Building plans that the Department of Building Inspection maintains are public records open to the public for viewing and reproduction; however, the California Health and Safety Code prohibits the duplication of the official building plans, or documents such as reports and calculations that accompany these plans, without meeting the following criteria.
California Health and Safety Code Chapter 10: Building Records
(b) Any building department of a city or county, which is requested to duplicate the official copy of the plans maintained by the building department, shall request written permission to do so from the certified, licensed, or registered professional, or his or her successor, if any, who signed the original documents and from (1) the original or current owner of the building or (2), if the building is part of a common interest development, from the board of directors or other governing body of the association established to manage the common interest development.
To obtain copies of the official building plans, calculations or other documents accompanying these plans, it will be necessary for the applicant to follow the procedures listed below.
1. View the documents first through our Record Request Form (PDF) . All requests for plans are for view first only. We will NOT print any plans until permission is granted by the current property owner and any listed certified licensed registered professionals stamped on the plans.
2. If you are not the current property owner, the DBI Affidavit of Owner must be sent to the current property owner and completed with all documents. This is available only at our office.
3. Complete DBI Affidavit of Certified/Licensed/Registered Professional Form for each listed design professional on the requested plans. This is available only at our office.
4. Sign the Declaration for Duplication of Official Building Plans - Applicant. This is available only at our office after viewing the plans.
5. Submit all paperwork to DBI Staff at the office.
6. Pay the $52.00 + certified mailing fee ($5.59/letter) for this process and wait for all registered mail to return. Please be patient! The design professional has up to 30 days from the registered mail receipt to respond.
(f) The certified, licensed, or registered professional's refusal to permit the duplication of the plans is unreasonable if, upon request from the building department, the professional does either of the following:
(1) Fails to respond to the local building department within 30 days of receipt by the professional of the request. However, if the building department determines that the professional is unavailable to respond within 30 days of receipt of the request due to serious illness, travel, or other extenuating circumstances, the time period shall be extended by the building department to allow the professional adequate time to respond, as determined to be appropriate to the individual circumstance, but not to exceed 60 days.
(2) Refuses to give his or her permission for the duplication of the plans after receiving the signed affidavit and registered letter specified in subdivisions (c) and (d).
7. Once all paperwork has been received by DBI, staff will contact you to provide you with a pick-up date. Duplicated plans are $5.25 per page and are printed on 11” x 17” paper.
Please call (415) 558-6080 for further assistance.