Easy Permit Program

Do you want to skip the trip to City Hall?

While access to City Hall remains limited, please follow these Instructions for Online Submission of Easy Permit Applications and Instructions for "Short Form" Permit Applications (for plumbing, refrigeration and heating/ventilation work).

The Easy Permit Program is a streamlined permitting process for small, simple home and building improvement projects. It allows home and building owners to obtain a permit to repair or replace existing features of a building or make minor modifications without providing architectural plans. You can use the Easy Permit Process for the following project types:

Inside the Building

  • Drywall Replacement (greater than 1,000 square feet)
  • Exterior Doors*
  • Fire Damage (buildings with 24% damage or less, require demolition inspection approval and a separate electrical permit)
  • Furnaces (replacement of existing gas-fired only in all-commercial buildings and residential buildings with 4 or more dwelling units)*
  • Existing Plumbing Fixture Replacement
  • Electrical Work (requires an electrical contractor)**
  • Counter Top and Cabinet Replacement (required for condos only)

Outside the Building

  • Doors/Window Replacement (4 dwelling units or more, if same size, same location)*
  • Fences (non-masonry fences greater than 5 ft. in height or masonry walls of any height)*
  • Sheds greater than 150 square feet
  • Detached frame garages, up to 600 square feet in area, without rooftop deck*
  • Trash enclosure (wood only)
  • Porch repair (if a violation report says permit for repairs only)
  • Masonry work (mason contractor required)
  • Tuckpointing (mason contractor required, masonry cleaning and grinding require a pollution prevention permit from CDPH)
  • Roofs (If adding a layer, a general contractor or primary owner can perform the work)*
  • Roofs (If total tear-off, must employ Illinois-licensed roofing contractor)
  • Lintel repairs (6’-0” opening maximum, mason contractor required)
  • Scaffolding (an easy permit can be received the same day if the work over the public way has been approved by the Chicago Department of Transportation)

 * For this project type in an all-residential building, the easy permit may be obtained online without staff review.

** Electrical permits may be obtained online by licensed electrical contractors only.

How It Works

  • Available at our City Hall office, Room 900
  • Before your visit, download an application form, then submit the application at one of our offices, plus any additional documentation (must have PIN #).
  • Some permits can be obtained online – apply for an Easy Permit, pay for it and print it out.
  • Before submitting the Easy Permit Process application, please note the application must be signed by the owner. If the owner does not sign the application, the application is automatically rejected.
  • Provide a copy of a contract signed by the owner and contractor describing the scope of work. Provide a signed letter of intent for general contractors, plumbing contractors as applicable.
  • For more detailed information, please reference the Easy Permit Process Flowchart.

Service Facts