Limited Over-the-Counter Permit Services
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If you need a permit for a small business, you may qualify for expedited review under Proposition H. Visit our Prop H Website for more information.
Changes to the Over-the-Counter Appointment Process
Limited in-person Over-the-Counter permit services are provided at 49 South Van Ness Avenue (49 SVN) from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday by appointment or on a first-come, first-served basis only. Customers will enter the 49 South Van Ness building from Van Ness Avenue.
The following services are available:
- 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday to Friday: Over-the-Counter without plans permit processing (first-come, first-served)
- 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday to Thursday: Fire-only permit application drop-off (first-come, first-served)
- 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday to Friday: Over-the-Counter with plans permit application drop-off (by appointment).
- 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Permit pick-up (job card and/or comments)
Over-the-Counter (OTC) with and without plans permit applications
Please note that projects associated with City Landmarks or properties that have Block Book Notification requests may not be eligible for OTC service.
7:30 to 9:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday – Over-the-Counter without plans permits
Customers can apply for Over-the-Counter permits without plans by dropping in at 49 South Van Ness within this two-hour window. We can accommodate 35 customers on a first-come, first-served basis. Each customer can submit a maximum of 2 permits.
Please remember to bring completed forms and/or supporting documents with you. A DBI plan checker will review your application to ensure it is eligible for permit submission and processing. You will enter the ground floor to complete the permit issuance process and then proceed to the second floor to complete the payment process.
For more information on Over-the-Counter and fire-only permits, visit www.sfdbi.org/otcpermits.
If customers are uncertain about whether their project requires plans or not, please send an email to email@example.com and we will determine if the project will require plans.
For more information on Over-the-Counter and fire-only plan, visit www.sfdbi.org/otcpermits.
Trades permits and street space permits are not accepted during the limited service.
Trades permits can be filed online or with DBI staff by licensed contractors for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical or boiler-to-operate permits. Visit here for more information on how to file your trades permit. The Department of Public Works is processing all Street Space permits online. You can file your Street Space permit here.
9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday – Fire-Only Permits
During this time, customers can drop off permit applications that require only Fire Department review. Click here for examples of fire-only scopes of work. Fire Department staff can accommodate 25 customers daily, first-come, first-served. Each customer can submit a maximum of 2 permits per day.
9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday – Over-the-Counter with plans by appointment
If you have a new permit application for an Over-the-Counter with plans permit, you can schedule an appointment to submit your permit application HERE. Customers are limited to one appointment per day, and one permit application for each appointment scheduled.
Applicants who have already filed their plans can now meet with plan review staff in-person for Over-the-Counter plan review.
Projects eligible for in-person meetings will be published on DBI's website and applicants will be contacted via email. This list include the project address, permit application number, and date the project applicant may return to 49 South Van Ness to resume in-person review.
Customers with Over-the-Counter projects that are waiting for review by Building or Mechanical, are highly encouraged to meet in-person to expedite plan review.
If applicants do receive approval from all remaining plan review departments, they will not have the opportunity for same-day issuance until 5/10/21. Applicants will have the option to either take your approved plans and return on or after 5/10/21 for issuance or request that the final plan checker route the approved plans to DBI: Issuance to be processed first-come first-serve. If applicants choose the second option, Permit Center Team will send an email to the authorized agents when the job card is ready for pick-up.
If your project does not finish its route, you may come back 5/10 or later to resume review. 5/10 onwards, an appointment is not necessary to return to complete your in-progress Over-the-Counter application.
What to Expect When Onsite
Upon arriving at 49SVN for your OTC with plans appointment at the San Francisco Permit Center, you will be entered into the QLess queuing system and summoned to the appropriate plan review department when it is your turn. You will then be directed to the DBI plan checker counter to confirm that your filing qualifies as OTC with plans. You will drop off the plans for review, and it will be routed to plan review staff for processing. Once review has been completed, you will be contacted with payment information so you can pay for your permit prior to picking it up.
You can pick up your permit during this window after we’ve contacted you that your permit is ready for pick-up. For more information, visit www.sfdbi.org/permitpickup.
To complete the permit issuance process, payment is required prior to picking up your permit. You will receive an email invoice with information on how to pay online from DBI. For more information, visit www.sfdbi.org/payment.
Revision Drop-Off for Hardcopy Building Permits Requested by Planning Department
If you have an existing Form 1, 2 or 3 Building Permit Application that was originally submitted in hardcopy, you may submit revised plans directly to the Planning Department without an appointment. Customers should come to the 49 South Van Ness Main Entrance to drop-off the plans at the 2nd Floor (Stations No. 39, 43 or 47) between 7:30 am and 3:30 pm.
Here are instructions for dropping off your revised plans:
• Provide two sets of revised plans
• Write the Building Permit Application Number along the side edge of each set of plans
• Date the plans with the resubmittal date
Revised plans will be routed to the Planning Department within two days of drop-off, and your assigned Planner will review the plans within approximately one week of the plans being routed to Planning. If you choose to proceed with Planning Department review of your revisions in hardcopy, you will be removed from the electronic plan review queue.
If you have an existing Form 8 Building Permit Application that requires revisions, you may continue review of this permit with assigned staff on the 2nd Floor Permit Center, unless your permit has been identified for intake (due to required neighborhood notification, entitlement or pending enforcement).
In all instances, Permit Center staff will require you to sign-in through the Permit Center’s queue management system.
Revision Drop-Off for Hardcopy Building Permits for All Other Departments
To meet current service demands, DBI will temporarily stop accepting revision drop-offs from 4/28/21-5/9/21. This means you will not be able to submit revisions until 5/10/21.
Starting May 10 at 8 AM, you will be able to resume plan review in-person to address the comments issued by your plan checker. An appointment will not be needed on or after May 10 to address comments.
Completing the Necessary Forms
You will need to complete permit application Form 3/8 to file an OTC permit. Select and print the Building Form 3/8 using legal 8.5 X 14" paper size and print two copies of the application on both sides. Visit here for a list of the forms required by DBI and other permitting departments.
- Permit Application Form 3/8
- Permit Application Form 4/7
- Permit Applicant Disclosure Form
- Contractor’s Statement Form
- Authorization Agent of Contractor (if personal permit being issued to is not the contractor)
- Property Owners Package
What to expect when you are on site:
- You will be required to wear a face covering and stay 6 feet apart from others at all times.
- You should have completed permit application forms (found here) and supporting documents with you for submission. We want to issue your permit as soon as we can, so please make sure your submissions are complete. Incomplete submissions will result in delays and may require you to come back.
- Provide your contact information to DBI so we can contact you.