Instructions for Online Submission of Easy Permit Applications

Before applying for an easy permit, please review: When is a building permit not required?

Do not use the instructions on this page for the following types of work:

  • Like-for-like exterior window and/or door replacement in an entirely-residential building up to 4 stories
  • Like-for-like furnace replacement in an all-residential building up to 4 stories
  • Installation of a wood, metal, or plastic fence at at all-residential property
  • Construction of a wood-framed residential garage with a sloped roof, up to 600 square feet, accessed from an alley
  • Roof recover for an all-residential building up to 4 stories

For these types of permits, please follow the instructions on the City's Online Permitting Site. In most cases, these types of permits will issue automatically (without staff review).

Do not use the instructions on this page for electrical-only permits. The city-licensed electrical contractor performing the work must apply for this type of permit using their online account.

Do not use the instructions on this page for plumbing, mechanical, or ventilation "short form" repair or replacement permits. Instead, follow the Instructions for Short Form Applications.

For extension/reinstatement of a permit that is expiring, please email a request, including the existing permit number(s), to


In 2020, the Department of Buildings (DOB) developed the procedure described in this document to allow most types of easy permit applications, which previously required an in-person visit to City Hall, to be submitted, processed, and paid for online. DOB continues to work with the City’s Department of Assets, Information, and Services (AIS) to make permanent improvements to the online process reflecting these changes. This procedure is subject to change, so please check the DOB website for updates and to sign up for email alerts.

This procedure involves four steps:

Step 1: Generate an easy permit application online (but do not pay).

Step 2: Fill out the PDF permit application form. Include the number you generated online and a brief description of the work to be permitted (For example: "Replace 1200 sqft of drywall in two units and repair rear porch"). Gather required supporting documents, such as letters of intent. Email all documents to

Step 3: Wait for email confirmation that your permit is ready for payment. (A city employee may also email or call you if more information is needed.)

Step 4: Use the city’s permitting website to pay for your permit (check or credit card) and print your permit certificate. (You may be required to pay in person if there are open building code violations associated with the property.)

Detailed instructions for each of these steps are provided below.

Step 1: Begin an Easy Permit Application Online

1.1. Log in to the City’s permitting website at:

Note: You will need to create an account if you have not used this site before.

1.2. Click “Apply for a Permit.”

1.3. Select “Easy Permit Process” as the permit application type. Click “Next Page.”

1.4. On the Job Type page, under Workbenches, select the box for “Roof Recover with NO Tear Off.” Do not select any other boxes. Click “Next Page.”

Note: The scope of work will be changed by a city employee before you are directed to pay for your permit.

1.5. On the Job Location page, enter the address for the location where work will be performed. Click “Next Page.”

1.6. On the next page, confirm the job location address. Click “Next Page.”

1.7. On the Property PIN Details page, click “Display Add Item Form” to enter the 14-digit property index number (PIN) for the job location. Click “Save,” then click “Next Page.”

Note: If you do not know the PIN, visit the Cook County Property Tax Portal at,  which will allow you to look up the PIN using the street address.

1.8. On the Job Description page, enter the estimated cost of work (materials and labor). Click “Next Page.”

Note: You will not be able to change the description of work. This will be changed by a city employee, based on the materials you submit by email in Step 2, before you pay for the permit.

1.9. On the Application Detail page, under Existing Occupancy Codes, click “Display Add Item Form.” Select “A1-Single Family Dwelling” even if the building is another type of occupancy. Click “Save.”

For # Floors, enter “1.” Do not enter the actual number of floors.

For Building/Tent Area, enter “1.” Do not enter the actual area.

Click “Next Page.”

1.10. On the Contractors and Contacts page, if you are the owner of the property where work will be performed, select the appropriate choice under Contact Type. If you are submitting the application on behalf of the property owner (for example, as a contractor or permit expediter) select “I am the Tenant.”

1.11. Continuing on the Contractors and Contacts page, click “Add Contractor” and add the following contractor types:

Most types of work require a city-licensed General Contractor, unless the job location is a residential building and the permit applicant both owns and lives at the job location.

Plumbing work requires a city-licensed Plumbing Contractor.

Electrical work requires a city-licensed Electrical Contractor. (Note: for electrical-only work, the electrical contractor must apply for the permit using their account.)

Work involving brick, stone or concrete installation or repair requires a city-licensed Mason Contractor.

Work which will be based on drawings prepared by an architect or structural engineer (for example, replacement of lintels longer than 6 feet) requires an Illinois-licensed Architect or Structural Engineer.

Once you have entered all contractors and design professionals, click “Return to main page” at the top of the page.

1.12. Continuing on the Contractors and Contacts page, click “Add Individual Owner/Contact.”

You will need to provide a contact that is either “Owner – Occupied by Owner” or “Owner – Not Occupied by Owner.”

Only select “Owner – Occupied by Owner Acting as General Contractor” if the property owner lives at the property where work will be performed, and the building is a single-family home or an apartment building with 6 or fewer apartments.

Do NOT select “Owner – Occupied by Owner Acting as Architect” or “Owner – Occupied by Owner Acting as Architect and General Contractor.”

You will also need to provide an “Emergency Contact.” You may make the same contact both the Owner and Emergency Contact by checking both boxes before clicking “Next.”

The system will validate each entry.

Once you have entered the property owner and emergency contact, click “Return to main page.”

On the Contractors and Contacts page, click “Next Page.”

1.13. On the Certification page, mark “I Accept” for each statement. Click “Next Page.”

1.14. On the Application Summary page, review and confirm:

  • the address where work will be performed
  • the estimated cost of the work (materials and labor)
  • the PIN number for the property where work will be performed
  • the owner, emergency contact, and all required contractors

Click “Finish.”

1.15. On the Status page, do NOT click any of the buttons. Write down your application number. You will need this in Step 2. (You will also receive an email from with your application number.)  

Step 2: Prepare and Submit Supplemental Application Paperwork by Email

2.1. Gather and prepare the following documents, based on the scope of work to be permitted:

Change of Contractor

  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • New contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including contractor’s license number and original permit number)


  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • Letter with details of fence, including height of fence, type of fence (wood, chain link, wrought iron, PVC, etc.)
  • If resolving violation, photograph of fence and “Certification of Responsibility” completed by property owner

Garage Demolition (no replacement planned)

  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • General Contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including city license number)

Masonry Repairs (including brick or lintel replacement)

  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • Mason Contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including city license number and details of work to be performed (area or number of bricks to be replaced, number and length of lintels, location on building, etc.)
  • Photograph of area(s) where work will be performed

If length of any lintel being replaced is longer than 6 feet, must provide dimensioned repair drawing(s) and specifications signed and sealed by Illinois-licensed architect or structural engineer

Minor Remodeling

Limited to: interior finish repair and/or replacement (drywall, flooring, etc.); plumbing replacement in same location only; any electrical requires additional electrical permit pulled by Electrical Contractor).

  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • General Contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including city license number and details of all work to be performed)
  • Photograph of area(s) where work will be performed
  • If plumbing work, Plumbing Contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including license number and details of plumbing work)
  • If electrical permit has already been issued, provide permit number

Revision to Permit Related to Plumbing Materials Pilot Program

Click here for more information about the plumbing materials pilot program.

Roof Replacement with Tear Off

  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • Copy of State of Illinois Roofing Contractor License
  • Roofing Contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including details of work to be performed)

Note: a roof repair or roof recover (no tear off) can be obtained without following Steps 3 or 4. Just pay for the permit at the end of Step 2.

Scaffolding (over 40 feet high in downtown zoning district; over 80 feet high in neighborhood zoning district)

Windows / Doors (buildings up to 5 stories)

  • Completed Easy Permit Application
  • Signed General Contractor’s letter of intent (signed, including details of work, such as location, number and dimensions of windows and doors)

All available permit application forms can be found online.

2.2. Compose an email to The subject line must be the 9-digit application number you were assigned at the end of Step 1, followed by the property address.

2.3. Attach all of the documents listed in Step 2.1 to your email message.

2.4. In the body of the email, provide your name and daytime phone number. A city employee may contact you by phone or email if there are questions about your application.

2.5. Send your email.

Note: Emails that do not comply with the requirements in this section will delay review and may not be processed.

Step 3: Wait for Email Confirmation That Your Application Has Been Processed

Most emailed applications will be processed within 2 business days. Applications with Planning Department or Health Department holds (historic buildings, environmental contamination, etc.) may take several days or require additional information to review.

Please check your email regularly because a city employee may contact you if more information is needed to process your application.

Once your permit application has been accepted and the city’s permit system has been adjusted to reflect the scope of work described in your emailed application, you will be notified by email that your permit is ready to pay for.

Step 4: Pay for Your Permit Online

Note: If there are unresolved building code violations associated with the address, you will not be able to pay online. In-person payments may be made 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday at either the City’s Central Hearing Facility (400 W. Superior) or in City Hall Room 107 (121 N. LaSalle Street).

4.1. After you are notified that your emailed application has been approved, you will need to log in to the City’s permitting website using the account used in Step 1. The permitting website can be found at: 

4.2. Click “View My Applications” in the left column.

4.3. In the column labeled “Cart,” click “Add.”

4.4. Click “View Cart/Checkout” in the left column.

4.5. Follow instructions to pay the permit fee.

4.6. From the Payment Confirmation screen, click “View My Applications.”

4.7. Use the first printer icon to “Print Permit.”

4.8. Print and post a copy of this permit certificate at the work site before beginning work.


If you have questions about this procedure, please email or call 312-744-8549 during business hours.


Supporting Information Facts