspection?

Once you have received your approval number, you can request an inspection by going to OpenDSD Approval Search, then:

  • Enter the Approval Number in the Approval ID box (or Project Number in the Project ID box) and click on the Search tab.
  • Once the project information is displayed (scroll down, if necessary), click on the Approval ID number (displayed in blue font).
  • On the Approval Information screen, scroll down and click on the Inspections tab, which will show inspection results and inspections that are available to be scheduled.
  • To schedule an inspection, click on Schedule Online (displayed in blue font) for the inspection desired. Select a date to schedule the inspection, and enter the Inspection Contact Phone Number Note: The inspection contact will be the contractor listed on the General Application or the property owner for permits issued to owner-builders.
  • It is highly recommended that customers use the Comments for Inspector Box to provide their inspector important project information that includes, but is not limited to the following:
    • Providing a call back phone number. The inspector will call this number before they leave the office to provide an approximate time frame for the scheduled inspection.
    • Job site contact, including name and phone number (i.e., on-site foreman, superintendent that will meet inspector at job site)
    • Parking and access issues (i.e., special codes for entry, designated visitor parking)
    • Special instructions for secure or large job sites (i.e., inspection coordination, instructions on where to meet on large job sites)
    • Location of plans and Inspection Record Card DS-1798 (i.e., job site trailer location, area where plans will be located for viewing)
    • Specific description of scope of work to be inspected (i.e., rough inspection of single family home, 2nd floor inspection of fire sprinklers, etc.)
    • Other pertinent information
  • Once all the required information is provided, click the Schedule Inspection tab to send the inspection request. Approved inspection requests will generate a message that confirms that the inspection was successfully scheduled. The screen will also display the assigned inspector's name and phone number, which may be used to ask questions pertaining to the project.

If the system generates an error message, please verify whether the requested inspection is available, or if the Inspection Contact Phone Number is correct. Customers may also schedule an inspection through the City's Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system at (858) 581-7111, between 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

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 edition of the code in effect for a project is based on the deemed complete date for the project application. The list of code in effect can be found at Codes, Regulations, Requirements section.