We're Increasing Transparency and Cutting the Tape

April 29, 2024

On April 5, Mayor Johnson released his Cut the Tape report, with more than 100 recommendations to streamline and expedite housing and commercial development processes across 14 city departments.

The Department of Buildings is fully committed to implementing these recommendations in the months ahead, and we’re excited to announce that we’ve already launched a few tools to expedite your building project: 

Permit Application Status Check

As of early April, building permit applicants can now access even more details about the status of pending plan-based building permit applications without the need to create an account.

Any user who knows the 9-digit permit application number can now access a detailed report through the Building Permit Application Status website by clicking the “Generate ProjectDox Status Report.” This report includes additional real-time details about assigned staff, uploaded documents, reviewer comments, and key dates in the review process. Tips for interpreting this report can be found in the “Help” section.

Public Data on Issued Permits

As of today, information about every permit issued through the Express Permit Program is available in the Building Permits dataset on the City of Chicago’s Data Portal. This information is refreshed every night. Since the Express Permit Program launched in November 2023, over 4,600 permits have been issued through this program. More than 60% of these permits took less than one day for city approval.

Contractor License Lookup

Last fall, we launched a new website allowing the public to check the license status of general contractors, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors, mason contractors, and elevator mechanic contractors licensed through the Department of Buildings. This site allows contractors to confirm their insurance and/or bond information is up to date.

Hiring competent and qualified contractors is vitally important to ensuring the success of building projects. For homeowners, the City’s Department of Business Affairs (BACP) offers important contractor hiring tips.

Submit Your Suggestions

If you have comments or suggestions for further enhancements to our policies or processes, please let us know at DOBCommissioner@cityofchicago.org. We look forward to hearing from you.


Please visit Chicago.gov/permit to learn more about successfully planning and completing building projects in Chicago.