Express Permit Program
The Department of Buildings is excited to announce the November 2023 launch of our new Express Permit Program, which replaces the following paper-based application processes:
- Easy Permit Process
- Solar Express Permit Process
- Short Form Permit Process for plumbing and mechanical work
The Express Permit Program includes a fully web-enabled customer platform allowing users to apply for building permits for most types of building repairs and administrative changes to issued permits, as well as a limited range of small improvement projects. The web interface also allows customers to check application status, pay fees, and view inspection results online.
In the Express Permit Program, applicants are able to choose from a selection of guided worktypes. The system is designed to ensure applicants provide all information that is needed for the City to efficiently review an application and issue a permit. These worktypes include:
Repairs and Small Projects
- Communication Equipment
- Exterior Window or Door Replacement
- Fence or Trash Enclosure
- Interior Alteration (Nonstructural)
- Masonry Work
- Mechanical (HVAC) Work
- Other (Emergency) Work
- Plumbing Repair
- Preparatory Interior Demolition (Nonstructural)
- Removal of Unpermitted Residential Unit Features (Deconversion)
- Small-Scale Solar Photovoltaic (PV) System
- Small Temporary Structure
Licensed Contractor E-Acceptance
When a permit application is submitted by an owner or expediter indicating that work will be performed by a contractor licensed by the Department of Buildings, the licensed contractor will be notified by email and must click a link in the email to accept the job before a permit will be issued. This will help to prevent license fraud.
Licensed contractors who need to update their official email should log in to to their account on the Dynamic Portal or contact Continental Testing Services, the City of Chicago’s trade license support partner.
Redesigned Permit Certificate
Express Permits will feature a redesigned permit certificate that will be easier to read from a distance (to facilitate online verification) and provide more information about the scope of permitted work, including a list of all DOB-licensed contractors.
For Express Permits, all inspections results will be immediately visible to the owner and listed contractors through the online portal.
The Express Permit portal will also provide guidance to customers about when permit inspections are required and how to request them.
Protecting Public Health and Safety
Building permits protect public health and safety and help to prevent work by unlicensed and unqualified contractors.
At the Department of Buildings, we know that the quicker and more user-friendly we make the permitting and inspection process, the more people will obtain permits.
The Department of Buildings is offering an "Introduction to Express Permits," in partnership with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) on two dates:
If you are unable to attend one of these webinars live, a recording will be posted later in November.
To make sure you are notified of additional opportunities, please subscribe to the Department of Buildings E-mail Alerts.