Over-the-Counter Permits

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Permits
We are accepting Over-the-Counter permits in paper through our limited in-person services daily from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through pre-registration or an appointment for the following:

  • OTC without plans
  • OTC with plans
  • Permits requiring Fire Department review only (drop-off)

Over-the-Counter (OTC) permits without plans  
We are accepting new OTC without plans permits daily Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. You need to register through Eventbrite to submit your OTC permit. Please register for only one ticket per day. Each customer can submit a maximum of 2 permit applications. 

Eventbrite tickets are available every Friday afternoon on our website. Sign up here to receive our customer updates to let you know when tickets are available and for updates on service changes.

Over-the-Counter permits without plans include:

  • Re-roofing
  • Repairing decks and stairs (less than 50%)
  • Replacement windows (same size and same locations)
  • Replacement garage doors
  • Minor dry rot repairs
  • Exterior siding repairs or replacement
  • In-kind kitchen remodel (no changes to the floor plan or walls)
  • In-kind bathroom remodel (no change to the floor plan or walls)

Fire-only permits

We are accepting Form 3 and Form 8 permit applications for permits that require Fire Department review only Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.  You need to register through Eventbrite to drop off your fire-only permit. Please register for only one ticket per day. Each registrant can submit a maximum of two permit applications.

Fire-only plan review scope of work includes:

  1. Sprinkler system (including standpipe & underground work)
  2. Fire alarm and/or smoke detection system 
  3. Dedicated Function FA system (elevator recall, HVAC shut-down, sprinkler monitoring)
  4. Any fire suppression system (Pre-action, Clean Agent, etc.)
  5. Emergency evacuation signage
  6. Emergency Responder Radio Coverage System (ERRCS)
  7. Elevators (FSAE & OEE)
  8. Air replenishment systems

For more information about Fire Department plan view, please visit https://sf-fire.org/plan-check.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) permits with plans 

If you have a new permit application for an Over-the-Counter with plans permit, you can make an appointment to drop off your permit application. 

Previously submitted Over-the-Counter with plans permits 

If you previously submitted an OTC with plans permit application online, you can schedule an appointment to submit your permit application in paper. 

If you applied for an OTC permit and did not receive an email to make an appointment, it's possible your scope of work was deemed not eligible for Over-the-Counter review and therefore your permit is in the queue for in-house review in Bluebeam. 

Scheduling an appointment to drop off Over-the-Counter with plans permit

Appointments to drop off Over-the-Counter with plans permit applications in paper are scheduled Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Customers can drop off two permit applications per appointment and are limited to one appointment per day. To schedule an appointment, visit www.sfdbi.org/otcappointments.

Over-the-Counter permits with plans include:

  • Kitchen remodel (changing floor plans / walls)
  • Bathroom remodel (changing floor plans / walls)
  • Residential interior remodel (changing floor plans /walls)
  • New windows and exterior doors
  • Decks less than 20 feet above grade that meet planning setbacks
  • Sign permits
  • Commercial tenant improvement projects
  • Office or other B occupancy remodels
  • Power door operators
  • Permits to comply with the Accessible Business Entrance program
  • Voluntary seismic upgrades
  • Disability access barrier removal
  • Projects that do not require Planning Department neighborhood notification
  • Fences taller than 6 feet in side or rear yard
  • Fences taller than 3 feet in front yard

Additional documentation that may be required for Over-the-Counter permits with plans include:

  • Structural calculations
  • Special inspection checklist 
  • Green building forms
  • Disability access checklist
  • Seismic slope and hazard checklist
  • Green halo
  • Owner's agent authorization form
  • Permit applicant and authorized agent disclosure and certification
  • Material cut sheets/details for exterior changes

Related pages:

Updated: September 3, 2020