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.

Learn More with the Guide to Building Permits Apply Online

Guided Worktypes

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:

The Department plans to add several additional worktypes, including Electrical-Only Permits, in spring 2024.

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.

User Training and Additional Information

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:

Register for "Introduction to Express Permits" webinar on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. (90 minutes)

Register for "Introduction to Express Permits" webinar on Thursday, November 16, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. (90 minutes)

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.