The new 2022 California Building Standards Code will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. All construction project applications submitted on or after that date must conform to the new regulations. Learn more.

57°

San Diego
Weather

Accessibility Tools

  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.

Permit Processing Timeline

From Application to Issuance of a Permit

Stopwatch icon overlayed on blueprints

The City of San Diego Development Services Department (DSD) is committed to processing applications for permits as expeditiously as possible. The timeline below provides a weekly snapshot of the approximate days for applications to be set up, review and issuance of a permit. Check back weekly for updates.

  • Intake: This is the queue time it takes to process applications from the first upload to the pre-screen phase. 
  • Review: This is the time from the start to the finish of the project review.  
  • Permit Issuance: This is the queue time after the project has been reviewed, a request to obtain a permit is received, and the time it takes for staff to verify that all requirements have been met.  

The timelines below are weekly estimates. The actual length of time to process applications will vary depending on the number of applications received and the completeness of the documents submitted. Faster Intake and Issuance options are likely available! Please consider using our Virtual Appointment options.

 

Intake

This is the queue time it takes to process applications from the first upload to the pre-screen phase. 

Permit or Application Approximate Business Days* Currently Processing
Building Permit 31 2nd Week of October
Building Permit Rapid Review 17

1st Week of November

Building Construction Change - (Hybrid Process PTS/Accela) 7 3rd Week of November 
Building Construction Change 3 4th Week of November
Demo, Stand Alone Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Permits  19 3rd Week of October
Discretionary Projects 2 4th Week of November
Grading, Public Improvement, Mapping 7 3rd Week of November
Sign Permit 19 3rd Week of October

*The average timelines do not include weekends, holidays and the furlough core period (consisting of the workday after Thanksgiving Day and workdays between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). The data is current as of Nov. 25, 2022, at 2 p.m.

Review

 Review Delays! The following disciplines are seeing extended delays due to project workload volume. Please plan accordingly.

 

This is the average time to complete the first plan check review and subsequent reviews, based on standard review times and does not include Express Plan or Expedite project reviews.

Review Discipline Average Days to Complete First Review* Average Days to Complete Each Recheck*
DSD-Structural  78 16
DSD-Electrical 45 13
DSD-Engineering Building Review 70 27
DSD-Storm Water Review 68 60
DSD-Planning Review 28 23
DSD-Combined 42 24
DSD-Addressing 12 10

*The data is presented in calendar days. The data is current as of Nov. 25, 2022, at 5:50 p.m.

Permit Issuance

This is the queue time after the project has been reviewed, a request to obtain a permit is received, and the time it takes for staff to verify that all requirements have been met.

Permit or Application Approximate Business Days* Currently Processing

Building Permit

10

2nd Week of November

Building Permit Rapid Review

7

3rd Week of November

Building Permit & Construction Change - (Hybrid Process PTS/Accela)

3

4th Week of November
Building Construction Change 3 3rd Week of November

Demo, Stand Alone Mechanical, Plumbing and Electrical Permits 

11

2nd Week of November
Grading, Public Improvement 5 3rd Week of November

Sign Permit

11

2nd Week of November

*The average timelines do not include weekends, holidays and the furlough core period (consisting of the workday after Thanksgiving Day and workdays between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). The data is current as of Nov. 25, 2022, at 2 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is there a wait time for new project applications and permit issuance?

DSD is experiencing a high volume of new project applications and re-submittals. As of June 2022, there were approximate:

  • 1,100 permit applications in the Intake phase of the process.
  • More than 2,200 in review and 100 in issuance.

This volume, coupled with staffing shortages, the time needed to train new employees and other factors, causes delays.  For example, during new project application intake, many new applications do not meet basic requirements under the online application system, meaning staff needs to request customer corrections and updates. When that occurs, and an application needs to be resubmitted, it means staff has to review the application again. This impacts the project setup (Intake) times for all customers.

What is DSD doing about these timelines?

DSD online permitting is designed to provide faster service for customers by reducing the time it takes to submit new applications, resubmittals and obtain permits.  The current timelines are not satisfactory to our customers, management and staff. To help address the queue times, DSD is implementing the following measures: 

  • Ramping up recruiting and hiring quickly to fill permanent positions.
  • Authorizing overtime and reassigning staff to help with permit issuance.
  • Hiring a contractor to provide temporary help to reduce the backlog. 
  • Automating and digitizing processes where feasible and streamlining operations.
  • Requesting additional positions in the upcoming City budget.

How can you help? 

To help speed up the new project application intake, review, and permit issuance, we are asking customers to use City resources to ensure applications and project packages contain complete information. An example is making sure applications meet the current application requirements outlined in the Submittal Manual before uploading. The online system helps to pre-screen that the minimum required files are uploaded. However, DSD staff are also required to review the documents for completeness. 

Here are the top ways you can help reduce intake times:

  1. Make sure your PDF icon Building Construction Plans are oriented in landscape, and sheet numbers are at the bottom right.
  2. Check and download the most current forms.
  3. Review Information Bulletins, Technical Bulletins and the Project Submittal Manual.
  4. If your building is more than 45 years old, submit the Assessor Building Record and photographic survey.
  5. View training videos or attend a webinar on how to apply online.
  6. After you submit and receive a PRJ number, book a Virtual Appointment for a new project setup.

Similarly, the permit issuance step requires staff to check your project for completeness. Often, staff finds that required documents or information are missing. To help speed up this phase, please ensure you have provided accurate and complete information, such as your inspection contact. Review the other PDF icon requirements to avoid unnecessary delays. You can also book a Virtual Appointment to have staff help you through this phase.

Please use these tips so we can help you obtain your permit and get you going on your project!